My Secret Cookbook Gems

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After yesterday’s cookbook slaughter, I thought I’d steer the blog to sweeter waters and talk about a subject I’ve never addressed on the blog before: my secret cookbook gems.

No, I’m not talking about books that I actually cook from. Those would be my favorite cooking cookbooks and you can find those on the lower right hand corner of the page under the heading “The Amateur Gourmet Recommends.” These books, my secret cookbook gems, are the ones with the most sentimental value: the ones that I cherish the most, the ones I’d grab first if the apartment was on fire.

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Lunch with Jon Robin Baitz at Brooklyn Fish Camp

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Jon Robin Baitz is the Pulitzer-prize nominated playwright of such plays as “The Substance of Fire (which starred a young Sarah Jessica Parker), “The Film Society” (which starred a young Nathan Lane), “Three Hotels,” “A Fair Country,” and, most recently, “The Paris Letter.” You may know him better, though, as the creator of the hit ABC show, “Brothers and Sisters.” My grandmother watches that show religiously and, to her, Jon Robin Baitz is something of a god.

Which is why, a few weeks ago, I was a bit startled to see that a god subscribed to my blog. Well, actually, I wasn’t sure. You see the form above where you enter your e-mail address? To make that work, I use a program called Feedblitz. And every so often I visit Feedblitz to see who’s signed up: I’m often surprsied by the names I find–hey, didn’t I go to school with him? Didn’t he beat me up?–and I was doubly surprised to see the name Jon Robin Baitz right there as the most recently subscribed.

Here’s where I took a risk: I decided to e-mail this Jon Robin Baitz to see if he was the famous writer Jon Robin Baitz. Who knows, maybe there are thousands of Jon Robin Baitzes in this world, all from the same unoriginal parents? I wrote a simple message: “Are you the writer and did you just subscribe to my blog? If so, I’m incredibly flattered!” A few minutes later a response came: “I am the writer, yep, but more than that; I love your blog, so much, and your book, and I am a Brooklynite, and you are a tonic.”

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