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As some of you know, I was in New York last week for Book Expo America (BEA). Naturally, much of my week centered around the food! Here a few photos and one recipe. I was lucky enough to have been invited to several additional functions and had dinners with my bookish friends, but not all my photos are share-worthy. I picked these events to highlight because I have okay pictures to go with my descriptions. (Click on any shot to see it larger.)
On Monday afternoon I was thrilled to have been invited to a champagne tea hosted by Random House. We were served refreshing tea/wine cocktails, yummy tea sandwiches, and these light but tasty cookies. While sipping and daintily nibbling on our treats, we all talked books and shared some of our recommendations. Even better, we got to hear author Lisa See tell us about her latest novel, Dreams of Joy. I've read most of what Lisa has written, and I'm a huge fan. Everyone there was also lucky enough to have her sign a copy of her book for us. I'm still beaming!
To the right is part of the spread at another lovely reception; this one held by Picador, whose offices are in the Flatiron Building! Yes, we were taken up to the second-highest floor, where we were treated to a fabulous view, wonderful company, and delicious treats. There was drawing for special prizes, and I won a signed copy of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom. I was so excited, I actually squealed! I'm not kidding. This was such a great chance to get to know the Picador people better and to have a moment to relax with friends.
You may remember my Weekend Cooking post about my grandmothers. That post was a winner in a couple of ways. First, of course, the recipes were great and I loved sharing a story about my family. But, second, I won the chance to have a walking tour of Greenwich Village and lunch with the wonderfully awesome and super friendly and down-to-earth Adriana Trigiani, author of many wonderful novels and a new memoir: Don't Sing at the Table. (Thank you HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours!) I took tons of pictures of the people, but forgot to photograph my meal. We had lunch at the recently opened and very fashionable Standard Grill in the Village. To the left is what the front of the restaurant looks like, with outdoor seating. We ate inside, though, in the cozy and private wine room.
I was also blessed to meet another one of my favorite authors and someone I consider to be a good friend, although this is the first time we met face to face. Beth Hoffman has to be one of the most generous, sweetest, warmest, people I've ever met. She's also the author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, one of my favorite books from 2010. The lovely Beth flew into New York to have dinner with a group of her fans at the tres chic Mercer Kitchen. Food and company couldn't have been better. Here's my scrumptious dessert.
While waiting for the rest of the party to arrive, several of us sat at the bar and ordered a drink. OMG. I fell in love with the restaurant's Vodka-Thyme Lemonade. I swear I could have gladly drunk a pitcher of them all by myself. Herbs and lemon . . . really! I'd take them over many other flavors in a heartbeat. I am so excited to have found the recipe on the Food & Wine website.
Vodka-Thyme Lemonade from Jean-Georges Vongerichten
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 lemon wedges
- ¼ cup Lemon-Thyme Syrup (see recipe)
- ¼ cup vodka
- splash of club soda
- 1 thyme sprig
Combine 1½ cups water and 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add ¾ ounce lemon thyme sprigs and cover and let stand for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice and strain the syrup. Keeps, refrigerated, for 5 days.