Thursday, December 15, 2011

On Running into Touring Authors Who Make Artisan Pizza, While Having Coffee

Yesterday I mentioned how much I enjoy both running into folks I've not seen for a long time and being witness to two other folks running into each other in a similar manner. I particularly enjoy introducing two unrelated customers who sometimes turn out to have connections of some sort.

But it's not only the bookstore where this happens. Fortunately it's not at the stage where I have to wear dark glasses and a wig, but I do run into Boswell fans outside the store quite a bit. Sometimes I wish I remembered his or her name and context a bit better, but I think it's important to focus on the upside, like when I do have the recollection.

Recently I was at an Alterra preparing for a book club discussion. I had already greeted a Boswell regular and we had a nice chat. Then in walked Mary who does a lot of the author escorting in town. Luminaries also does PR, and she had brought in two of her author clients, who were doing press for Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day.

Mary introduced me to the authors and we chatted for a bit, and I'm going to admit up front that while I remembered the book and concept, I didn't quite hear the authors' names on introduction. We discussed the coffee, brew process, other local roasters. I asked them if they were at Bayshore to do a cooking class at the kitchen store. I suggested, since they don't live that far away, various event opportunities for their next book.  They left and I went back to The Tiger's Wife.

And then one of the authors came back.

"We went to high school together!"

And you know there are some folks who get filed in the wrong drawer (one day I'll tell you my sad story about the high school reunion where I couldn't place this very nice guy with whom I was said to know pretty well) and then there are some folks where you are just not paying attention.

Jeff Hertzberg! Married to my old friend Laura. We took a shop class together in intermediate school. Shop class! Or maybe not: memory is a tricky road.

And yet, I didn't connect that he had written these books. How many Jeff Hertzbergs can there be? Well, since there are quite a number of Daniel Goldins, I choose not to speculate.

So needless to say, I went back to the store and took a closer look at Artisan Pizzas and Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day. There was a great Publishers Weekly review for it, and yesterday, Hertzberg was featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Chef Chat series.  Just a short excerpt, where tossing the dough is explained: "You've got to put the pizza dough partially flattened, . . . draped over the backs of your knuckles. You've got to rotate your hands, while moving both hands up sharply. You gotta aim right overhead. At the last second, you take your dominant hand and turn it so that the tips of your fingers will control the dough at the last second."

You know, it would not be a bad thing for me to spend a few minutes making flatbreads and pizza doughs.


I had a great time on At Issue with Ben Merens show yesterday. We had so many calls that I hardly got through my list of Boswell's favorite books of 2011. You can find most of them in our holiday newsletter.  If one wasn't delivered to you, you can stop by and pick one up or read the pdf here.

1 comment:

Jeff Hertzberg said...

Daniel: It was so great to run into you--- I hope we can figure out an event to do the next time we're in Milwaukee!

Jeff Hertzberg