Monday, August 29, 2011

My video shoot

my props
Friday morning I went to Safeway and bought a box of Uncrustables to use as a prop in the promo video for my forthcoming book, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter.  For the record, I think Uncrustables are silly. These popular frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cost more than a homemade sandwich and don't taste as good. Very broadly speaking, this is the subject of my book.

Some backstory on the video: Earlier this summer, the publisher sent me a Flip cam and Isabel made a video of me grinding peanut butter in the kitchen of my mother-in-law's beach house. We didn't have a script and I told Isabel to shoot from above to make me look skinnier. As a result, I look like I'm being filmed from a security camera in the ceiling. You can see the video here and you may understand why the publisher wanted a new video shot with a real camera at eye level by professionals.
Andy, Max, Nick
Professionals were found. The sound technician was young enough to be my son, and I'm not talking about a teen pregnancy.

We met Friday morning in the kitchen of a cooking school that happens to be a few doors down from 40-year-old Chez Panisse and directly across the street from the 44-year-old Cheese Board Collective. Around the corner, is the original Peet's Coffee (45-years-old). We met, in other words, at what is arguably the birthplace of the farm-to-table American food movement, not to mention gourmet coffee.

Many sweaty, self-conscious hours passed. I demonstrated the mixing, boiling, and baking of bagels and talked about my book, repeating the same lines dozens of time. I tried to project, tried not to put my hands in my pockets, not to slump, tried to remember what I wanted to say and to say it with heartfelt verve to these patient young men whom I suspected I was boring to death.

I hadn't eaten breakfast and suddenly it was one o'clock. We took a break. You could practically smell the River Dog Farm chicken legs roasting in the wood oven down the street at the Chez Panisse Cafe. At the Cheese Board there was organic vegetarian pizza. Next door: Lush gelato. And on the counter squatted that box of Smucker's Uncrustables.

Yeah. You guessed it. And they were delicious. Sometimes all you really want is to stop being hungry, fast. To repeat: Very broadly speaking, this is the subject of my book.

On another subject, a few nights ago I made the lamb curry from Marcus Samuelsson's Soul of a New Cuisine and served it with his yellow rice. The curry was fabulous, as was the rice. You may have eaten yellow rice before, but probably not like this yellow rice.

It is yellow from the saffron ($$), but also from chunked corn on the cob, mango, yellow tomato, and yellow pepper. We ate it all up. I'm so happy with this book. The Africa News Cookbook has a lot to live up to.
 demo bagels


  1. Mmmmm...baaagels. I've been looking to try a new bagel recipe. The one I've been using is unreliable. Sometimes they're perfect, and sometimes they're lead bombs, and I don't know what makes the difference. I'm excited about your book!

  2. i actually like the original video!

  3. I like the video too, and it is almost impossible to believe that you have a teenage daughter.

    But watching you make the PBJ has intrigued me. Jam on top of the peanut butter? I have never seen it done this way! I must conduct a survey.

  4. I love the title!

  5. Dear Tipsy -
    Thanks to you, I have made my own peanut butter twice now. It is far superior to store bought, which I don't even like. Trader Joe's sometimes has "Old Fashioned Blister Peanuts." Blend 2 bags of the unsalted with 1 bag of salted and it's about perfect. Thank you, can't wait for the book!

  6. Things I must point out:

    Tipsy seems very slim in original video.

    Tipsy's book, now available on Amazon, has blurbs from JULIE POWELL and MOLLIE KATZEN!!!! This is huge.

    That is all.

  7. how exciting! sweating under the camera lights!
    looking forward to seeing your cookbook...makes sure your book tour comes through TX.
    I remember that cheese shop in Berkeley--

  8. I love your book! I agree with you that Uncrustables are silly, but also that kids have an irrational love for them. Pampered Chef and undoubtedly other companies makes a device that lets you *make your own* Uncrustable. And it's so much better, even with my store-bought whole-wheat sandwich bread and Trader Joe's peanut butter.