Monday, April 23, 2012

Judith and Mabon

Today I had an unexpected surprise. I had tea with Judith Jones and her Havanese dog Mabon. Yes, that Judith Jones - editor to Julia, Lidia, John Updike and scads more and rescuer of the Anne Frank diary. Author of The Tenth Muse and The Pleasures of Cooking for One.  Owner of Bryn Teg Farm, a grass fed beef farm in northern Vermont. How's that for a day? I'm still pinching myself. 

Now this isn't a typical day around here. Usually I take a long walk with our Border Collies, feed the chickens, commune with Archie and Winston, work on a project for a book or whatever, and do what is on the ever present to-do list. But today it was raining (thank goodness - we really need it). Instead, I started the day off on a whim by calling our neighbor David Nussbaum (as in kind neighbor I wrote about here). David is a cookbook writer who has worked with Judith for years on projects including many of Julia's and Lidia's books. I had heard that Judith would be in Greenfield speaking at the Community College this Wednesday (info here and it is free). I assumed David was involved in getting her to our neck of the woods. I thought it would be fun to have my signed Julia cookbooks also signed by Julia's Editor Judith. What the heck, I might as well ask, I thought to myself. 

David answered the phone, Judith said yes, and he said, come right down. Off I went, books in hand, my heart all a pitter patter because I don't do anything quite so exciting as this on a Monday. 

Me and Judith Jones with her dog Mabon

What a treat this was. I spent a couple of hours with David and his new dog, Judith and her two year old Havanese Mabon talking about dogs, books, farming, cooking, publishing and teaching Judith about blogging.

What a wonderful woman Judith is - still learning at 88, still writing. (She retired from Knopf just last year at 87.) For all you fans of Judith, here's some good news. She is at work on a new book. And she wants to incorporate a blog into the mix. As I was showing Judith how a blog works and typing away, she was editing my words. Listening to Judith and David bantering back and forth, composing words for a post - it was an education for me to see them work together - to see great literary minds at work crafting a sentence. To hear David breaking down the process, like he would a step by step in a recipe.

So that was my day. The rest of the week won't compare. Now my Julia books are signed with Judith's famous green editing pen. Thank you Judith. Thank you David. See you Wednesday afternoon at GCC. Hope some of you all can come. It should be a good talk. Bring some canned food for The Food Bank.

Here's what I need from all of you.... Judith and David asked me what my favorite cooking and food blogs are. I told them mine. Would you be kind enough to leave your favorites in my comments section for Judith.... Thanks so much!


Beth said...

The only one I read consistently is Pioneer Woman. She makes me laugh. I gotten some good recipes from Smitten Kitchen, but honestly, I don't really read food blogs. I read more knitting, quilting, and sewing ones.

How fun that you got to meet Judith! What a Monday to remember!

SaraGL said...

Lucky you - what a day!

My favorite cooking blogs are Baking Bites and Smitten Kitchen.

Abby said...

Jealous! The Pleasures of Cooking for One is one of my favorites. I don't have any cooking blogs on my feed since many of the other blogs I follow offer up recipes on occasion. Like this blog!

Adaliza said...

What a lovely start to the week. Wish my Monday had been as good. I don't follow food blogs but may start now, having had some suggestions for good ones! Wish I was a bit nearer, so could join in with all the activities you farming folk enjoy! Have a good rest-of-the-week!

Kathryn Samuelson said...

I would have to say Gluten Free Girl & the Chef. So well written and lovely photos.

Barbara M. in NH said...

What a lovely day! I'm sure Judith learned a lot about blogging from you, Kristin. I follow Stonesoup..... simple recipes and on-line cooking videos from an Australian cook, Jules Clancy. The other I love is La Tartine Gourmande..... she has just published a cookbook by the same name.

Barbara said...

I like Pioneer Woman, Gluten Free Girl, and Culinary in the Country. That last one, Culinary in the Country, is not currently active, as the blogger is having health issues, but the recipes in the archive are fabulous!!! And I like his writting style, so maybe it would interest Judith.

Bashh said...

Favorite blogs:

Proud Italian Cook
Shiksa in the Kitchen
The Bitten Word
Memorie di Angelina
Kalofagas Greek Food
Smitten Kitchen

I love these 2 blogs for the photography: What Katy Ate, and especially Cannelle et Vanille, even though I am never free of gluten. Last but not least, Vegetarian Food Adventures because hey, it's my cousin's blog.

Mabon looks so intelligent. I hope he (or maybe she) has his own blog soon.

mn_bird said...

Way cool! What a wonderful way to spend a day!

I don't read a lot of food blogs with any regularity. The one I read most is It's written by a woman from Estonia. I first started looking at her blog in the spring, since she has a lot of good ideas for rhubarb.

ruth said...

What a great way to spend the day!

I like The Bitten Word for its descriptions of what works and
doesn't when they try various magazine recipes.

I like David Lebovitz's blog for his stories of life in Paris.

I like Serious Eats for the occasional detailed descriptions
(a la Harold McGee) of cooking, its restaurant reviews, and some of its recipes.

And i like Ruth Reichl's very occasional blog.


Savannagal said...

I keep my eye on a few food blogs:

Closet Cooking
Barbara Bakes
Joy the Baker
Zoe Bakes
Willow Bird Baking
The Yummy Life
The Food Librarian
King Arthur Flour Blog
Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body

Thanks so much for your wonderful post. I think I would have passed out from over-excitement.

jerseygirl said...

Lucky, My first cookbook was a JC and I still have it...

I have a few favs:

NYTimes here is the link and it can be FaceBooK:
The RSS is called "Recipes for Health"

King Arthur
The Well

Martha Stewart Everyday Living (email)(Vegetarian, my choice) here is the link:

Every now and then I will find an interesting recipe on the Food Channel (no fried Krispy Kremes!)

technikat said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful day. I learned to cook from Julia's cookbooks back in the early 70s. Other cookbooks would say things like cook til done. Julia would tell you what done looks and feels like.

I don't read cooking blog often but I always enjoy Smitten Kitchen.
She doesn't try to be exotic or extra fancy. She's just feeding her family with good food.

Tina said...

So jealous my friend but so incredibly happy for you to have had such a special day! The special days are the sparkle, yes? :) Cooking blogs---- I read Cream Puffs in Venice, Dessert First, King Arthur Flour and Food & Wine. You know--- I may read them daily for awhile and then as with all blogs they aren't read for a bit and read all in one big happy wallow!

Anonymous said...

My favorite food blog is Simply Recipes. Anything I have ever tried from her blog is wonderful and in my permanent rotation. The one I have been into lately is Perry's Plate, and I predict it will be the next huge food blog hit.

Beth in Maryland said...

Smitten Kitchen. I like the way she takes you through her thought process. I grew up not realizing that cooking is something you can think about, rather than just do.

mary kate said...

Rally not blogs but great recipe "go to" sites...epicurious and

Marlaine said...

What a wonderful day you must have had! I don't read very many food blogs but I always enjoy reading Ree Drummond's "The Pioneer Woman". Any recipe of hers that I've tried has been wonderful.

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

What a terrific way to start the week and make a wonderful memory. I like reading and (she's been doing a series "Whole Foods Kitchen", with great suggestions and recipes for eating healthier).

Gerri said...

I'm glad you were gifted with a wonderful day! I don't read (currently) any food/cooking blogs but I loved the Tenth Muse! I appreciate what Judith has done for the world of cooking, so I wish I could help her out. Please update when the book and blog are rolling!

Anonymous said...

Pioneer women... everything seems so attainable and offeres a wide variety of recipes....

Cathy said...

My favorite cooking blog is The Cafe Sucre Farine: Every recipe I have tried has been delicious.

Micheleinmaine said...

Smitten Kitchen, Chocolate and Zucchini, Poor Girl Eats Well (I think that's the name).

What a fun time on a rainy day!

MicheleinMaine said...

Smitten Kitchen, Chocolate and Zucchini and Poor Girl Eats Well.

Sounds like a fun day!

Cate said...

The only cooking blog I consult is this one:

It is also a gardening blog, though, and at this time of year is more about gardening. But the blog and recipes are for my local area - Maine - which I love and appreciate.

Anonymous said...

A day to remember!

Some other sites I like:
101 Cookbooks
The Perennial Plate (videos and blog)
Naomi Duguid ( writing about her life,
with food ideas incorporated)

Elizabeth said...

I follow I always feel welcomed, and like the many photos that go step by step through the recipes. The two moms that blog are having fun and that really shows through. Definitely one to check out.

Anonymous said...

101 Cookbooks!

Marsha said...


What a day you had!! I love blogs and cooking blogs are some of my favorites. Here's a few:

Dorie Greenspan
Homesick Texan
Anne's Food
Chez Us
Evil Chef Mom
Kalyn's Kitchen
Lucullian Delights
Megan's Cookin
Not Eating Out in New York
Smitten Kitchen
The Nourishing Gourmet
White on Rice Couple
Joy the Baker
A Sweet Spoonful
Big Red Kitchen

Happy Cooking!!

Bev said...

(ok, full disclosure -- I write that one at the request of family for sharing our family recipes!)

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing your wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

Just to add:

Food 52 and its contributions from many cooks and writers, especially Tom Hirschfield.

Christine Thresh said...

You are a great resource for good books. I enjoyed three that you wrote about: Hit by the Farm, Sheepish, and the one by the two fellows in New York.
Now, I ordered The Pleasures of Cooking for One.
Thank you.

T. Crockett said...

I like food blogs that talk about food and give recipes, but most importantly (to me) include some sort of story. The story, or education about an ingredient, is often what sells me on trying a recipe.

Here are my favorites.

Smitten Kitchen
Dinner A Love Story
Remedial Eating
The Tipsy Baker

grace lovelace said...

kristin .. see you can live on a farm & have a jazzy life!! what a day !
just about all my food blogs were
Chocolate and Zucchini
david does a very good job on his blog.
you & the farmer are doing a wonderful job on your farm!
yes you should place ads on your blog.
grace in mexico

Maryanne & Duke said...

Here are a few of the food blogs I have on my reader:

Anonymous said...

I envy your day - it is one for the personal record books! There are a few food blogs that I enjoy.
This is written by a local gentleman. His career took him around the world, where he studied local cuisines on the side. The recipes are varied and always delicious. describes itself as a "community potluck". It is my go-to site when I need a recipe to cook STAT. The photography is lovely, and I like the search feature.

I would also like to voice my appreciation for Smitten Kitchen. This site is most like a traditional blog - a peak into someone's personal journal, with the benefit of recipes!

Lastly, I enjoy This isn't a blog per se, but an active and interesting resource for bread bakers of all skill levels.

Happy Cooking!