Tea with Susan Branch
This afternoon, I watched the movie, Julie and Julia. Am I the last blogger to see this movie? I think so. The Netflix DVD had been sitting on the table unopened for about 3 weeks so it was time.
The weather was snowy and windy. It was a perfect day to stay indoors and watch this movie with my mom at her nursing home.
As most of you know, in the movie Julie Powell loves to cook and Julia Child is her inspiration. So, Julie decides she will make every recipe in Julia's cookbook in 1 year. Julie also has hopes of meeting Julia in person.
I thought about a similar situation in my own life. Well, it's not all that similar but I'll tell you anyway. I collect Susan Branch cookbooks and I've made some of the recipes in them. They're more than just cookbooks to me. I love to look at Susan's artwork and read the quotes and read about the seasons in New England (even though I live here I still like to read about it). I had always hoped to meet Susan. After all, she lives part of the year in Martha's Vineyard and I live in the same state! So Susan inspires me like Julia inspired Julie.
I mentioned before that I am a member of an afternoon tea group. In November of 2007, two of our members, Pauline and Heather, arranged for the group to go to tea in Plymouth, Massachusetts. First, we were going to a bookstore in Plymouth where Susan Branch was doing a book signing then we would have tea at a tearoom in town. I was so excited, I was going to meet Susan Branch!
Susan gave a little talk before the booksigning and she was exactly as I hoped she'd be. She was funny and sincere and so unaffected by her success. She was upbeat and approachable. I loved hearing some of her life stories.
She spoke to each person who had a book to sign as if they were the only ones in the room. She didn't rush anyone, she listened to people tell her their stories.
Here's my friend Deborah getting my Christmas memories book signed by Susan. Susan did a little drawing of a holly leaf and signed her name. See she's looking at me saying oh this is your book? I had been standing at the side of the table furiously snapping photos of everyone in our group who posed with Susan. I was probably quite the pest but if Susan was annoyed she didn't let it show.
Susan had some of her friends with her that day. This is Margot. I love her sense of style. Margot was also very friendly and down to earth.
Susan posed for photos with everyone. The signing took over 2 hours. Lisa and Erica were happy to take a photo with Susan.
Roberta had her sign a few books.
After the booksigning, we went for tea. I wish I could remember the name of the tearoom. Anyway, it was lovely. Great food and the owners were so accomodating. Pauline told us she had asked Susan and her friends to join us for tea and they said they would! We were all so excited to have tea with Susan and her friends.
Here's Deborah, me and Kim.
I always take a picture of the tea tray. My friend Karen and I are the photographers of the group so we have a rule: when going to a tea, you must always take a picture of the tearoom or home, the teatray and a group shot. So there's the teatray with all the yummy treats.
It was Heather's birthday so we had to have cake too. It was a fattening day what can I say?
Here's Susan having tea with Amanda, Lisa, and Erica.
Back to the movie Julia and Julie, obviously Julie did very well after her year of cooking and blogging. They made a movie out of her story. I don't plan on anyone making a movie about me and my experiences but at least I got to meet someone who inspires me. That's a highlight in my life. (Now don't expect me to make all of Susan's recipes in the next year).
I do, however, plan to make Susan's baked apple crisp soon.
Now scroll back to the beginning to see the group shot! It was an afternoon to remember for our tea group.