I wondered if Gale Gand was going to let me take photos of her kitchen, but I tried not to worry about it too much. It seemed better not to. In any case, I was sure I didn't want to ask her. It was enough that she was having me over, wasn't it?
And then, if I took photos of her kitchen, what next? The laundry room? Get a grip, Dan.
I didn't need to worry. (Not that I was worrying.)
Kathy, who knows Gale from having worked with her, drove me out to Gale's house.
We walked in and I took my shoes off.
"Are you going to want to take pictures of me?" Gale asked.
Kathy answered before I could. "Just your hands."
"Right," I said. "Just your hands."
Which means, really, that could be anyone's hand in the photo.
But it's Gale Gand's.
I was busy taking pictures of the waffle iron when Gale wondered off into the next room.
"Here, these are Julia Child's madeleine molds." And there they were.
I didn't need to ask if I could take photos of her kitchen. She was putting it in front of me, piece by piece.
It was great.
We swapped stories. Mostly I swapped my attention for her stories. She has a lot of good stories. Celebrating her birthday with Ina Pinkney. Shopping for bakeware with Nancy Silverton.
Me? I pretty much have one story. It's about the time I was at Gale Gand's house for my waffling blog. It's all I got, but I expect it to carry me.
Oh, and the waffling:
She ladled the batter into the waffle iron. It cooked, but didn't want to brown. The batter was also a bit thick.
She added more milk, hoping to thin it out. This one didn't brown either. She took it out and placed it on the counter. "Do you take photos of mistakes?"
Her husband, Jimmy, made egg-salad sandwiches. (Tasty. Crunchy. Lots of celery.) I set my camera down, polished off half a sandwich, and went back to shooting.
We did another and left it in there a bit longer. It took on a light golden brown.
She dusted the waffled crepe batter — light and eggy — with powdered sugar and set it atop sliced strawberries.
I offered to help with the dishes. We stuck around and chatted for a bit longer.
Before I left, I asked her to sign a cookbook for me.
Well. Actually, Kathy asked if she would sign it for me. And then I dug the book out of my bag. And then she signed it.
Did I feel a little goofy getting her to sign my cookbook? Yes, slightly. However.
Kathy was going to help out on a Mario Batali cooking demo that weekend. Gale fished her Babbo cookbook out from under the counter. She handed the book to Kathy.
"Can you get that signed for me?"
Gale Gand wanted Mario Batali to sign her cookbook.
I felt less goofy about her signing mine.
Gale's recipe for crepes, taken from her latest cookbook, is below.
I don't feel I'm making too many assumptions about this blog's readership when I say that you would really like Gale Gand's Brunch.
It even has recipes for waffles, if you like that sort of thing.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
2. Whisk in the salt, sugar and flour until combined but still a bit lumpy.
3. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes.
4. Whisk the batter once more before waffling until light golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with fresh berries.
Note: I've made several batches of these without incident, but one reader reports the expanding crepes blew the latch off of his waffle iron. Caveat waffler.