On sending my book out into the world


What we think writing a book looks like.

They say writing a book is like having a baby. I’m not so sure.

My memoir,  Life from Scratch is due into the world on March 3rd, 2015. I started writing in 2013 and can assure you that the 2-year gestation period was one of the most challenging periods of my career. I am just now starting to feel the butterflies as early press pours in from Women’s Day, O Magazine, and Food and Wine.

But in the beginning, I could only see the work that had to be done.

Weekends. Nights. Tears. Writing. Rewriting.

Rewriting again.

After I submitted my final manuscript edits to National Geographic, I told my husband “I’m ready to send my memoir out in to the world. Whatever happens now, I’ve already won – I’ve written a book – a BOOK!”

He laughed and nodded. He understood what a gift it was to get through the worry and fuss to produce a finished manuscript, ready for the world.

With a real baby weekends of worry  ramp up over a lengthy 18 years, until the child is grown up and finally off, on their own. With a book the timeline is condensed. Next week, after just two years, my book baby moves out and gets a job.


I can only wish what all parents wish: that you love her and become her friend.

After all, she’s still pretty new in this world. And it was a wild, sometimes dangerous adventure to get her here (see photo below).

In return, she just might inspire a few new adventures in your life.

P.S. If you’re interested in pre-ordering, please check out the special offer National Geographic has put together for you!


What writing a book really looks like – controlled chaos mixed up with magic (and apparently swans).



  1. Hi, I’m one of the people on your blog tour through TLC Book Tours (tomorrow, actually) and I just wanted to leave a note to tell you I have NOT visited your blog before, but I just finished your book, and it’s FANTASTIC. Candid, interesting, and it made me want to immediately go to Whole Paychecks or Central Market and buy tons of herbs and spices. (I confess, I use garlic AND onion in my tomato sauce, too…but my Italian family is from Caserta…maybe it’s a regional thing.)

  2. Jennifer says

    I just finished your book, wow, it was so, so great. I’m recommending it to all of my friends. Your journey was heartbreaking and amazing and wonderful. I loved, loved, loved it so much. Thank you for the gift of your book, I’m sad I read it so quickly because I miss it! You’ve really made an impression on me about motherhood- I have four children. I try my best every day, and you’ve inspired me to keep on trucking and that my role in their lives is HUGE and VERY IMPORTANT. Thank you!

  3. Debi ford says

    I Read this whole book today-it is so fabulous! I was transported to your life and felt everything!! What a wonderful book! Thank you so much for sharing your life!

  4. I have just opened up your book- couldn’t be more excited to get started! Just came to your blog for the first time- glad to have had you brought to my attention!

  5. Sharon Bird says

    Feeling kinda “book friend lonely ” too. You know the feeling you get when you finish a book that has held you, captivated you and allowed you belonging in another life. Thank you for the generosity of spirit and courage that allowed the readers this gift. Your search for belonging echoes what we all long for. When we travel we are looking for homes of the heart. When we share food we are welcoming others to the home of our heart. Beautiful, beautiful work. I discovered your blog about a year last fall and have shared it with my students and my family. I do a Bread Celebration in my Gr. 2 class so your international recipes will add some breads we haven’t tried before. The adventure continues…THANKS!

  6. Rhonda Nosko says

    Just finished your book for the book club I am hosting and I really loved getting to know about your journey. I love the honesty of your stories and the fairness. You obviously are quite circumspective and it serves you well. I really hope one day you have a reunion with your host family as I found myself rooting for that throughout the book, but as life sometimes is not all always happens the way you would like. By the way, when I host the ladies for book club, I will be utilizing some of your recipes to bring this more to life!

  7. Jenn says

    I just finished your book and loved it – its candid, makes you think and is inspiring on many different levels. I am visiting your blog for the first time and can’t wait to get explore it and try some of the recipes in addition to the ones in your book. Who knew I could make french artisan bread that takes like a piece of Paris in my kitchen and you have inspired me to try different recipes I never would have though to as well! And I was humbled and encouraged by the recounting of our past and the stories of your family. It is the most important thing, whether it is biological or created. Thank you.

  8. carlos says

    Visiting your site for the first time. I just read your book in two days, one of those after a day of work. The last two books that gripped me like that were Love in the Time of Cholera an Everything is Illuminated. Your personal success in the face of such challenges is an inspiration.

    Regarding food, the reason I naively picked up your book, I was recently drawn to Asian and Mediterranean cooking. I decided to change to a much more vegetable-dominant diet and initially came to the conclusion that Indian cooking is the most delicious way to do that without dairy products…, but now I’m finding diverse healthy options from around the world. Thanks for your contributions to that with your blog, (first) book and your “Babette’s Feast” that I wish I could have attended.

  9. Sasha Martin says

    You are ALL so lovely! Thank you so much for the encouragement and warm responses… It means so much to know that the story resonates and that you will now be able to create your own Babette’s Feasts, and perhaps add similar beauty and meaning to your lives. Much love to you and yours. xxoo

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