Yesterday I was part of a group of children’s authors who met on Zoom to learn how to bake bread from Harriet Zaidman. Harriet is the author of several picture books as well as the middle-grade novel City on Strike recently nominated for the 2020 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction. Harriet shares her recipes and her culinary expertise on her blog North End Nosh.
I had never baked bread before and neither had several of the other authors in our group. But under Harriet’s expert guidance we all managed to produce three kinds of delicious bread before our baking session was over.
We baked artisan bread first, then plain white bread and finally, we learned how to make challah a bread whose name comes from the Hebrew language. We needed a little help from Harriet to learn how to pronounce “challah” just right.
Our group included Anita Daher whose fourteenth novel You Don’t Have to Die in the End was recently nominated for the 2021 White Pine award, Gabriele Goldstone author of Red Stone and Broken Stone who has a new novel coming out with Ronsdale Press in 2021, Pat Trottier whose book Relationships Make the Difference was published by Pembroke andaward-winning authorColleen Nelsonwho has a long list of books to her credit including this year’s Teaching Mrs Muddle and Harvey Holds His Own both from Pajama Press.
As we baked we chatted about our current works in progress, the state of the publishing world during a pandemic and events in our personal lives. Colleen interrupted our conversation at one point to announce the final results of the American election and that of course generated lots of discussion.
It was a great day and in the end, a group of children’s authors had become a group of accomplished bakers. Thanks so much, Harriet!
I loved the photographs Carol Shields included in Stone Diaries. After I read the book I carefully studied the photos trying to link characters in the story to people in the photographs.
I felt the same way about the photos Gabriele Goldstone includes in her new novel Broken Stone. I studied the photographs for a long time after I finished the book, mentally trying to connect the people in the pictures with the characters in the story they inspired.
Broken Stone is the second in a series based at least in part on the experiences of author Gabriele Goldstone’s own mother in Ukraine, Siberia and East Prussia.
Gabriele Goldstone signs copies of her book for her fans.
I went to the launch of Broken Stone at McNally Robinson on Thursday and thanks to Gabriele spent the better part of my Saturday reading her book. I had already finished Red Stonethe first book in the series and was anxious to find out what awaited its heroine Katya Halter.
Although Katya escapes communist Russia early on in the book, more challenges await her at the home of her aunt and uncle in Prussia. While the book tells Katya’s personal story it is set against the backdrop of Hitler’s growing popularity and rise to power and so we learn about that period in German history as we read. The book ends with Katya leaving her family and striking out on her own. What adventures lie ahead? I guess I will have to wait for the third book in the series to find out.
Gabriele Goldstone reads to her audience from Broken Stone on Thursday night.
Broken Stone is targeted for young people and would be a great way for the many families in Canada who have post World War I roots in Ukraine or Germany to give their children and grandchildren an interesting insight into their family history.