Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Emily A La Carte!

Posted in cooking on July 11th, 2015 by admin – Comments Off on Emily A La Carte!

Roll up sleeves, tie apron, take hammer to coconut “testa” and “mesocarp” and grate the “nut” –

That’s some of what we’ll be doing in my Emily Dickinson baking workshop when preparing to make these light-as-air and delicious coconut cakes.

It’s this Saturday, July 17, in Amherst, MA

You may sign up for that workshop or for Marta McDowell’s herbarium-making intensive or any piece of the Emily-themed weekend!

Call: 413-259-1584  or write:  jsgray [at sign] crocker.com

Would have Summer? Taste of ours


325 Degrees of Edible Success

Posted in cooking on May 14th, 2015 by admin – Comments Off on 325 Degrees of Edible Success

That’s gingerbread fresh from my oven made from Emily Dickinson’s recipe.

These cookies are glazed with egg yolk and a piece of candied ginger.

For a few days I’ve been testing Emily Dickinson’s recipes for gingerbread, rice cake, and coconut cake.

Today I’ve declared the baking a divinely edible success —

I’ll be leading a baking workshop with these recipes in July for an Emily-themed weekend in Amherst, Massachusetts, the poet’s hometown.

“Would you like Summer? Taste of ours-“ takes place July 17-19, 2015 and celebrates Emily Dickinson’s passions as poet, gardener and baker.

The weekend will be height of summer & hands-on:

We’ll make gingerbread cookies from Emily’s recipe and her coconut cake which is — if today’s test in my kitchen is any indication —  like eating a sweet cloud. For the 8″ cakes, pictured, I grated about half a fresh coconut. The top is dusted with more coconut and decorating sugar.

Horticulturist extraordinaire Marta McDowell will be leading the gardening and flower aspects of what promises to be a wonderful weekend. If I wasn’t in it, I’d sign up for it!

If you’d like to taste summer Emily-style, join us!

By the way, are you wondering if the poet could bake as well as she wrote? Her father insisted on her bread and the family and neighbors perhaps knew her better as a baker than a writer!

But writing was never far away for she kept paper and pencil by her pastry board. There are poems written on the reverse of her recipes (or vice versa). Nothing like having your hands busy to free up your mind for that “naturally occurring wisdom.”

Would you like Summer? Taste of Ours –

Posted in cooking on January 27th, 2015 by admin – Comments Off on Would you like Summer? Taste of Ours –

Baking Gangnam Style Amherst Style!

Join me next July 17-19 in Emily Dickinson‘s lovely town of Amherst, Massachusetts

We’ll explore the life of the poet through her passions of gardening, baking, writing

Garden digger Marta McDowell leads a flower project

I’ll teach you how to bake Emily Style

Jane Wald will get readerly

Sign up early to ensure your space at the greenhouse, kitchen & library tables!

On Air in Central California & Beyond

Posted in Media on April 1st, 2010 by admin – Comments Off on On Air in Central California & Beyond

Media host and Cuesta College teacher Guy Rathbun is “enraptured” by Maid as Muse. His interview with the author airs April 14 at 4 p.m.  The show is archived and streamed live on KCBX FM.

Californians from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara to the Santa Ynez Valley will learn about the cultural diversity of Emily Dickinson’s maids and laborers. These happen to be the folks the renowned poet hung out with while baking prize-winning breads, cakes and puddings in the privacy of her own kitchen.

While engaged in baking, Emily Dickinson drafted poems on the backs of recipes, shopping lists, chocolate bar wrappers, pharmacy flyers, and wings of envelopes.

This is when her African-American gardener, Amos Newport, stopped by to talk about the garden trellis or Native American laborer, Henry Hawkins, might drop off newly picked apples from the Dickinson orchard for a pie Emily Dickinson was baking.

Her English immigrant stableboy, “Little Pat,” talked with the not yet famous poet about wanting to learn to read and get ahead. Perhaps he did for he was later replaced by Stephen Sullivan, the son of Irish immigrant laundry worker Bridget Sullivan.

When Emily Dickinson died she honored the servants she spent so many hours with and who helped free her from the most onerous tasks so she could write. She chose six laborers as her pallbearers with Irish immigrant Tom Kelley – who comforted her in dire moments – singled out as her chief pallbearer.

Perhaps she wasn’t the recluse we know her as…

Turn in to Guy Rathbun’s interview with author Aife Murray and learn more!

Check out the book – chock-full of pictures of the maids and laborers who shared the kitchen with Emily Dickinson.