So, this weekend I trekked myself from Boston to Brooklyn to meet Joy The Baker on her book tour at Brooklyn Kitchen. You guys know how much I love Joy (do I ever shut up about her?) but honestly, I don’t go into fan girl mode like this that often. I have been to millions of shows, shying away from ever meeting my favorite musicians even with ample opportunity to do so. This was different; just thinking about meeting Joy was getting me a little choked up the week leading up to Saturday. I know, it’s insane right.
Here’s some real talk: the past few months have not been great. It’s for many reasons that I don’t ever discuss on the blog because it’s too public and complicated. Anyway, the truth is at times this blog and baking, and indirectly Joy, her cookbook, and recipes, were the only things that got me through. By baking and being able to develop a skill I think is meaningful and unique, I’ve been able to move past and let go of some of the uglier realities of life. Despite being a lifelong amateur baker, Joy introduced me to a new side of it that I could connect to: that you can bring happiness and fulfillment back into your life with something as simple as baking. Even if you’re not a pro like Joy. I am overwhelmed even now thinking about how grateful I am to her and how she inspires me daily to push on a little bit further even when I feel like I have nothing left to give.
Whoa, it got deep in here. Since there is no real way to segue from that – on to the pictures!
Brooklyn Kitchen is an amazing butcher/kitchen store/test kitchen tucked away under the BQE in Williamsburg. It was the perfect place for this event. When I arrived at 1:15PM (for a 2PM start) there were people queued up already.
I had RSVPed ahead of time and was so glad because I heard chatter about people receiving tickets numbered into the 500’s. I checked in, got my ticket…I was #25! When they called in the folks with tickets I was right up front and got an amazing spot in the far left corner of the room. This was clutch because a) I had a front row seat for Joy and b) I was probably the 6th person whose book she signed.
My set up:
Delicious treats were provided for all by Ovenly. So good.
Finally Joy came out and we all cheered for her. She started out by telling us all more about herself – how she became a baker, who and what inspired her to write her first cookbook, and how it’s impacted her life.
Joy as a person is sweet, funny, beautiful, and real. She has this amazing quality, through her blog, her podcast, her cookbook, and even in person, of making you feel like you’re lifelong friends just chatting over tea. It’s pretty incredible.
She then did a Q&A which was really cool.
And of course, she took an obligatory photo of all of us. When she later tweeted another picture that was taken I noticed I was in it!
And finally, she did the meet and greet where she signed all of our books and anything else folks brought to her. I saw on Twitter that she was there until past 7PM! I thought I was going to be there for hours in line but because of my sweet spot, I was there for 45 minutes tops.
Joy’s gear (and bookmarks for everyone!):
So here was my experience meeting Joy:
With only two girls ahead of me Joy looked up and said “I’m nervous! Is that weird?” And one girl let out a sigh of relief and was like “No! I’m SO nervous too!” And I stupidly said “Me too, I might actually cry a little bit” (as I mentioned before, I was feeling a little emo over the whole thing). Joy looked at me and was like “Don’t cry. Take a deep breath.” And I did and all was well (despite managing to embarrass myself before I had the chance to officially meet her). So when it was my turn Joy looked up and said “Don’t do anything weird!” And I said “I promise I won’t! I’m good!” And then she said “It’s ok, you can.” But I held it together and was able to tell her how amazing her book is and how I want to make every single recipe in it and how I’ve never felt that way about a cookbook before and how I love her podcast and how my husband is so over her because I talk about her nonstop at home. And even though I didn’t cry, my face did get beet red because I was talking so fast and was so nervous. She was super sweet, gracious, and lovely. She gave me a big hug and we snapped this picture together.
She also wrote me this incredibly sweet message in my book:
Past-Kim would probably have been mortified that I may or may not have freaked Joy out by commenting about the possibility of me crying at her book signing (haha, good lord). But Present-Kim is happier to have shared her real feelings with someone she deeply admires than not having said anything and regretting it forever. I said to John on the way home that as I get older I feel like I get less and less excited about life. Everything feels so much duller than when I was a kid and sometimes that’s a real bummer.
I’m reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin right now and her research led her to the conclusion that happiness is all about squeezing the most out of the experience – anticipating it, savoring it, expressing it, and being able to recall it. I feel so lifted by this experience because I absolutely got the most out of it. And it was so refreshing and fulfilling to have something excite me again.
I’m so thankful for this whole experience in life and especially in contrast to the last few months. Joy, you are my hero and I’m thrilled I got to meet you.