On a beautiful sunny spring day, I headed out to a large women’s group at a local church for a luncheon meeting. I was invited to simply tell my story about the writing of “Cooking With Bonnie: Farm to France.” Armed with a copy of the book but with no written notes, I was relaxed and mentally thinking about the points I would share.
They wanted my story, which raises the question: What is my story? I smiled as I thought about it.
It’s a long stretch from learning to cook in a rustic Missouri farm kitchen to teaching in a French culinary school. Who would have thought a gal who grew up on a small farm in Missouri, picking and shelling bushels of peas from the garden, picking blackberries in the woods while watching for snakes, milking a cow and churning butter would one day be flying off to France to teach American cuisine in a French cooking school?
But that’s my life — an incredible culinary journey that spawned the title of the book. But there is a large gap between leaving the farm and going to France. That is the part I would reveal during my talk. I would whisk them away on a culinary tour describing the events and circumstances that spawned the menus and recipes in the book.
My goal is to inspire others to cook, to invite people to share a meal together around a table, to connect and enjoy each other and this thing we call life.
When I arrived at the festive event, I was in high spirits. Friendly faces greeted me as I entered the room set with beautifully decorated tables sporting brightly colored colanders brimming with spring plants. Everything was much as I had expected until lunch was served. What a surprise and delight: On my plate was a beautiful wedge of Chicken Florentine Pie, Festive Fresh Fruit Salad and a cranberry muffin followed by a very lovely moist slice of Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake — all recipes from my cookbook. What an honor and great thrill — and living proof the recipes work and can easily be made by anyone.
The Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake would be a lovely springtime dessert. Here’s the recipe from my book that we enjoyed at the event.