Archive for the ‘soup and bread cookbook’ Category

Off-season soup scoops

May 19, 2011

Fun stuff over here @ Soup & Bread Central.

From our page proofs division:

The Agate listing for the forthcoming new, revised, shinier, soupier, and wordier Soup & Bread Cookbook went live this week. I know it’s just the internet – and thus a collective delusion – but we’re one step closer to the real deal. Now we just have to finish the book, what?

And from the press agent:

Paul Day’s comprehensive report from the final night of S&B 2011. I’d like it on the record, however, that “Soup Master” is a title entirely of Day’s imagination. I prefer to be addressed as “Crazy Soup Lady.”


It’s that time of year

November 18, 2010

Soup season is just around the corner, but first we must get through … Holiday Craft Fair Season.

Sheila and I are busily putting the final touches on some new Soup and Bread merch, but it won’t be ready in time for our first fair: this weekend’s DIY Trunk Show in the beautiful Pulaski Park Auditorium at 1419 W. Blackhawk in Wicker Park. But, we’ll be there all day Saturday, Nov. 20, from 10-5, armed with cookbooks, aprons, and more prints of Paul Dolan’s beautiful illustrations. And when we’re not selling soup stuff we’ll be helping our friends at Celestial Kitchens sling some delicious food. Come visit!

Looking ahead, here’s where we’ll be in the coming weeks:

Saturday, Nov. 27, we travel to north to the West Walker Holiday Art Invitational, where we’ll be sharing a table with the excellent Bonnie Tawse, who’ll be selling handmade herbal salves and lotions. That’s from 10-5 in the Irving Park Lutheran Church gym at 4057 N. Harding (on the southeast corner of Belle Plaine and Harding). In addition to arts and crafts (and soup books), the organizers are promising made-to-order crepes, a jug band, and (sweet!) a holiday hair styling station.

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4-5, we return to Pulaski Park for the fifth annual Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale. We should have our mitts on the new merch by then and trust us —  you’re gonna love it! That fair is a marathon, running 11-7 both days, with more than 150 vendors and food from a bunch of folks including Soup and Bread contributors MANA Food Bar and Treat Restaurant.

And then, we move home to the Hideout, whose Holiday Sale happens two Tuesdays running, Dec. 14 and 21 from 6-9 PM in the cozy back room at 1354 W. Wabansia. Sheila will be selling knitwear and we’ll have food from Celestial Kitchens again; following the sale there’s music from the Sanctified Grumblers in the front room, per usual.

And, well, so far that’s it. But if there’s a church basement we should be sitting in sometime in the next month, that’s not yet on the calendar, let us know!

Cookbook reviews from our customers

February 23, 2010

Hey, we still have a lot of cookbooks left!

I’ve already passed along some of the positive press the book has received, but now that it’s been out in the world a few months, reports are starting to come back to us from the kitchen trenches. Here are some of the nice things real people putting our recipes to the test on the ground have been saying:

“Marty and I made the sweet and sour cabbage soup with flank steak from the Hideout’s cookbook.  It was amazing.  Much better than Cecil’s sweet and sour cabbage soup which was the gold standard.”— Anders Lindall’s father in St. Louis Paul

I made your split pea soup recipe from the Soup and Bread cookbook last night.  It was very good.  The phrase “surprizingly low fat” in the introduction scared me so I used half homemade chicken broth.  Yolanda had never eaten split pea soup before and did’t think she would like it because she doesn’t like peas.  She loved it.  I had been craving split pea soup.  A restaurant around the corner from the animal hospital had great pea soup but they closed and I hadn’t had any until now.  It was fun to make so I will probably make it on a regular basis.” Amy Lombardi’s vet, Dr. Boin

“I made a 3x batch of Black Bean/Pumpkin soup … I did put in the sherry; wasn’t sure if I liked it so didn’t add the sherry vinegar at end.  However, everyone (including our in-group tasters) seemed to like it.  The change I would make would be starting with dry beans so one isn’t adding so many empty cans into recycling.  Doing it for a large group meant opening 12 cans!!!!!” — my mother’s friend Carolyn

Interested in trying these recipes yourself? Click the PayPal button to the right, or save yourself the shipping and come by the Hideout and pick one up in person. They’re $20 and a portion of all proceeds go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Copies are also in stock in Chicago at Renegade Handmade, Swim Cafe, Green Grocer Chicago, Quimby’s, and Chicago’s Downtown Farmstand. And, in Seattle, at the Cathedral Shop at St. Mark’s — or direct from our west coast sales agent, aka my mom.

Our sales force in action

January 16, 2010

Stopped by the Empty Bottle Farmers’ Market and caught up with Celeste and Devon, David, and west-side sales rep Vera. Vera will also be at the Logan Square Indoor Winter Market at the Congress tomorrow, with a stash of cookbooks on hand to supplement your yarn and knitwear needs.

Also: Unfiltered apple cider and Templeton’s Rye? Yum.

Soup and Bread starts tonight

January 6, 2010

And I have way too  much to do to be sitting here blogging.

Instead, I leave you with this, which popped up in my Twitter feed yesterday.

“For my new cookbook, I need your recipes for soup as made in a rice cooker. Send to, message head SOUP.”

The Twitterer? Roger Ebert.

He is serious.

I’m so sending him a book.

UPDATE! Not so mysterious after all. Ebert has been working on this since 2008. Somehow I missed this wonderful piece, from November of that year, on the many uses of the magical rice cooker. This one line alone is immensely moving, succinct, and life affirming:

“To be sure, health problems now prevent me from eating. That has not discouraged my cooking. Now cooking is an exercise more pure, freed of biological compulsion.”

A few other notes:

One: I am reminded yet again what a terrific writer he is, back and better than ever in the last few years since cancer and surgery cost him his audible voice. With his blog he has untethered himself from film criticism and is just on FIRE. Read this, on Bill O’Reilly and bullies, or this, on the longlost O’Rourke’s.

Two:  Last night, as soup night wound down, my friend Liz and I sung Ebert’s praises to our friends, and wondered aloud about this rice cooker book. Why is a man who’s been on a g-tube for the last 3 (?) years — and barring medical miracles will be for the rest of his life — writing a cookbook? What is his relationship to food at this point? Is it all some sort of intellectual game? Last night at 11:38 PM, Ebert posted this on his blog. Spooky.

Three: “Nil by Mouth,” the piece he posted last night, is a lovely, honest bit of writing on what he has lost and, more notably, what he has not, and on the importance of dining as a social act. He writes that he doesn’t miss eating, per se.  “What I miss is the society. Lunch and dinner are the two occasions when we most easily meet with friends and family. They’re the first way we experience places far from home. Where we sit to regard the passing parade. How we learn indirectly of other cultures. When we feel good together. Meals are when we get a lot of our talking done — probably most of our recreational talking. That’s what I miss. Because I can’t speak that’s’s another turn of the blade”

Four: He is, of course, absolutely correct to note that the tuna melt is the means by which one takes the measure of a diner. Holla!

Transparency in soup stats

January 5, 2010


Thanks, DailyCandy.

Last week I got an email from a factchecker. “DailyCandy is writing about Soup and Bread Cookbook in our Chicago Health and Wellness edition,” she wrote.  “It is scheduled to run on January 4th. Can you kindly confirm the information below ASAP today, including spellings? Thank you so much!”

And I wrote her back and confirmed the spelling of my name and a few other things. I also added the proper spellings of Sheila and Paul’s names, and noted that Soup and Bread, the event, starts back up for the season on January 6. (That’s tomorrow, people.)

More (unsolicited) press, I thought. Neat.

And it was neat — although when I saw the item yesterday I confess to being (again) flummoxed by DailyCandy’s editorial model. Coming at the end of a list of spa services and hot yoga classes, the blurb is staggeringly …. brief. And, “lovely local?” That’s nice, but it wasn’t on the list of fact-checking questions!

Anyway. My point is not to complain about the site’s editorial voice, which skews to the cutesy and consumerish. That’s their schtick and it seems to be working for them. But I did want to point out that this one little sentence resulted in the biggest spike in S&B blog hits EVER.

I’m new to all this stats-tracking/search-engine-optimization/blogging voodoo. I don’t really understand it and most of the time I don’t particularly mind. Soup & Bread works pretty well finding its audience through analog, old-fashioned word-of-mouth. Recent promotional efforts notwithstanding, “growing the brand” isn’t a huge priority.

But it was fascinating, and a little thrilling, to be able to see such a clear, graphic represtentation of cause and effect.

Even more interesting: Those 830 hits translated to ten PayPal sales. Which is either a lot or a little depending on how much you know about “click-through-revenue” or whatever it’s called, but it’s definitely more than the mention we got in the Kitchn’s gift guide generated, which was zero sales for 470 hits, and with which statistical comparison someone in a marketing department would, I’m sure, be able to make monetizable hay.

What do I do with this data? I’m not sure. But I do know that those ten PayPal sales mean I’m $220 closer to paying off the last of our bills. $220 closer to paying Sheila a paltry stipend for her time and talent. $220 closer to getting some money into the hands of the Food Depository. $220 closer to turning that money into decent food for someone who really needs it.

Who knew one little blurb had such power? DailyCandy, I have underestimated you.

Special book recall announcement

December 29, 2009

It has come to our attention that at least a few copies of our pretty little cookbook seem to have had some sort of horrible accident at the bindery. We’ve only found two problem books so far, but I can’t imagine there aren’t more lurking out there somewhere.

So, please, give your books a look, and if there is something awry–say, a few upside-down pages in the middle, or an extra cover inserted between pages 94 and 95 (WTF?) — please LET US KNOW. We’ll be happy to get you a pristine new copy, asap, along with our sincere apologies.

Thanks. And, grrrr.

New City’s top five cookbooks of 2009

December 28, 2009

[Dateline: Seattle, my father’s computer, my parents’ house, 2:15 PST.]

Me: Hey, Dad! Check it out! The cookbook got named one of the top five Chicago cookbooks of the year by New City!

Dad: How many Chicago cookbooks were published last year? Six? [Goes back to crossword puzzle.]

And, well, he’s probably right. But, still. NICE! And, very kind of the good people at New City to include our little project alongside the work of Sarah Levy, John Coletta, and Marcus Samuelsson. For what it’s worth, it appears to be the pick of one Veronica Hinke, whom I do not know, and not regular food columnist Mike Nagrant, whose Champagne and Lamb French Onion Soup and Parmesan-Cheddar-Thyme Gougeres make appearances in the book (pages 24 and 114, respectively).

Next on the vacation agenda: Confirming the cooks for our inaugural 2010 soup night on January 6. Mark those calendars, folks. It’s going to be good.

What goes even better with soup than bread?

December 21, 2009

An apron.

Here, Krista (and Harris) model one of the fetching new Soup and Bread aprons. Available for ten clams ONLY at tomorrow night’s Hideout Holiday Sale (or, from me, out of the back of my car, if you’re enterprising). Those are tomatoes on the bib there.

Tomorrow we will also have books (duh) and our remaining stock of Paul Dolan prints. Get ’em while supplies last! They were a hot seller at Schuba’s Indie Arts Market this past Saturday. One lady couldn’t choose, and wound up leaving with 11. (And lady, thank you. You made it worth getting out of bed that day, which was quite a challenge.)

Plenty of other last-minute gift ideas at the Hideout Tuesday as well, including adorable knitwear by Sheila, some really cool mats (rugs?) made out of repurposed belts by Lissa Treger, gorgeous photos and photo-collages by Mark DeBernardi, lots of swell Kiku Handmade Glass, pom-pom hats by Andrea Jablonski, and ajvar and yarn by Vera, who went above and beyond this weekend and doubled as our west-side sales rep, hawking cookbooks at the inaugural Empty Bottle farmers market on Saturday and the Logan Square market on Sunday. Nat and Michelle will be selling whatever mutant stuffed animals are left intact after a fire devastated their home on Thursday night, and Celestial Kitchens is on site as well, selling holiday gumbo and delicious bacon-cheddar scones. So c’mon out! The predicted ice storm shouldn’t have started … yet.

The sale runs 6-9 at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Stick around afterward for the Sanctified Grumblers and cheery-if-sleep-deprived bartending from yours truly.

Let’s have another look at that cover, shall we?

December 17, 2009

“The book is a sweet little compilation of last year’s Soup and Bread series put on by Martha Bayne over at The Hideout [and] a significant document on the importance of food and community. It isn’t glitzy, nor are there any celebrity chef endorsements. It’s a super-local (is there any bar more local than The Hideout?) source of lore about and recipes for real food (what is more real than soup or bread?). It’s a book of genuine people from all angles of life sharing food and recipes with each other in an effort to help more others yet. As put forth by Martha, Soup and Bread is “an ‘everybody wins’ type of project”. And the cookbook is a beautifully designed, thoughtful extension of that.” [Thanks Hugh.]

Welcome, readers of The Kitchn. If you’re curious to find out more of what this cookbook project is all about, you can skip the boring distro info below and click here for the straight dope.