2015 has ushered in so many opportunities, changes, endings and beginnings. A bit of hibernation, r&r, family time and regrouping was in order for me, personally. I learned a lot about what I'm seeking - as a chef, as a writer, as a woman, as a person. I think you can, through emphatically saying "YES" to everything, learn a lot about what you can eventually say "no" to. For me, getting back to the "why" of cooking has been imperative - the egoless, the pure and simple, the joy inducing, the academic nerdiness I'm prone to, the reading of old cookbooks, the discussions about food with other people who are more interested in the realness of it than the power it has over our culture at the moment. I've been able to truly sit and think about all of the wonderful things that have lead me to a place where, holy hell, I actually CAN sit and think. The time for rediscovery is a really luxurious thing.
I've been afforded several opportunities to write again. Kate Krader, my editor at Food and Wine magazine took a snipit of a piece I spoke about at the Southern Food Writer's Conference last year and put it here. I've been working with Garden and Gun as well as Southern Living and all of my writing dreams seem to be fleshing themselves out, slowly, over time. Working with people like Kate, John T. Edge, Jennifer Cole and Jessica Mischner has been an education and an honor. I want to continue down this path as long as I'm allowed to.
But, making the shift from "survival mode" to having a slight amount of control over where your future may be heading is at once a terrifying and wonderful thing. I was thrust, pretty early on, into having to be a grown up (cue the world's smallest violin). There wasn't a lot of time to think about dreams, but I did anyway. My fixation on only doing work that I cared about has made for nothing but pure hustle. I don't mind hustling. In fact, for better or worse, it's probably the thing in this world I'm best at. But, switching gears from that - saying "yes!", being on point, keeping your eyes open for every opportunity to be better and live better - to being strategic and entrepreneurial is not as easy as I thought it would be. My brain wants action. My body hates sitting in meetings. I don't want to talk about spreadsheets. I loathe reading contracts. I don't do business speak. Altogether, what I'm saying is, I'm being a brat. A big, fat, arms crossed, foot stomping brat. But I'm learning. And growing, I guess. I'm learning how to be more than a hustling, free form, reactionary who follows her every flight of fancy - even if this learning feels like I'm playing dress up in my daddy's shoes. And good things will come of it. But, and luckily, I have good friends and an impossibly good family to remind me that I'm best when I'm moving and making and writing - not just sitting in meetings waiting for people to say "yes" to me. I'm no good to anyone when I have to wait for things to unfold. I'm not a patient person. Waiting is not my jam. And, for the record, neither are spreadsheets. I mean, dang. Who invented that noise?
I digress. My point is this: there is so much to do besides that, you know? To offset the slight misery it brings? Yes. Yes is the answer. And, after many conversations, invitations, emails and the like from people who have said "When are you doing another class?!" to "Can you come to New York and do a BMR dinner?" - I think I'm ready to start emphatically saying "YES" again. But not in a hustling kind of way. In a choosy and right way. Because, after much deliberation, Buttermilk Road *is* the core of why I cook. And saying "yes" to it, is not reactionary or a flight of fancy. It's where my heart is. It came out of the sincerest part of my love for food. And it's the best reason I can think of, at this moment, to say "yes" to something.
So. Here is the news. While I wait for the details of many things to unfold, as they do, I'm no longer going to let Buttermilk Road fall by the wayside.
As I work out the details of Buttermilk Road/OnTheRoad and our Online Bakeshop, to be shared this week, I wanted to go ahead and offer up our first series of classes:
As usual, our baking classes are limited to a small group to provide the best and most detailed approach to teaching. All materials will be provided and you, the student, need only bring yourself, a notebook and a pencil (and comfy, cooking clothes).
You will receive a confirmation email within 24hours from BMR, in addition to your paypal receipt. Your email confirmation will contain pertinent information, including location, regarding our class. Tickets are nonrefundable. As seats normally fill up quickly, I will keep a waiting list in the event a student needs to resell their ticket.
NASHVILLE MARCH BAKING CLASSES WITH LISA DONOVAN,
SOUTHERN BAKING BASICS: SATURDAY, MARCH 28TH, 10AM-1PM
Come learn the secrets of a Southern Baker. Biscuits, pie dough, hand pies and her well loved Buttermilk Pie will be covered. Supplies will be provided and you get to take home everything you make. Seats will be limited to 12 students. $80/per student, all materials included. THIS CLASS IS FULLY BOOKED.
FRENCH PASTRY PRIMER: SATURDAY, MARCH 28TH, 230PM-530PM
Students will work in teams as I discuss the importance of French pastry technique in my baking. Incorporating simple basics like tempering for pastry creams, fraisage for tart shells, browning butter for more complex flavors and making choux can help any baking bring their product to the next level. Seats will be limited to 12 students. $95/per student. All materials included. THIS CLASS IS FULLY BOOKED.
ALL PIE, ALL DAY: SUNDAY, MARCH 29TH, 2PM-5PM
We're gonna get down and dirty about all things pie. Ingredients, dough, building techniques to include crimp styles, lattice styles and hand pies, filling (how to get the perfect fruit viscosity) and variations. Seats will be limited to 12 students. $80/per student, all materials included. THIS CLASS IS FULLY BOOKED.
YOU WILL RECEIVE AN EMAIL CONFIRMATION WITHIN 24HOURS FROM ONE OF US HERE AT BMR.
Glad to be back. See you at the table!
Lisa and the Buttermilk Road Team