The response to the call for recipe testers has been overwhelming--thank you. Already, 250 people have volunteered. I will leave the call open for a few more days, but after Saturday, January 21 I'll need to close it, as I can't keep up. What a great problem to have! If you happen upon this after the 21st and feel that you absolutely must be a tester, I will consider each situation on a case by case basis, but no promises. After all, I have to get back to writing and developing the recipes for you to test.
The good news is that I'm getting closer to finalizing the foundational Master Formula so I should have something to send out sometime in February. Ten Speed Press has been kind enough to extend my deadline so we can do this right. I am asking all testers to check this blog regularly; I plan to add updates at least every two weeks. Trying to communicate with 250 people by e-mail, even with all the e-bells and whistles, takes time. The blog will be faster.
For those not testing but still reading, thanks for logging on. Because I'm working on the book, I have curtailed all travel teaching except for A Southern Season in Chapel Hill (because I can drive there), at least until the book gets done. Haven't decided yet on when I can get back to King Arthur but I love teaching there and visiting Vermont (really a country unto itself, don't you think?) so, as soon as I work out a date to return I'll post it .
On another front, I just completed my first residency (five altogether) towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Queens University. It was an amazing week, surrounded by talented writers, all younger than me (dangnabit!), and a very compassionate, superb faculty from all over the country. We meet twice a year at the Queens campus here in Charlotte, but 80% of the students are not from Charlotte. It's like Camp Bread, but for writers. I'm the only bread writer there, of course, though one of my fellow students wrote a wonderful piece on pawpaws, an unusual native American fruit that very few Americans have tasted. Bread, pawpaws, or just working out how we got screwed up during our youth--it's all grist for the meal when you get poets, novelists, playwrites, and non-fiction writers together. I learned a great deal about how hard my editors have worked in the past to make my writing look good. I hope what I learn from this course will make their job easier in the future. The saying goes: "Hard writing makes for easy reading; easy writing makes for hard reading." What I learned is that good writing is every bit as hard to do as making whole grain breads that taste good. It looks easy by the time you taste it, but only the baker knows the real cost.
May your bread always rise!