Edwards bookstore serves up ‘Comfort Food’ | VailDaily.com

Edwards bookstore serves up ‘Comfort Food’

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

EDWARDS, Colorado ” Author Kate Jacobs nicknamed her current book tour, which includes a stop in Edwards, Colorado, the “cupcake tour.” That’s because pastries have appeared at signing events around the country for her new novel, “Comfort Food.”

Wednesday will be no exception when Jacobs visits The Bookworm of Edwards. Fans will have a chance to nibble on cupcakes as the author signs books, chats with fans and reads a passage from “Comfort Food.”

The novel debuted in paperback a week ago and has already shot to No. 24 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Jacobs also plans to talk about her New York Times No. 1 Bestselling novel “The Friday Night Knitting Club,” and its sequel, “Knit Two.”

Just as “The Friday Night Knitting Club” chronicled the friendships between a group of women who met in a Manhattan yarn shop, “Comfort Food” explores the bond between TV cooking personality Gus Simpson and her daughters.

Jacobs recently took some time to talk about her new book.

1. Vail Daily: The protagonist in “Comfort Food,” Gus Simpson, is the host of a TV cooking show. Why did you choose to write about a cook?

Kate Jacobs: I wanted to write about a mother-daughter relationship, and when I think about mothers and daughter and families, my brain naturally goes to food. I’m the youngest child. I was one of five, and we always had these big family dinners.

My mind naturally went to food when I thought of doing the story of really this push-pull between Gus and her daughters. They are learning to navigate their relationship in a new way now that they are all adults.

I also naturally went to thinking about food TV because I watch a lot of it.

Certain hosts, like the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, for example, or Giada de Laurentiis from “Everyday Italian” they’re so welcoming. I wanted to find a way for (Gus’s) character to convey that sentiment and then look at: Who is she behind that persona?

2. VD: What are your favorite comfort foods?

KJ: Well, there’s a recipe in the back of ‘Comfort Food’ for my grandmother’s homemade buns. It’s very special to share that because it really is a secret family recipe, no joke. They’re delicious. They’re really good with butter. They’re really good with leftover turkey. We always have them at the holidays, just a little mayo and some pepper and turkey on these buns ” delicious.

3. VD: What is Gus Simpson’s central problem in the novel, the one she is trying to resolve?

KJ: She feels overwhelmed by the work-life juggle. There is a phrase I was thinking about as I was writing the book which is ” sometimes a lot of us say this ” ‘I have a lot on my plate.’ We feel very harried. This is what Gus is realizing: She has a lot on her plate. Well, you can’t just go and throw that plate in the garbage. You have to deal with what you’ve been handed, whether it’s a professional challenge or it’s something going on in your personal life. Gus’ journey in the book is how to put together an emotionally satisfying meal from all the things she has to deal with

And ‘Comfort Food’ is also a story about, quite simply, 50 can be the new 30, if you want it to be. You can define your life as you want it to be.

4. VD: What can we expect from your next novel?

KJ: I am planning to have a new novel out by the end of the year, so think good thoughts because I have to go home and finish it. It’s going to once again look at relationships and women coming together.

5. VD: “The Friday Night Knitting Club” is a New York Times bestseller. Why do you think knitting has become more popular in the past few years?

KJ: I think a couple of things about knitting have made it more popular. We can even think about this in terms of the economic changes going on right now. It reminds us of a kinder, gentler time. It’s about nostalgia. Knitting can be a wonderfully luxurious hobby. You can buy very expensive yarns. You can also buy very inexpensive yarns and that can be great for gifts, you know, make some little dish cloths or something like this as a shower gift. There’s also this strong desire that women of all ages have for community and connection. I think it’s only becoming stronger, and as a group, women are becoming more confident about making their time together a priority.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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