About B Smith
This episode of Family is about B Smith and her 1999 cookbook, Rituals and Celebrations. Each month she gives readers a reason for a ritual or celebration. It’s a great book to look at for Family Meal. Read and watch more below.
More about B
Her August celebration is the Family Reunion. I can definitely get into that vibe. If you’re at my table, you’re family. And I think these recipes are great for a reunion.
Known widely as B. Smith, she was a renaissance woman in the truest sense of the term. She was a model, restaurateur, and TV talk show host. She also had a home décor line and a successful series of cookbooks and even a magazine.
She got her start as a food writer with a newsletter that described the style and the food of her B. Smith restaurant. The ideas in these newsletters eventually developed into her first cookbook.
Today, we’re looking at Smith’s second cookbook. This book was honored by the James Beard Foundation, Food and Wine Magazine, and the American Library Association. Her writing was clearly resonating.
Her writing was popular in the 1990s and 2000s for the same reasons lifestyle influencers are popular today. Lifestyle writing is a blend of the writer’s hobbies and interests. For Smith, that was food, craft, and home decor.
Through the curation of the things she loved, she created events that were homey and made people want to return over and over again.
Anybody who can do that with food is someone worth learning more about.
I think this cookbook introduced the eaters to food they hadn’t had before. The oxtails were new to some. That’s always a fun experience, to try something new. But more importantly, these are all friends I’ve eaten with before. It was a reunion after not having seen each other for several months. It was a great time for a reunion.
Maybe you’ve noticed if you’ve watched before, two of my friends have been at all the meals and they’ve RSVP’d for the next one. It’s become a little tradition, a little tradition for them and for me. I think Mrs. Smith would be glad to hear that. Her book is doing its job.
This meal, my new little tradition, takes me about three weeks to plan and execute. I have to buy the cookbook, make the menu, buy the food and the wine, then cook it all and deliver. It’s work. To be honest, I also build in some buffer time in case something doesn’t go according to plan. But I enjoy it. I’m learning a lot from this project.
But you don’t have to do something as complicated as this. Even a small tradition can have an impact. Make a point to share a few extra herbs from your garden each month. Or share a note about a good wine you had. As long as it’s something that you enjoy, it’ll stick.
Bertrand Côte Des Roses Rosé 2019 (FR)
Mateus Rosé 2019 (PT)
GWC Assyrtiko Santorini 2019 (GR)
Hermes Assyrtiko 2018 (GR)
Pisano Tannat RPF 2017 (UY)
Bodega Garzon Tannat 2017 (UY)
Jacqueline Leonne Semi Sweet Sparkling (NM)
Depreville Medium Dry (FR)