When Dorie Greenspan’s ninth book, Baking from My Home to Yours, came out in the fall of 2006, she witnessed the power of the online community. Egullet started a thread, Chowhound made it a cookbook of the month, and bloggers championed the book.
“It was so exciting to see people baking and posting pictures of what they had made every day. It was thrilling,” she recalled.
Inspired, the Bon Appetit freelancer and Parade Contributing Editor started a blog. “I had never even thought about being online,” Dorie confessed. “I wasn’t paying much attention. ”So when I finished my book tour, I started a blog in January 2007 as way to be in touch with these incredible people.”
A year later, she got an email from a fan and blogger, Laurie Woodward, who wanted to bake from the cookbook with a couple of friends and post what they had made. She asked if Dorie minded. Dorie, of course, was delighted. “I don’t think either one of us had any idea what would happen,” she said.
Laurie started Tuesdays with Dorie, which now has 200 bakers who make a recipe from the book and post about it. “Every week I’ve looked to see what they’ve baked, and I leave comments on their blogs,” says Dorie. “It’s totally separate from me. It started without me and runs without me.”
Last January, on TWD’s first anniversary, Dorie answered a long and excellent Q&A about her baking, her writing and her life. Laurie asked her to choose the recipe bakers would make, and she picked a French Pear Tart. “I got such touching comments from them,” said Dorie, “and I loved seeing the confidence they get, how their skills are improving, how it goes out into other areas of their life.”
I asked her how writing recipes online differs from writing from print. Because of comments, she said, she can keep refining her recipes, adding information and helping people. She can fix an error. “In print, it kept me up nights when there was a misprint.”
She also loves adding in-depth information through recipe links. “I did something on caramel, and I was able to refer people to an incredible link on David Lebovitz’s site about making perfect caramel. Before I would filter the info, and now I can send readers off, and it more than doubles the information.”