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Spring Gorgeous: Book Notes


Photo by Sara Remington

Greetings to all this new year. Only 3 weeks into January and it’s sunny and bright in California..who knew that spring could arrive so early? I spent yesterday afternoon walking on the beach in San Francisco–san even a sweater–with a million happy dogs and their keepers. Fine by me, I thought, though this seems to be up for debate in that dog friendly town.

At any rate, wanted to update you as to my whereabouts and goings on, after months in the trenches writing a new book: Plum Gorgeous, Recipes and Memories from the Orchard. Once again, it’s part cookbook, part storybook about my year living at a friend’s mountain-top orchard when my kids were young, and features gorgeous photographs by Sara Remington. The book will be out this summer. Stay tuned for my summer book launch party, and a new website incorporating all my work.

Meanwhile, I continue to ramble on about My Nepenthe and my childhood home on the cliffs of Big Sur. I will be speaking at several locations throughout the spring; here are a few of the highlights, in case you are in the neighborhood.


I’m thrilled to say that I am one of the honored guests at the Berkeley Public Library Foundation’s Annual Authors Dinner on Feb 12th, and am in awesome company–the likes of Dave Eggars of McSweeneys; the poet, playwright, and novelist Joyce Carol Oats; and Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, authors of What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets. There are a limited amount of reception tickets still available. See their website for details.

Later in the month, I will be speaking at  Carmel’s Harrison Memorial Library (Carmel, CA), as part of their local history series.


Down the coast aways (March 19th in Santa Barbara), you can find me at the Celebrity Author’s Luncheon, a fundraiser for CALM, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse.

On March 31st, I’ll be speaking at The Commonwealth Club as part of a food memoir panel with authors Dayna Macy and Kate Moses, moderated by Davina Baum of Chow. Imagining this will also be aired on radio, as is typical for their programs. Purchase tickets to be in the audience here.


And if cooking and/or eating is your thing, join me at Draeger’s Cooking School (Menlo Park) on April 13th for a cooking demo of spring favorites, such as fava bean crostini, lamb, and rhubarb crisp.

For more info and updates on particular events and exact times, link through to my events page.

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  1. Tricia says:

    I am so happy for you. Congrats on your new book releasing this year!! I am headed to Tassajara in June for a few days respite, its been quite a couple of years….still kind of reeling.
    Miss you and hope all is well. Love Tricia

  2. reading your book now and absolutely loving it — my best friend holly’s b’day was also 12/22…had been reading a lot of greenwich village bohemia this past fall — love the blending of food, family, the arts and sense of place…

  3. Jess says:

    I came across this blog as I was researching Nepenthe for a piece I am working on for a writing class. I can’t seem to forget (not that I would want to) how magical that place was. Thank you for sharing your story about this unforgettable place. I can’t wait to read it now!

    • romneysteele says:

      Thanks Jess for finding my blog..what a wonderful idea to write about Nepenthe..as I say at all my events, I think everyone has a Nepenthe story and I love hearing them; they are what has made sharing my story that much more engaging and fun.

  4. Solis Lujan says:

    My post to Stephanie Rosenbaum’s on her Book Review of ‘Plum Gorgeous’, KQED. I just finished reading your review of Romney Steele’s book, Plum Gorgeous. It seemed quite spiteful to say the lest, but I can understand how you would feel that way. You most certainly never lived in Big Sur or Nepenthe as many, many people have over the years. If there is one place that is pure magic, it is there and Romney’s description of events are no exaggeration, they are just as she says. Lolly Fassett, Ronmey’s grandmother could be called the Grand Dame of creating surroundings that lifted you from the ordinary to the sublime. She pasted this on to her children and grandchildren. The creativity and sense of beauty that runs through this family is unparalleled. Lolly had a lot to do with it, but so does the experience of living in one of the most spectacular places on the planet. If I did not know this family and had once lived in Big Sur many years ago, I would be like you, envious and in disbelief. Anyone who has ever lived or spent time in Big Sur will tell you that things are just as Romany said, you lavishly spread you rose petal jam on just baked whole grain bread, sipping tea that came all the way from China, wearing a flowered skirt from the Paris flea market with red Willingtons under the shade tree in full bloom. Children running around with tangled hair and wind in their faces. The adults watch the fog roll in and out like fingers playing the piano and you thank your lucky stars to have been part of it.

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