Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Evening with Beth Hoffman

Sam Droke-Dickinson, Beth Hoffman, and me!
On Thursday evening, I had the privilege of attending "An Evening with Beth Hoffman" hosted by my good friends at Aaron's Books and the Council of Friends of Lancaster County Public Libraries. It was an amazing event with about 200 people, and I had such a wonderful time. Thanks to the folks at Aaron's Books for helping to make it happen!

Beth Hoffman is the author of SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT one of my favorite books of 2010 -- you can read my review here. Beth is in the process of gearing up for her book tour to celebrate the release of the trade paperback version of SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT, and we were extremely fortunate to be the kick-off event. The book officially goes on sale October 26th, so if you haven't read this book yet, now's your chance.

I have wanted to meet Beth ever since I first started talking to her on Twitter, and then I just knew I had to meet her after my book club had an author chat with her. She truly is a wonderful and genuine person! She speaks from her heart like few people I've ever met, and she definitely had me in tears more than once during her presentation. Her story is an incredible one and her message about treasuring each day in your life was very inspiring. I especially liked that she left us with the hope that we could all find our passion, just like she was able to do!

Of course, I was there to meet Beth, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the food that was served at the event. There was a a cocktail inspired by the book as well as a huge dessert bar with lots of Southern goodies like Sour Cream Apple Pie, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Torte, and Oletta's Cinnamon Rolls.

For those of you not familiar with SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT, Oletta was a wonderful character in the story that held a very special place in CeeCee's heart. She also happened to make some delicious-sounding cinnamon rolls. Beth was gracious enough to provide the chef with Olleta's actual recipe, and I thought I'd share it with all of you!

Oletta's Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons water
1/2 of a 3.5 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried berries or raisins (optional)

1 teaspoon milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a bread machine pan, add the milk, beaten egg, melted butter, water, vanilla pudding, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the dough cycle.

2. When cycle is finished, remove the dough and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Roll our and lightly pat into an 8x10 inch rectangle.

3. In a microwave safe bowl, mix together the softened butter or margarine, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Soften in the microwave for 10 seconds. Add chopped walnuts and raisins, if desired. Spread over dough. Starting with the widest end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch to seam the ends. Cut into 3/4 inch slices and place on a greased jelly roll sheet. Place in a draft-free space and let rise until doubled.

4. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes.

5. To make frosting, mix the milk, confectioners' sugar, softened butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls.
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


Carol said...

Sounds like a fab evening.
I loved Saving CeeCee. I managed to get a hardback copy via Amazon, and as yet it is still not on release here in the UK. Such a shame. It would be a hit here too.

The Cinnamon Rolls look scrummy!


Sandy Nawrot said...

I've never met her but sort of feel like I know her, she is so present on the blogs. One of these days she is going to make it into Florida! Oh and those rolls! My stomach just growled!

bermudaonion said...

I agree with you - Beth Hoffman is fabulous!! She made me cry when she came here too. I hope you ate a cinnamon roll for me! Great picture!

Beth F said...

I would love to meet Beth Hoffman. She is so warm and genuine. And I really must try these cinnamon rolls: both in honor of one of my favorite books and because Mr. BFR has a soft spot for them (ummmm, I guess I'd force myself to eat one or three too).

JoAnn said...

I know those cinnamon rolls would be a hit around here. Sounds like a great evening!

Beth Hoffman said...

I loved meeting you, Julie! It really was a wonderful event and the time seemed to evaporate, didn't it? I wish I could figure out how to make a gluten-free cinnamon bun, they looked heavenly.

Thanks for making me feel so welcome. I fell in love with Lancaster and Lititz and will come back sometime for a weekend of antiquing and taking pictures of the historical buildings.

Amused said...

Wow, what a cool event! So you're library put this on? Impressive!

Mike Lindgren said...

Yum on the rolls, gonna try that with girlfriend's daughter next weekend.

Anonymous said...

I'm so jealous that you met Beth Hoffman! ;) Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Meg @ write meg! said...

Oh my goodness, what a fabulous time you must have had! I loved living vicariously through your post. I "met" Beth through Twitter, too, and loved CeeCee. Love the touch of Oletta's cinnamon rolls, too. What fun!

Allie said...

Oh wow! I'm so jealous! I'm dying to get to meet Beth in person - she's so wonderful! And that sounds like such a great night!

Anonymous said...

Beth is wonderful. Sounds like a great event.