Bookings: April’s local author events & booksignings

Suvir Saran.

Bluecashew in Rhinebeck to host reading/tasting event with master chef Suvir Saran

New Delhi-born Suvir Saran, executive chef of Dévi – a 75-seat restaurant in the heart of New York City – visited a friend’s farm in Vermont a few years ago: a weekend jaunt that set in motion a new life adventure. Saran and partner Charlie Burd began fantasizing about a farm of their own, with chickens and goats and garden space. A half-dozen years later, their dreams have materialized in Masala Farm, a 67-acre piece of bucolic history where they live and work and cook and entertain friends. Saran’s new book, Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country, co-written with Burd and Raquel Pelzel, tells the tale of their transformation from city-dwellers to country-lovers, and includes a mouthwatering bevy of recipes with an occasional Indian flair.

Organized by seasonal availability and flavor, the recipes include an eclectic array of vegetable delights, conscientiously raised meats – lamb pastrami, turkey/cheddar burgers, rabbit stew – and tempting sweets, from springtime strawberries-and-cream ice cream to autumn’s cognac-cured fruitcake, with summer and winter specialties rounding out the seasons. Some of these delicious concoctions can be sampled when Saran and Burd come to bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy in Rhinebeck on Saturday, April 7 from 3 to 6 p.m. for a celebratory book-signing and food-tasting event.

Visitors to the farm are plentiful year-‘round, from a constant stream of invited guests to drop-in egg-buyers to walk-on fishermen who pull trout out of the nearby creek and leave some on Saran and Burd’s front porch as a gift. Visitors of the animal kingdom are a different matter. Saran waxes poetic when describing the herons who dine from their pond. When ravens come around, they are temporarily delighted to host the endangered species – until the birds start murdering their goslings! On another occasion, Saran admits that they once inadvertently trapped a pack of coyotes inside their fenceline, endangering the lives of their precious goats.

Would you admit to spending $200 to euthanize and cremate an injured goose – one that only cost $2.25 to begin with? Or reveal that a $900 shipment of special guinea hens, wood ducks and Chinese ring-necked pheasants flew off in a whoosh as soon as the boxes in which they were delivered were opened? Saran and Burd recount their hard-learned lessons with great humor and humility. And the exquisite photography of Ben Fink in Masala Farm provides enough visual temptation of the rural-life-done-well that you forgive them their naïveté.

What’s more, Saran and Burd have thrown themselves into the local community, joining forces with Battenkill Kitchen and the Salem Food Pantry and other growers and producers in the region, to do their part to encourage food consciousness and farmland preservation. Masala Farm is a comforting addition to anyone’s cookbook collection.

@ Ann Hutton



Hudson Valley author events, signings

& readings for April


At Barnes & Noble in Kingston:


Saturday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m. – Iza Trapani will read her newest children’s picture book The Bear Went over the Mountain.


At Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie:


Saturday, April 14 at 11 a.m. – Iza Trapani will read her newest children’s picture book The Bear Went over the Mountain.


Sunday April 22 at 1 p.m. – Meet author Jason Wolfgang Gehlert as he signs copies of his latest horror story Corrupts Absolutely.


Saturday April 28 at 1 p.m. – Dennis Wild will discuss his book The Double-Crested Cormorant: Symbol of Ecological Conflict, an examination of wildlife conservation.


At the Gardiner Library:


Friday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. – Featured readers for this evening are Adrianna Delgado (All Words Are Verbs) and Robert Milby (Ophelia’s Offspring).


At the Golden Notebook in Woodstock:


Saturday, April 14 at 6 p.m. at Oriole 9 – Mailaise is a fast-past medical mystery thriller about the 2001 anthrax attacks in New York City, written by Don Weiss, MD, an infectious disease epidemiologist who was part of the original outbreak investigation. Come meet the author and join in the discussion.


Saturday, April 21 at 5 p.m. at Woodstock Artists’ Association and Museum – Musician and author David Rothenberg will discuss and sign copies of his book Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science and Evolution.


Saturday, April 28 at 5 p.m. at the Kleinert/James Arts Center – Author and meditation teacher Lodro Rinzler will present The Buddha Walks into a Bar: A Guide to Life for a New Generation.


Sunday, April 29 at 5 p.m. at the Kleinert/James Arts Center – Meet poet and librettist Toni Mergentime Levi, who will read from Watching Mother Disappear & Other Poems.


At Inquiring Minds in New Paltz:


Saturday, April 7 – Iza Trapani launches her newest children’s picture book The Bear Went over the Mountain.


Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. – Meet June Pierce, as she reads from and signs copies of her new children’s book Buford the Bully.


At Inquiring Minds in Saugerties:


Sunday, April 8 at 1 p.m. – Iza Trapani will read her newest children’s picture book The Bear Went over the Mountain.


Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m. – Join herbalist, teacher and author Susun Weed for a discussion about her book Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way.


Sunday, April 15 at 3 p.m. – Meet author Jessie Saperstein who will read and discuss Atypical: Life with Asperger’s in 20 and 1/3 Chapters.


Saturday, April 21 at 3 p.m. – Children’s book author Mercedes Cecilia will entertain your kids with Kusikiy: A Child from Taquile, Peru.


Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m. – David Gluck presents his book Rhythms of the Game this afternoon. Come meet the author.


At Merritt Books in Millbrook:


Tuesday afternoons beginning April 24 through May from 2 to 3:30 p.m. – Meet children’s book authors Karen Orloff (I Wanna Iguana, If Mom Had Three Arms and The Little Book of Baby Names) and Della Ross Ferreri (How Will I Ever Sleep in This Bed?) and learn the nuts and bolts of writing and publishing books for young people. The six-week session is $175. Contact [email protected].


At Oblong Books in Rhinebeck:


Sunday, April 15 at 4 p.m. – Benjamin Busch, decorated Marine officer, veteran of two combat tours in Iraq and actor on the hit HBO series The Wire, discusses his new memoir Dust to Dust, an original, emotionally powerful and surprisingly refreshing take on an American soldier’s story.


Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. – Great Space for Desire: Writing Personal Evolution is author and workshop leader Dara Lurie’s new book. Come meet the author and learn about how the craft of writing can lead to personal evolution.


Sunday, April 22 at 4 p.m. – Hudson Valley Young Adult Society hosts Jaclyn Dolamore & Michelle Zink. Jaclyn Dolamore (Magic under Stone) and Michelle Zink (A Temptation of Angels) at its monthly series. RSVPs are required for this free event: [email protected] or on FaceBook at


At the Stone Ridge Library:


Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. – Come meet Jacky Davis and David Soman, author/illustrator team of the best-selling books Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy. Free and open to the public.


At the Spotty Dog in Hudson:


Sunday, April 1 at 5 p.m. – Essayist Chloe Caldwell will read from Legs Get Led Astray, and will be joined by Rebecca Wolfe and Hallie Goodman.


Wednesday, April 25 at 6 p.m. – Stephen Hren, a restoration carpenter, builder and teacher who specializes in sustainable design and passive and active solar heating technologies, presents Tales from the Sustainable Underground: A Wild Journey with People Who Care More about the Planet than the Law, a collection of stories inspired by those social activists who “seek forgiveness rather than asking permission” and often find themselves operating on the fringes of legal and social norms. Whether they’re engaged in natural building, permaculture, community development or ecologically based art, people like solar guru Ed Eaton, radical urban permaculturists Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew and eco-architect/intuitive builder Matt Bua have stories that needed telling. Hren does just that. Come meet the author and tip a beer in one of the best indie bookstores in the Hudson Valley.


At the Village Square Bookstore in Hunter:


Saturday, April 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. – Come to a Mystery Writing Workshop with author Alison Gaylin (And She Was, Hide Your Eyes, Heartless, Trashed, You Kill Me). This event is free and open to the public.


At the Village Hall in Red Hook:


Saturday, April 14 – Red Hook Community Arts Network (Red Hook CAN) partners with Oblong Books & Music to host a Read Local Red Hook Literary Festival: a free day of events celebrating local authors including a 10 a.m. storytime with David Soman and Jacky Davis of Ladybug Girl fame and Peter McCarty reading The Monster Returns. At noon, middle grade/Young Adult authors Nancy Castaldo (Leap into Space), Jennifer Castle (The Beginning After), Michael Northrop (Plunked) and Robin Palmer (Lucy B. Parker) will present a reading and panel discussion. At 2 p.m. Nina Shengold (Clearcut) talks with Thelma Adams (Playdate), Mary-Beth Hughes (Double Happiness: Stories) and Edie Meidav (Lola, California). At 4 p.m. keynote speaker John Sayles, the award-winning author and filmmaker, will read from and discuss his book A Moment in the Sun.


At Vassar College in Poughkeepsie:


Monday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in the Villard Room of the Main Building – Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Isabel Wilkerson will discuss her acclaimed book The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, documenting the millions of African-Americans who left the US South between 1915 and 1970 looking for a better life in northern and western cities. Wilkerson is currently professor of Journalism and director of Narrative Nonfiction at the Boston University College of Communication. This lecture is free and open to the public. Earlier in the day, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Vassar College Alumnae House, the college will host a reception to benefit Poughkeepsie’s Catharine Street Community Center. Voluntary contributions will be welcomed.




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  1. Ms. Hutton - many thanks for your words about Masala Farm and to have included the signing next week at Blue Cashew in The Almanac.

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