Mike’s birthday is December 11 (he shares a b-day with the infamous Ami.Mental. in case you’re still updating your 2010 calendars). As a general rule, Mike and I do not buy each other big gifts ever because, well, because we have four kids and are usually broke. This year, for a combination birthday/Christmas gift we got each other a new oven/stove. We love, love, love it!
However, on the day the stove died, before I knew it was actually dead, I picked up a copy of Alton Brown’s new cookbook, The Early Years. Now, Mike has had a man-crush on Alton Brown since his first show. We saw the book and knew it would be a hit. Then, we were in Costco, as we were checking out, the cashier handed us a flyer. Alton Brown, the actual person, was coming the day after Mike’s birthday – to OUR Costco!
I know. I doesn’t get more exciting, does it? I admit, I like Alton Brown on paper. He grates on my nerves when he’s on TV, but Mike and the boys watch him regularly. I actually used two of his cookbooks for a year of middle school chemistry quite successfully – I just do not want to watch the video.
Anyway, for his birthday, we cooked on the new stove and gave Mike his cookbook with the flyer folded into the pages and then had delicious cake. Me? I really didn’t think running over to Costco would be a huge deal. We’re a weird family. There aren’t that many people like us are there? I puttered around while Mike paced, clutching his new book (nerd note, the jacket cover unfolds to become a poster – gah again!). Like the Beverly Hillbillies, we loaded up the car and finally headed to Costco.
Oh my, there are cooking nerds hiding in all of Orlando’s deep dark corners. They had a line that snaked through the entire right side of our Costco. Disney could not have designed a more cryptic line. But, Mike was on a mission. We wandered around looking for samples, but the old folks were out in full-force. Finally, I went and ordered a pizza – food is a good way to slow down boys. Mike, meanwhile, had made friends with his line-mates. Holy Cow! There were people there with 5-10 books they wanted to get signed. I’m pretty sure they’re all on our Christmas list now.
We ate pizza, we wandered all over the store. We found a spot between wine and frozen foods where we could actually see Alton Brown signing books. Who knew? He’s a little guy! But, I have to say, whoever organized this book signing thing was good. The lines moved fast. Alton Brown never acted rushed. I dunno, I’ve never been to a book signing before.
A mere two hours later, we saddled up to Alton Brown. You could practically hear the back of the line cheering when they realized that we were all together, thus dramatically shortening the line. Mike got to talk to Alton, Alton signed his book and even let us take the picture above. So, as you now understand, it’s important we lay low for a while and let the novelty wear off.