My first Cookbook signing (behind the scenes)

I am super excited to share with you what it feels like to be an author at a book signing! After all, how many of us really get to this stage in our lives?

My first ever book signing was scheduled to be on a pretty Sunday with unlikely phenomenal weather. It was hosted at 1pm at the Israel Book Shop in Brookline, MA. This made me very happy because I really wanted my kids to be part of it. My husband and I had the perfect plan. We would go for lunch at Rami’s (the best falafel in Boston) with all the kids, and from there we would go to the book signing. I had packed snacks, extra wipes and diapers and a nifty black sharpie marker to make book signing a breeze!  I had this dream I would just seat there and my kids would seat next to me, looking up to mama and thinking wow. Of course, this was another one of those parenting dreams we parents like to orchestrate in our minds. The cruel, inescapable reality of real-life parenting followed.

The best husband in the world is mine! (Ben Porat Yosef)

We were super lucky to have had tables available at Rami’s. This place is so popular I was afraid we would not be able to seat. However, I do have to admit having the owner as a friend is a huge benefit (wink, wink). My kids are picky eaters, but there is one thing they all love: fries. We started with the ordering and you know how it goes…this one cries, this other one needs the bathroom, this other one wants more ketchup.  And of course, the inevitable LOUD tantrum occurred forcing us to make a quick exit with most food to go. To make a long, painful story short my dream of having a wonderful pre-book-signing lunch with my family ended up being a quickie lunch in the car with the kids strapped to their respective seats while being serenaded by the infamous uncle Moishy!

Well, if you think things got better after the kids were fed you are simply VERY wrong. When we got to the bookstore book-signing-nightmare part II began. The reality was my kids were running around the whole time, taking books out of the shelves and trying to snitch bazooka bubblegum from the register. My poor husband was going nuts keeping track of each kid all over the store while making sure my 2 year old didn’t break a ceramic menorah or hit one of his brothers with a Shabbat candelabra!

However, with all that said, I did have my moment of bliss. My oldest child came to me in the middle of all the commotion and told me he was proud of me! He is really one of my biggest fans! My dear husband quickly realized having the kids at the store was, well, a very stupid idea. He called my sister and, as always, she came to my recue. I am so lucky to have my relatives close by! Thank you sis!

Sephardim do not have Bedekins. For those of you who are not familiar with Orthodox Jewish weddings, a Bedekin is a formality performed before the wedding ceremony where the bride seats like a queen surrounded by her mother, mother-in-law and bridesmaids. Guests come to wish her a Mazel Tov and she graciously gives them a blessing.. After a while, the groom comes before the bride escorted by his friends, father and father-in-law. He approaches his bride, blesses her and puts her veil on. I always wanted to have a Bedekin! My first book signing turned out to be just like that! My friends came from here and there to wish me a Mazel Tov while I dedicated each cookbook with a shower of blessings to them.  And at the then end, just like a beautiful Ashkenazi Bedekin (involving a handsome Sephardic man) my husband came to get me. It was a magical moment I will never forget…even if it meant we both had to clean the mess my kids made at the Israel Book Shop!

Thank you all that came to see me that day. It really meant the world to me. I could not post everyone’s pics…but you are posted in my heart! If you want your pic removed just email me. LOVE YOU ALL!


5 Responses to “My first Cookbook signing (behind the scenes)”

  1. Hana I. says:

    Kol ha kavod for bringing your kids! I wouldn’t have even attempted.

  2. nava korn says:

    Your cookbook looks fabulous. I am planning to make your Moroccan Shabbat Stew this Shabbos. I am wondering if I am missing something though…for the Sweet rice bundle, I don’t see any mention of rice. Am I not seeing it? I am assuming there should be some rice in the bundle. Thank you for your assistance! I cannot wait to make many of your recipes this Shabbos!

  3. Reyna Simnegar says:

    HI! There is a typo on that recipe, I profusely apologize. It should read 1 cup rice for the rice bundle. Thank you so much for your kind words! Fortunately, this is the only typo in the book. Have a great time cooking!

  4. nava korn says:

    Thank you so much for a quick reply. I do not have the cookbook nearby so will ask if you recommend a specific rice for this recipe. One other question…my husband does not like things cooked in aluminum foil. Is there an alternative to wrapping the meat packet in foil?

    Thank you so much. Your cookbook is just so lovely…even my son got excited and claims he will try some recipes!

    Where can we get kosher saffron? Is there a specific brand or can we find it online?

    Sorry, I had more questions that I thought!! Thanks.

  5. Reyna Simnegar says:

    I have never tried anything else beside aluminum foil to wrap the meat packet. However, parchment paper might work. I am just unsure on how you would keep it together unless you wrap it very well and place it seam side down so it won’t open. I am going to try making it this way this Shabbat and see how it goes. Regarding Saffron, since it is a pure spice you do not need a kosher symbol. However, you can find it kosher in Trader Joe’s or online at

    I am so happy your whole family likes the book! THank you!