Vegans at Powell’s

Onward to Portland. We had a mad dash trying to get everything sorted for a month on the road. I had my new “book tour” clothes from Ann Taylor, my three pairs of footwear (boots, flats and ultra cool new heels) and the most minimal amount of toiletries I could force myself to bring. Mike stayed behind, cleaning up the house for our friend (and fellow Cordon Bleu grad) who is subletting our place while we’re gone.

I did a fun radio interview with KINK-FM in the afternoon, and was driven around by my fabulous media escort Emily all day signing books all over the greater Portland area.

So, I was hugely excited to go to Powell’s, where I was booked into the main room. About 18 were in the audience, but immediately, there was a weird vibe. I read all the same stuff that I had in Seattle, but they didn’t laugh or react to my tales of gutting fish, boning pieces of lamb as big as my head or beheading rabbts. It was a stuggle to get any reaction. When I was finished, a woman raised her hand and asked: “Is there much good vegetarian food in Paris?”

Question three was something like: “Would you ever be a vegetarian again?” To which I answered, “No, I couldn’t live without pork.” As a group, they were collectively horrified.

I did sell a few books to culinary studens at the Portland outpost of Cordon Bleu. But even the booksellers were puzzled by the odd crowd, made up of a woman who told me afterward she was a vegan and couldn’t make any of the recipes in my book, several vegetarians, at leastone homeless woman and a guy the staffer called “The Cheese Stealer” because he shows up at events, eats the cheese and leaves without ever buying a book.

I can only chalk it up to two things. One, Garrison Keillor was having a huge event down the street. Second, all the channels were airing a much-publicized show about the crystal meth problem in Portland. Hey, between those groups, that’s my crowd!

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