Let's Catch Up!
Happy New Year!
This time of year feels like a good time to finally reflect on completing my original goal of this project and share with you all on what’s been going on in the world of Eating Gilmore (spoiler alert, a lot!).
I’ve been meaning to sit down and write about how it feels to actually finish what I set out to do, over three years ago! Here is an excerpt from my very first blog post where I laid out what my plan was:
“So here’s how this is going to work. I am cooking one dish inspired by each episode of Gilmore Girls (A Year in the Life currently undecided), and I’ll share that dish with you. I don’t expect this blog to be far-reaching (maybe I’ll have my Julie and Julia moment) and I can’t promise I’ll make it through all 153 episodes (see above: lifelong anxiety), but I am going to try.”
Just shy of 3 years, and I did it! I cooked one dish inspired by each episode of Gilmore Girls! As I mentioned, I didn’t think I’d make it through all 153 episodes, but I tried, and I succeeded! Being completely honest, I really didn’t think I was going to make it all the way to the end. I thought I’d tap out somewhere around the end of season 2 or the start of 3, but I just kept cooking and never looked back. People ask me if I ever considered stopping, and the truth is, I didn’t! There were times I wanted to end this blog (sorry if you only follow me here) and just share my dishes on Instagram, but every now and then, someone wants to recreate one of my dishes, so I keep sharing my recipes (even though I always manage to fall behind. Still working on not apologizing for that!). There is even a mother and daughter page that is currently working through all my dishes which is one of the biggest honors! Rooting for you Ali and Ava! Sometimes, I miss sharing my thoughts on each episode like I used to in the earlier seasons, so maybe I’ll go back to doing that one day…who knows!
There were definitely challenges with this project. We are currently having major inflation here in the United States, so grocery prices have skyrocketed. So that hasn’t been particularly fun with having a food blog. I still don’t regret choosing not to monetize this project because I didn’t want that pressure. I truly wanted this to be a fun hobby (but sometimes when that grocery bill comes through, I secretly wish I had). I’ve talked about this on here before, but going chronologically through the show sometimes meant having to track down an out-of-season ingredient. That’s been a challenge since the beginning with trying to find peaches in November. Or the time I had to try to find chestnuts in the middle of summer for Sookie’s Thanksgiving stuffing. But luckily, I managed to find the ingredient just about every time.
There were a few episodes when there felt like there was nothing for me to make (this only really happened twice surprisingly) and without meaning to, I made cocktails for both: the salted caramel bourbon coffee cocktail for Lorelai out of Water and one of my favorite creative moments, the lemon “why did you drop out of Yale” martini for Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out. I took a little bit of leeway when I made cinnamon rolls for Cinnamon’s Wake because that wasn’t technically mentioned in the episode, but I didn’t really want to do any of the food that actually was. Hey, this was my project, so I get to make the rules around here! But for the most part, I was able to find a direct reference to a food or drink in every single episode. I always knew they talked about food a lot on this show, but really honing in on that aspect of the show really showed me just how much. I like to say that food is essentially its own character on this show.
I’ve already shared my top 10 dishes and top 10 moments from this project over on my Instagram, but I thought I’d share them here too in case you missed them or only follow me here!
Eating Gilmore’s Top 10 Dishes:
Eating Gilmore’s Top 10 Moments (as of November 8, 2023*)
Attending Fan Fest twice and meeting so many cast, crew, and fans of the show in beautiful autumnal New England.
Meeting the inspiration behind this project, Brad from @bradbakes in real life and going to an impromptu drag show together in London.
Filming two “Bake with Me” videos with Joy from @avintagejoy and teaching her how to make my pumpkin pop-tarts and the peach sauce from the pilot.
My very first podcast interview with Rachelle and Morgan from Friday Night Dinner Pod and then having dinner with Rachelle in San Francisco.
Hosting my fall Eating Gilmore Cooking Challenge and seeing all of your own Gilmore Girls food creations.
Successfully making Sookie’s picnic basket made entirely out of pretzel with a goat cheese filling from 2.13 A-Tisket, A-Tasket.
Creating signature cocktails for Haley and Tara for their Gilmore to Say Galentine's Party, and then talking to them on their podcast.
Being featured in the But I’m a Gilmore Book alongside so many talented Gilmore creators.
Receiving the adorable and thoughtful PR box from the Stoney Clover Lane x Gilmore Girls collection.
Hosting the June 3rd cooking challenge for Remarkist’s Super Summer Spectacular and being interviewed by John Cabrera.
And upon reflecting on completing this project, one line from that first blog post really stood out to me: “I don’t expect this blog to be far-reaching.” I truly thought only my family and friends would follow along with this project. I never expected to have people from all of the world following along. I genuinely thought it would be incredible to reach 1,000 followers on Instagram one day, and I hit 100,000 just days after completing my original run through the show. I still can’t wrap my head around that! I’ve loved being able to connect with you over this show that we adore so much! Hearing your stories of how you’ve connected with others over my project means so much to me! There was a bridesmaid who recreated my dark chocolate s’mores wedding cake for a bridal shower, which was so special to get to be part of their special day. Another follower shared that she looks forward to my dishes while her mom is in chemo treatment. All of these moments are so special to me and I’m so grateful for all of you!
So let’s see, there have been some major moments since my last catch up with you back in May! Do I start with the big one or save that for the end?
I attended a Gilmore Girls-themed floral arranging class and dominated in trivia.
A local flower shop, The Floral Bar, hosts themed flower arranging classes, and I found out they were hosting a Gilmore Girls-themed night. Obviously, I had to get a ticket and attend! I loved learning some good tips on building beautiful bouquets. There was also Gilmore Girls trivia, and of course, your girl won! Although, it wasn’t as intense as the time I memorized the Gilmore IMDB page…
I was featured in 3 articles!
When I tell you, I’m still blown away by this! I got the chance to tell my story to Voyage Dallas, The Denton Record Chronicle, and The Messenger. The Denton Record Chronicle even featured me on the front page of the physical newspaper, which was just so cool! I am very honored to get to talk about this project.
I received a PR box from Stoney Clover Lane.
Okay, I don’t want this one to come off as bragging, but I was STUNNED when I received this gorgeous PR box from Stoney Clover Lane when they launched their Gilmore Girls collection. Some of the pieces were customized just for me, and I really appreciate the thoughtfulness. The recipes bag is one of my favorites and just so cute. Unfortunately, this collection was a limited run if you missed it.
I announced my Eating Gilmore Encore Project.
I’ve technically talked about this on here already, but I’d like to go a little more in depth! As I was working through season 7 and planning out my dishes for A Year in the Life, I felt really sad to be ending the project. I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet! So I decided to do what I’m calling, Eating Gilmore Encore! There are still so many dishes from the show that I haven’t made yet, so I will be going back through some of the episodes to cook even more Gilmore Girls dishes. I announced the encore on my 3rd anniversary over on Instagram with the help of some of my favorite people I’ve gotten to meet throughout this project. If you didn’t see the announcement video, I’d love for you to check it out! I also had the pleasure of working with graphic designer, Matea at @mgistudios, who designed my new encore logo! I’m excited to officially start my encore in March once I finish my AYITL dishes.
I hosted another cooking challenge.
I love when y’all get to join in on the Eating Gilmore fun! After announcing my encore, I held a challenge where my followers would recreate Gilmore Girls dishes I hadn’t made yet. It was fun getting to see what everyone came up with and it gave me ideas for some things to make for my encore.
I got a tattoo to commemorate completing my project.
This may be silly to some, but I don’t care! I wanted to celebrate hitting such a big milestone. This project has been a major part of my life for three years and was a major goal to accomplish. A tattoo artist made a fine line sketch of the logo Remarkist designed when I hosted a cooking challenge with them. It felt like the perfect nod to this project.
I filmed another Bake with me with Joy from A Vintage Joy
One of my favorite people I’ve met in this Gilmore space is Joy. She is so sweet, and I always enjoy her company. We got together to film our third Bake With Me video for her YouTube channel and we made my festive Candy Cane Coffee Rocky Road Cookies. I always have so much fun chatting with Joy, and in my book, it’s never too late for the Christmas spirit.
I launched my Gilmore Girls Episode Reading Challenge.
What was the next step after cooking my way through Gilmore Girls? Reading my way through Gilmore Girls, of course! Yesterday, on my Instagram, I announced my Gilmore Girls Episode Reading Challenge. This is NOT the reading Challenge of every book Rory reads or every book mentioned on the show. Not that there's anything wrong with either of those challenges, I just wanted a different one. Over the past several months, I’ve been coming up with reading prompts for each episode of the show. I fell back into loving reading last year, and a big part of that was reading challenges. It keeps me motivated and also expands the types of books I read. While there are 153 prompts in the challenge, there is no time limit. If you’d like to join us, there is no pressure in completing it in one year. I’m not even trying to do that! You can also double dip books. If a book fits 5 prompts, you are more than welcome to count one book for all 5. If you’d like to join the reading challenge, you can find all the prompts on the official Story Graph page for the challenge. I’ll also be documenting my progress on my Bookstagram, @literary.larisa
Oh yeah, AND I MET LAUREN GRAHAM!
Yeah, I decided to save the biggest one for last. I got to meet THE LAUREN GRAHAM! She did a small book tour for her fourth book that was released last year, Have I Told You This Already, and one of the stops was Dallas! I managed to score a meet-and-greet ticket, and though I only had a few seconds with her, it was all worth it. And honestly, it was one of the best moments of my life. She has been with me through so much of my life. Obviously, this project, but even long before then. Gilmore Girls has always been a comfort for me. I put it on during hard moments and good ones too. So to get to meet the actress behind my favorite character was so special that I can’t even really put into words. I typed up a list of moments and memories from meeting her that I shared on my Instagram already, but I wanted to share them here too!
Thanking Lauren Graham for changing my life and being with me through all the big moments in my life.
Her responding with, “thank you so much that means a lot.”
Going into the bathroom and texting my sister with shaking hands that it happened, and I started crying with how happy and overwhelmed I felt.
Standing on the stairwell leading up to Laren and hearing her voice first and reminding myself she was really there and it wasn’t an episode playing.
Learning that Kelly Bishop signs off every text to Lauren with TVM for TV Mom and she calls Lauren TVD for TV daughter.
Meeting a few of my followers in real life and bouncing with excitement over meeting our shared favorite person. They were so sweet and kind.
How stunning Lauren was in real life- her eyes!!
The absolute Lorelai Gilmore of an outfit she wore.
Hearing about the years she lived in Dallas in the early 90s and thinking we could have crossed paths at one point in time 30 years ago.
Discovering how huge her love for cooking and entertaining is, and now my new life goal is to cook a meal with Lauren Graham.
Sitting in the same theater where I went to my first Gilmore Guys show (which was also the same theater Oswald was found after killing JFK, but that’s okay, we just do what Lauren does and say it's a fun little haunted theater).
So that’s about it! I’m excited for another year of Eating Gilmore, and I’m looking forward to everything 2024 has to bring. I have a few goals for this project like a website redesign (wish me luck, it’s not my forte) and launching a discord! I have a few more, but for now, they’ll remain secrets. If you’ve read through all of this, thank you! I appreciate you hanging out with me.
Happy new year from the Hollow!