When we got in, we checked our phone messages, and there was one from Andrea, Steve's brother David's wife. They live in SF too, and we see them regularly. Andrea knows we watch the Food Network, and are especially fond of Rachael Ray and her many shows. Now, Rachael isn't what you'd consider a gourmet chef, but she prepares good, simple, easy and tasty dishes (in 30 minutes, no less), and we have several of her cookbooks. And yes, we've made a number of her recipes. And, she's from upstate New York, like me, so we have a lot of common points of reference, plus Steve says she talks like me.
Anyhoo, Andrea's message was that Rachael was going to be in town on Friday (yesterday) to sign books at a bookstore in town, and did we want to go with them (Andrea and David are RR fans too). So yesterday afternoon after work we schlepped down to the Marina district and waited in line to meet Rachael Ray and have her sign a book for us.
When we got up to the signing table, I quickly introduced us, and told her we were originally from Albany, Cohoes actually. "Cohoes!! We're neighbors!!" she yelled, and we chatted a bit about Cowan & Lobell, the gourmet market where she used to do demos, and the Cohoes Manufaturing Company (designer discount clothing and accessories), which is no longer in Cohoes. So she included a special message when she signed our book. We also gave her a copy of our own cookbook, which she loved, exclaimed "Yum-O!!" over, and added as much to her inscription. She is very sweet, very pretty, and a bit shorter than you might think in person. We love us some Rachael Ray!!!
Rachael just after the signing. Note our green-covered cookbook to the right of hers.
"Jack + Steve -- My neighbors! Yum-O-- Rachael Ray"