The first thing a lot of folks notice when they come into The Annex is a lovely sign that reads GATHER - it’s the juicy cherry on top of our huge table of summer cookbooks and hospitality goodies. I've found that folks new to The Annex and PPB ooh and aah at the display -- and then want to buy the sign! Naturally I've forgotten where I bought it - or truly I'd tell. 

Folks who have been around PPB on Wesley for awhile are used to seeing GATHER signs and pillows all about because they know that since 2014 our motto has been “Prairie Path Books - Gatherings & Great Reads”. We called ourselves that because we knew bringing the community together would be one of the very best ways we’d spend our time. And I've been hearing from you veterans -- who've noticed that our PPB gatherings have been a little slow in the last month, as follows: "hey I get that you've opened a new store but hey anyway: When's the fall calendar of events coming out??"

Geez amighty, guys, alrighty then! Glad to know you've missed us and each other. Get out your calendars, because in my next communications I'll be setting forth details on upcoming 2018-2019 GATHERINGS: 

  • Three new bookclubs, all monthly, two in the evenings and one on Sunday afternoons; PLUS

  • Our Champagne Book Review parties; PLUS 

  • Our 2x/month cooking demonstrations, one series to be held in Sandy's home in south Wheaton; PLUS 

  • Cookbook launch parties by Jenny and Sandy for Ina Garten's new one and Reese Witherspoon's first (they're GREAT, we've peeked at advanced copies); PLUS

  • Some brand new thought-provoking content, including a 9-month series on "Readings in American Democracy," facilitated by our own Carrie W., using the Shared Inquiry model developed by the Great Books Foundation at the University of Chicago.

To whet your gatherings appetites, here are the cooking demonstrations we have planned so far. Not only are we excited to reveal Ina and Reese, Cathy and I are launching an August - April series celebrating Italian food - and not only from famous Italian restaurant chefs, but from Italian Moms (a great new series of books) plus a cook-off set of two programs comparing recipes from the queens of Italian cuisine -- Marcella Hazan and Lidia Batianich. In November we will show how Italians do holidays and celebrations - that one we can't wait for, for sure -- but first Cathy will show us all how to make handmade pasta on August 30th and we will taste test it alongside the least $ and most $$$$ boxed pastas, with great sauces to go with. (I'm pretty sure Cathy's will win....)

I'm especially thrilled to spotlight Alana Chernila's three cookbooks in a three-part series from September-November to take place in my own kitchen. Cathy and I will pull out ALL the stops to tune you, our tribe, onto Alana's simple, homey, nourishing food vibe. Really pumped about this one. 

Deets on the rest coming soon -- so keep those calendars out, friends. 

*All events will take place at PPB on Wesley Street rather than The Annex: more room and more parking, plus the kitchen's there. 

Fondly, Sandy