Hi friends at Not Quite Amish. I’m Sherry Gore, and here’s a little peek “behind-the-scenes” about the making of a few cooking videos my publisher is posting online in anticipation of the May 7 release of my book Simply Delicious Amish Cooking. Hope you enjoy!
About a month ago, I get a call while filming a segment about Pinecraft for NBC’s Today Show (watch the segment HERE) that my publicist at Zondervan wants me to travel up to their offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to film some cooking videos. I’m of course thrilled, and so I hop on a plane the following Tuesday afternoon. Now I’ve filmed cooking videos before, so I’m thinking that this will be just like those other times, nothing new: a big studio (or restaurant), three or four hundred people in an audience with plenty of interaction, and plenty of back-and-forth with a news correspondent or on-air talent of some kind (“talent” is the TV or film term for “actor” or “on-camera personality”).
The biggest lesson I’ve learned, of course: Rule #1—NEVER look at the camera.
Well the night before the shoot, my publicist drops a big bomb on me (I’m certain she had no idea) when she tells me “Oh, there won’t be any audience or correspondent—you’re going to be on camera by yourself.”
Un ferstundich! [Oh my goodness!]
Me. By myself. Talking directly into the camera. By myself. By myself.
I’m horrified. I don’t know what on Earth I’m going to say when it’s just me, alone, with the camera in the kitchen. What do you say? “Here’s a spoon”? “This is a bowl”?! I have to be honest; I slept very poorly that night.
The next morning I show up on a VERY professional set. We’re filming in a beautiful kitchen on a serene horse farm heading away from Grand Rapids, and by the time I arrive, two expensive-looking cameras are already mounted: one faces where I’m to stand and one points to the ingredients for the whoopie pies I’m to make. There are poles and lights and sound equipment and wires and everything else scattered about, all just waiting for me to step in front.
Two or three young men buzz around calibrating all the technical minutia that goes into capturing quality video, and heaven sakes do they make me feel at ease. They are so nice and so patient. Later on in the day, I would wonder aloud if they had noticed my nerves when I arrived.
“Nope,” one of them said, “we knew you could do this from the start.”
But I don’t feel that way as the lights flash on and the seconds count down. I have to be honest with them.
“I don’t know what I’m supposed to say,” I finally admit.
“It’s OK,” they say, “just start cooking and tells us some stories about where you live.”
Luckily, Pinecraft is one thing I DO know how to talk about. And whoopie pies are a dessert I’ve probably made hundreds of times—even sold them at farmer’s markets at one point. And so as soon as I get that spoon in my hand I am off. I forget about that camera. I forget that I’m by myself. I’m just Sherry Gore talking about her home while making a tasty treat. How can that go wrong?
Pretty soon, voila! There are the whoopie pies.
As I finish up, one of the camera guys says to me, “You’re destined to have a cooking show because you’re just like the nice auntie that everybody wants to live next door to.”
“Why, thanks,” I say.
“My mom’s going to love you,” he says.
Well I sure hope that she does—after buying my book of course 🙂
Sherry Gore is the author of Simply Delicious Amish Cooking and is the editor-in-chief of Cooking & Such magazine. She is also a weekly scribe for the national edition of the 120-year-old Amish newspaper, The Budget. Sherry is a year-round resident of Sarasota, Florida, has three children, and is a member of a Beachy Amish Mennonite church. Visit Sherry’s website and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!