Ok! I want to tell you more about Girl Meets Farm! I have been sooo tickled by your support and excitement for this show, and that has made me even more excited and also a little bit more nervous because now that I know you know about it, it feels more real. For a long time I only talked about it with Eggboy and my family and it was just one of those things where if it happened, cool!! awesome! lightning bolt emoji!, if it didn’t happen, well then it wasn’t meant to be and it would be tossed into the bag of other things that weren’t meant to be, like my fancy cotton candy concept and raising a pet pig.
When Molly on the Range came out two Octobers ago, I went to New York for the launch and my agent Jonah told me that the Food Network would like to have a meeting. My first thought was Sweet! We can have lunch at Dizengoff!!! It had just opened in Chelsea Market, right below the Food Network offices. And the meeting was so fun! Everyone was really nice and cool, we talked about food and at some point Back to the Future came up for some reason. (Any conversation with Back to the Future involved is the best conversation.) And then a few months later, the Network sent a production company out to shoot some scenes of me cooking and going around about town. Just like my first date with Eggboy, I honestly had no idea what the rating of this was on a scale from very casual hang to very official date, but I cooked some hotdish and cookie salad and had a great time. Josh, the producer, was basically every guy I went to summer camp with combined so we got along well!
Then a few months later Jonah very casually mentioned that the Network would like to shoot a pilot. And I thought, that’s fun! After a few months of working through details, Josh came back to the farm along with a crew of about 25 people, including camera people, sound people, a showrunner, lighting people, a culinary team, an art director, a hair and makeup artist, and production assistants.
We filmed a delicious menu with flavors that are staples in my life and on my blog: Shakshuka, everything bagel grilled cheese, pistachio pop-tarts, a few sides... I felt great about it and I felt like myself. And I loved working with the crew, everyone was so cool! I introduced them to cheesy pickles at the Toasted Frog and the Happy Pig nachos at Rhombus Guys. We filmed during Hanukkah and because the arrival of the production crew pretty much quadrupled the amount of Jews in East Grand Forks, we lit candles together and it was the best. One thing that Eggboy and I learned was that because our house became a set, with cameras, lights, ingredients, and utensils set up in very specific places, and our couch and dining table out of commission, we couldn’t really use it for actually having dinner at night. The only thing we “cooked” that week was a couple of tater tots as honorary first-night-of-Hanukkah latkes. The rest of the time we went out to eat or brought takeout to the Eggparents' house and just plopped on their couch.
I was sooo sad at the end of the week when everyone left, it was like the last day of camp. Luckily it was right before the holidays though, so I had parties and Arizona to look forward to.
For the next couple of months, we all had a March premiere date in mind. I kept a few weeks of my calendar in March flexible so that I could have freakout time. I also kept a microphone nearby because every so often Josh, who was editing the pilot, would ask me to record voiceover lines, like anything that I didn’t say clearly while we were filming or anything that I needed to say with a different inflection, things like that. At some point in early March, Josh called and I thought ughgggghghghghg, he’s gonna ask me to mail the microphone back, I don’t want to go to the post office today, so I almost didn’t pick up. But then I did and it was a good thing because he was calling to deliver the news that the Network decided to order six more episodes!!! We were to film the remainder of season one immediately and then air the whole season this summer. Yay! I texted Eggboy and then we ate celebratory cheesy pickles.
The showrunner, Jen, and I got right to work planning a menu that pulled from all of my favorite sources of inspiration: my Jewish and Chinese heritage, the upper Midwest, the farm, New York, and sprinkles. We put together themes that included family and friends and pretty much all of my favorite foods. If there is one thing that I feel particularly excited about with Girl Meets Farm, it’s the menu. Followed closely by my apron wardrobe.
In mid-April, right after our last big snow storm, the crew came back and set up camp for a little over two weeks so that we could film six more episodes. The crew kept telling Eggboy and me that we were going to get so sick of them by the end of the shoot but nope, we love them and miss them. We ate lunch with them every day in Eggboy’s workshop, where the crew had set up work stations and a huge table of snacks. And at the end of the shoot, we had a wrap party at the Blue Moose and it was just like the last day of camp all over again!!
The next day I went back to working on recipes for my blog. That’s it! Now we wait until June 24th when it premieres, right after Pioneer Woman. I’ll be in Amsterdam for Rob’s bachelor party. 🙈
Over these next few weeks, I’m going to show you behind the scenes tidbits! And I’ll also soon have the answer to the questions of if/how you can watch if you don’t have cable or live in another country. More soon!!!! Don’t forget to set your alarms for June 24th at 11am eastern/10am central/11am pacific!
Photos by Chantell and Brett!!!