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Taping "Good Food" with Evan Kleiman
July 25, 2012

Today was a personal high point in the world of Suffering Succotash authorship. Hell, forget Suffering Succotash, it was and will be one of the days I mark with a huge Day-Glo asterisk on my line graph of life. Today, I taped a segment for KCRW's "Good Food" with Evan Kleiman. Given how many hours I've spent walking along the sand-scattered Ocean Beach path, listening to the Good Food podcast and sometimes allowing myself to fantasize what it would be like to be on the show and get to talk to directly to Evan Kleiman someday...well, let's just say I have a truly rambling demonstration of raptures which this space is too small to contain.

To say that Evan Kleiman and "Good Food" are the Terry Gross and "Fresh Air" of the food world doesn't even begin to capture it, but you can start to understand how it feels for an admirer to be on the show. If you do anything with food -- write a book, start a dietary movement, open a restaurant, grow a vegetable -- you hunger to be on "Good Food." Not just to talk about your book, movement, restaurant, or vegetable, mind you, but to meet Evan. To talk to her, one on one.

Sitting there in a local studio with headphones clapped over my ears and staring down at the square, lit "cough" button while also trying to remember how many hand widths of space the engineer told me to leave between my mouth and the microphone, I was nervous, less concise, and more given to an incredible number of tongue traps and mouth stumbles than I have been for any of my other radio interviews for the book. I do hope they got something usable out of me in the end.

But of course, Evan was kind and interested, just as she always is. Just as I knew she would be.

One of the things I love most about the show is not the local restaurant stories by Jonathan Gold that make me wish I lived in LA, nor the seasonal recipes that have me scrabbling for a spare corner of paper and whatever dried-out pen I have handy, it's Evan's voice. If ever a person had a voice for radio, it's Evan Kleiman, who, no matter what the topic, sounds like she's always on the verge of laughter. That's especially helpful to an interviewee who has written a book she hopes is funny. Now, were the interview to have been conducted in a studio where we sat face-to-face, and I had seen her expressions accompanying the questions, that fancy of mine might have been naturally extinguished, especially when we talked about how painful it can be to live as an adult picky eater. But as it was, I "met" Evan through a satellite studio's headphones and her mirth-filled voice was piped directly into my ears just as it had been all those foggy days on Ocean Beach.

And when it was all over, I sat still in my chair. I didn't get up. I didn't take off my headphones. It wasn't until the engineer came in to walk me back out that I realized I was actually expecting Laura Avery break in with the Market Report from the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.

Thank you, Evan.

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Stephanie Vander Weide Lucianovic