Hi, my name is Darien Gee. I’m the author of Friendship Bread: A Novel and the founder of the Friendship Bread Kitchen.
My introduction to the bread and my inspiration for the book are one and the same. I remember standing in the small kitchen of our home when my then 8 year old daughter returned home after a play date. She was holding a paper plate filled with a few slices of what looked like banana bread, something funky in a Ziploc bag, and a page of instructions. To make a long story short, I took one bite and I was hooked, and in more ways than one.
The Friendship Bread Kitchen was born on Facebook on January 13, 2010 while I was writing my novel, Friendship Bread, and experimenting with different Amish Friendship Bread variations. The mission was simple: meet like-minded people who loved Amish Friendship Bread as much as I did, and maybe even swap a few recipes.
As the weeks progressed, the Kitchen started to grow. You know how Amish Friendship Bread starter bubbles and froths and then almost doubles in size? That’s what was happening to the Kitchen. New people showed up every day. I posted literary quotes about friendship, found funny videos and inspiring blog posts about all things Amish Friendship Bread. I met lots of terrific people. I added more recipes and pictures of the bread. I met even more terrific people.
We kept growing and growing.
For almost a year my house smelled of sugar and cinnamon. I was writing, I was baking, I was connecting with people about the book and the bread. I looked for ways to make it gluten free (tricky) or low cholesterol (easy), but above all easy and accessible to everyone. I wanted people to have fun with it, to be creative with it, and to share it with others. Amish Friendship Bread is all about connection, a modern day “stone soup” that brings people together and builds family and community.
In 2011 it became clear that we were outgrowing our Facebook page (we’re currently 73,000+ strong). It was hard for people to find recipes or engage in discussions with other members of the page. We couldn’t edit discussion posts, only add to them, and they were becoming cluttered and unwieldy. People–including me–were going all over the page, trying to find the right answers to their questions.
It was time for a new home.
So here we are. We love our cozy new space, and it’s the perfect place to share Amish Friendship Bread recipes, tips, stories, and community. Friendship Bread: A Novel also resides here, so readers and book clubs can feel right at home as they find what they need and get lots of ideas for making the bread in their own kitchens.
So pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and join the conversation. I’m glad you found us.
To learn more about Darien and her other novels, visit her author website here.