Dinner: A Love Story, the Trailer!

April 17th, 2012 · 74 Comments · Dinner: A Love Story, the Book


I realize I’m not breaking any journalistic ground with this observation, but I’m going to say it anyway: It’s kinda crazy what you can check off The List when you’re not surrounded by small people asking for a snack or to tie a soccer cleat or to find the math notebook which was right here a second ago and to look at me! Look at me! Look at me!  Take, for instance, an unseasonably warm winter Friday this past February. My friends Ed Nammour and Kate Porterfield showed up in my kitchen at 8:00 am — a few minutes after Andy and I shepherded Phoebe and Abby to the bus stop — and by the time the girls disembarked seven hours later, brains filled with fractions and parallelograms, Ed had shot this crazy beautiful honest-to-God Book Trailer for me, complete with a thing called B-Roll? Do you guys know from B-Roll?

I’m exaggerating a bit there — B-Roll is one of the few terms I knew going into the whole production, but that’s about where the knowledge tops off. A big reason why I chose a career as an editor and then opted for the blog medium when I started Dinner: A Love Story 2 1/2 years ago, was because I didn’t have to, you know, talk. With my mouth. Out loud. In front of people. I warned Kate — who was serving as the off-camera interviewer, and who you might remember for coining the page-turner concept — that she would have her work cut out for her. I was not going to be able to put a sentence together in any kind of coherent way. I am a writer! I speak through my keyboard and like to have time to scratch my chin while formulating unique insights!

“Jenny,” Kate replied to all this. “You’re not talking about North Korea here. You’re talking about dinner.”

See why I forced her to be on set with me? Five hours later, I had managed to articulate a few thoughts about family dinner and my book, and why this project has meant so much to me as a parent these past few years. And Kate was on the 1:20 train back to Brooklyn, where her daughters were returning from their school day.

I hope you have some time to watch it and, if you like what you see, to share it with other people who might be inspired to catch the family dinner bug, too. If you love what you see? Well, by now, I think you know what to do. And if you’d rather spend those 3 minutes and 57 seconds reading about North Korea, I’ll crystallize the video and the book and the entire mission of DALS for you with one quote I said at about 3:09:

“What I tried to do with this book is cover all the things that can happen at the family dinner table during all stages of a family’s life.”

That means the Just-Married Days, the New Parent Days, and the Bonafide Family Dinner Days, when we get to have conversations at the table that don’t begin with the phrase If you don’t eat that fill-in-the-blank….”

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that Ed’s work was far from over when the bus came at the end of our shoot day. He spent more hours than I can bear to think about whittling the 60 minutes of dinner-talking and pizza-flipping footage into the 3:57 narrative you see above. How I got so lucky to live around the corner from a filmmaker and commercial director who (on the side!) loves to support local projects…I’ll never know. I’m just glad I got to meet him that day five years ago when he, his wife, and six other families bid farewell to their kindergartners at the bus stop.

Reminder: A week from today, April 24th, be sure to check in with DALS! We have an exciting proposition for you which, amazingly, doesn’t involve our yogurt-marinated chicken. Well, it sort of does, I guess. But only peripherally.


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74 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Zane // Apr 17, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Lovely trailer! So well filmed and edited. . . and you certainly are articulate with your spoken words as well as your written words!

    Can’t wait to hold the book in my hands!

  • 2 Jenny Boisseau // Apr 17, 2012 at 9:07 am

    My name is Jenny too and I have been enjoying your blog and recipes for about a year now. You inspire me and this video just took it up a notch for me. Thanks for sharing your life and your recipes. I can’t wait to buy a copy of your book….since many of your recipes are already printed and in my dinner binder! I have a 3 yr old and an 8 month old and really value family dinner and enjoy the process of planning for it and cooking it. Thanks for what you do!!!

  • 3 Randi // Apr 17, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Lovely. The trailer really makes me want to get a copy of your book (and redo my kitchen!).

  • 4 Danielle // Apr 17, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I cannot wait for your book. I’ve been following your dinners for two years and I repeatedly break out in smiles over the food you cook and the family that eats it. The letters between you and your husband crack me up. Also, as someone who has recently moved back to Canada from the U.S., you make me jealous on a weekly basis because you get to shop at Trader Joe’s.


  • 5 Amanda // Apr 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

    What a great movie, I got a little teared up at one point when you said that we all walk around sometimes feeling like we are doing something wrong (with parenting) and man, does that ever sum me up. Maybe I need more coffee, but you put into words the exact reason I started to come to your blog and have just fallen head over heels in love with – dinner together makes up for all the supposed parenting sins.

  • 6 mk // Apr 17, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I also got teary. So beautiful – all of it. Just thanks.

  • 7 Reynaul // Apr 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Love the trailer! cant wait for the book to come out!

  • 8 stacey // Apr 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

    so so so excited for the book! and dang those breaded chicken cutlets looked good!!!

  • 9 june // Apr 17, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Yes, I agree with Amanda. That was my favorite part, too. I always feel like I’m doing something wrong Congratulations on the book! Off to pre-order right now!

  • 10 Cecilia // Apr 17, 2012 at 11:00 am

    i’m just floored, and so, so excited to read this book!

  • 11 Vicki // Apr 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I have been following you from the beginning. I always talk about your blog as the most approachable cooking blog out there. Congratulations on your next step!!

  • 12 Emilee // Apr 17, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I absolutely love this!! I cannot wait for the book to come out :) I already pre-ordered it for my mom as a late mothers day present!

  • 13 sclark // Apr 17, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Wow. That was lovely. I nearly cried watching this. Your book looks wonderful and I want it.

  • 14 Luisa // Apr 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

    It’s fantastic!! I love it! You look and sound great and the book just sells itself. Yay!

  • 15 Kendra // Apr 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Love it, love it, love it!

  • 16 Kate // Apr 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Love this! Well done!

  • 17 Carolyn // Apr 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Tissue, please! What a great video. You did great job, just being you, getting your message out there. I can’t wait for the book to arrive!!!!

  • 18 Anna // Apr 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    yay! this is a great video and made me super excited for the book. DALS is my favorite food/dinner blog, by far. and still, to this day, winning the go to weeknight dinner contest is one of my proudest accomplishments. great job + much continued success you. xo!

  • 19 Amanda // Apr 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Hey Jenny, you might consider submitting this trailer to http://bookriot.tv/. I’m not affiliated with them…They’re just a great site for book trailers!

  • 20 Jan @ Family Bites // Apr 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Goose bumps! I love it…great job.

  • 21 liz // Apr 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Fantastic! I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while now, and this trailer did exactly what it’s supposed to: persuaded me that I need to buy the book. Thank you for all that you do, because I know it’s a LOT of work, but a very worthwhile subject.

  • 22 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag // Apr 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Oh my GOODNESS, where to start???

    1) HOW CUTE/ADORABLE/DARLING/STUNNING are you???? (sooooooo cute/adorable/darling/stunning!)

    2) Your fairy lights! Your kitchen!

    3) Your table! I’ve been obsessed w/ yo table for a long time, I emailed you about it, not sure if you remember me harassing you about that. Love the chairs.

    4) My husband saw this w/ me and said, ‘You’re totally going to want to get this book, aren’t you” and I was like ‘I AM getting this book!’

    And when I do, I’m going to feature it and you on Julia’s Bookbag. (maybe a small wee interview? I’ll email you :)


  • 23 Claudine Campbell // Apr 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Love it! Can’t wait for the book and am going to have to put lights above my french doors :)

  • 24 Sherry // Apr 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    So all I’ll say is this. I haven’t watched the video yet because I am still just absorbing your wonderful, vivid account of the very process. Yes. You are a gifted, gifted writer. You have this uncanny, remarkable way of being so very spot-on with every observation and insight, while being incredibly humbled and modest as you go. I KNOW your trailer will be excellent. But I will savor your writings first (OK, also, I’m waiting for my boss to leave the office cause I’m sure this is not the sort of thing he considers “work”. ) This is a cookbook I will be excited and happy to own! Thank you for bringing such passion, wit, humor and reality to all of us. When you said “anything + broccoli = healthy dinner”, you were spying on my kitchen. :)

  • 25 Beverly // Apr 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Fantastic trailer, Jenny. You should be very proud of your hard work. I check your blog often and it is always inspirational. I look forward to reading your book.

  • 26 Rony // Apr 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I love this so much. And also i have the same shirt.

  • 27 Rachel // Apr 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    So great, Jenny! My favorite part is at the end. I share your feeling that no matter what other (perhaps countless) mistakes I have made in my day, if I get to sit down with my family for dinner, I have done one wonderful thing right. As always, thanks for your recipes, wisdom and good humor. Cannot wait to get the book!

  • 28 Erin@lovesomeblog // Apr 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Congratulations! You did great! Feeding and eating with my family is the glue that holds this whole ragtag thing together. Seriously.

  • 29 Anne // Apr 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    So love this – DALS has revolutionized our dinners! If you only knew the impact you have had. And what would make it better – if you were my neighbor.

  • 30 sengler // Apr 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Love it! You look SO COMFORTABLE (and adorable) on camera. Now I’m just waiting for your Food Network show.

  • 31 Rachel // Apr 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I’m so excited for this book. Time For Dinner is my most beloved and well-worn cookbook in my collection….thanks!

  • 32 Jenny // Apr 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    You guys are seriously the best readers ever. Thank you for every single one of these supportive comments and also for how enthusiastically you’ve embraced DALS these past few years. I promise to keep the self-promotion to a minimum — tomorrow we are back to our regularly scheduled programming: dinner! xx

  • 33 Deirdre // Apr 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Awesome job. Much easier to send a friend a link to this video than try to describe how great this site is—and how great the book will be!

  • 34 Claudia // Apr 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Jenny! This is fantastic!! Congratulations! You look and sound great — and love that your meals have such purpose and it’s all so beautifully summed up by you and your lovely self! I can’t wait for the book … and hopefully one day Dinner: A Love Story — the movie! :) Great work!

  • 35 erica // Apr 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    just wonderful.

  • 36 Beth // Apr 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    LOVED IT!!! The trailer made me tear up a little. I have been reading the blog almost since you started, and recomend it to all my friends. It really is such an insparation, and a reminder that dinner with a 3 year old and 1 year old is not how dinner will always be. Thank you! And can’t wait for the book.

  • 37 Christa // Apr 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    What’s not to LOVE! “Looking into your child’s eyes for the first time that day” … had me. Congratulations in all your endeavors.

  • 38 Andrea19 // Apr 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Wonderful! Your blog is inspirational.

  • 39 Miller // Apr 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Love love love. This is amazing and touching, and I love your work. Oh, sigh. Can’t wait for the book!

  • 40 Liz // Apr 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    You are the most adorable person ever. I’m totally out of your “target demographic” (if you have one) as I am over 50, widowed, and my children are grown. However, I was really moved when I saw your trailer because the one thing that I did right as a parent was family dinner. And the following story let me know that I was an okay mom.
    Several years ago my children were about 21 and 22 and living home for the summer. I was working part time at the high school where I am a counselor and spending a lot of time there with one particular teacher. She never had family dinner growing up. When she heard that I did a dinner almost every night, she was amazed and said, “It’s time for your kids to grow up! You shouldn’t have to cook dinner every night.” Wishing for a little freedom, I went home and said to my kids, “ya know, I don’t think I’ll cook family dinner anymore. You guys are too old.” Well, you would have thought that I killed a puppy! “What? No family dinner?” “Mom, don’t be ridiculous. We have to have family dinner.” I knew then that I was okay. My kids want to be around the dinner table with my husband and I. They love that time as much as we do.
    In August 2010 my husband died after fighting lung cancer. During his illness, I confess, dinner suffered. I realized that for the better part of 28 years I’d been cooking for him. “I lost my audience” is what I’ve said. But my kids still wish for my food and slowly I’m getting around to cooking for them. Cereal for me, anything they want for them.
    So thank you. Your blog is great. Andy is great too. And family dinner is a love story all its own.

  • 41 D // Apr 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    What a lovely video, and I have already per-ordered your book. Thank you for being an inspiration.

  • 42 Cay // Apr 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Anything that even peripherally involves your yogurt-marinated chicken, I’m in. We just had it (again) last night, where my husband said (again), “This is the best chicken I’ve ever had,” and my son (who despises yogurt and has to leave the room when anyone else is eating it) said, “Are you SURE this has yogurt in it? It’s so good!” Thank you guys for being out there; I only wish you lived next door to me!

  • 43 katherine // Apr 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    what a wonderful trailer! i feel like i got to know you better, even though i’ve been a follower for quite some time now. i don’t have a family yet, but in my classroom (i teach third grade), we have what’s as close as i’ve got to family dinner – story time! when my students and i gather around the carpet to read together, we have the most meaningful, insightful, and often emotional conversations (and on that note, as much as i love your recipe posts, my favorite series y’all do are the author/kids book recommendations). you’ve started a great tradition with your family, and i can’t wait to have your cookbook as a reference for when the time comes for me to begin the family dinner tradition myself.

  • 44 Mary // Apr 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Awesome Jenny!

  • 45 Elizabeth // Apr 18, 2012 at 12:33 am

    It looks great — can’t wait!

  • 46 Sarah // Apr 18, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Looks awesome, I can’t wait for the book:-)

  • 47 Mary // Apr 18, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I love this trailer! All this time I’ve had a Jenny-voice in my head whenever I read your posts. You sound nothing like I imagined! I wonder which voice will predominate now when I read DALS–real Jenny or imagined Jenny? :)

  • 48 Deb // Apr 18, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Cute trailer, Jenny! Just wanted you to know that in our house, a house of writers, a house FULL of books (so, so full), DALS is turning out to be the most anticipated book of the millenium, for both myself (cookbookaholic) AND my husband (which one’s the stove?) And it’s not so much about the food (it is), but rather that you and Andy have nailed the sweet spot in our lives, where we hope that in a psycho day of deadlines and soccer and what-the-heck, we can at least all have a lovely meal together without any stress or angst. You guys have become a part of our family. Thank you so much!

  • 49 Kathy // Apr 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I read your blog every day. I come into work, turn on my computer and one of the first things I do is choose “Dinner: A Love Story” on my bookmark toolbar. I can relate to almost every single post – our thoughts parallel in so many ways to our cooking and raising our families. I share your stories with friends and my recipe binder is full of your recipes that I have printed from your website (I do have your first book and can’t wait for your next one). So yesterday when I saw your trailer I found great happiness in finally meeting you and in being able to forward the link to my friends to say “Meet Jenny”. It is so great to finally put a face and voice to the person who values the ritual of sitting down together as a family for dinner as much as we do. It is how I grew up and it is how we raise our kids – it just feels right. Thanks so much!! Finally, someone who gets the pleasure of setting the table – it is as important to me as the meal itself!

  • 50 eila @ the full plate blog // Apr 18, 2012 at 10:27 am

    so, so excited!!! you are so easy for my readers to relate to, and aspire to be like– juggling a lot, staying upbeat, true to what’s important, and a sense of humor through it all. such a fan of your blog, and now cannot wait to read your print version. many, many congrats!!

  • 51 robin // Apr 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I just watched this trailer several times in a row and was struck by my observation that OMG, bloggers, they’re just like us! Here’s my confession: Sometimes, when I’m feeling especially down on myself, I read my favorite blogs and think, “She really has her act together. Why can’t I figure out dinner/organize my closets/dress myself? blah blah blah.” But here’s the rub. You look and sound like someone who could be my neighbor/friend/member of my book club! My family and I love your recipes. Your book is pre-ordered. Thanks so much for this blog.

  • 52 Susie // Apr 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Congrats. A real accomplishment – you should be really proud.

  • 53 sarah // Apr 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Love it! The book has been ordered and I can’t wait until June!

    BTW, your kitchen looks lovely….I really like the little white lights in the background. Can we see more kitchen shots?

  • 54 Susan // Apr 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    That was great! It was all so very true. I’ve been meaning to pre-order your book but after watching I just pre-ordered two copies – one for me and one for a friend. Can’t wait to get them. Thanks so much for the daily read… it makes me smile and then want to go into the kitchen.

  • 55 Lori Slater // Apr 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    This is amazing. I fell like there is a TV show here.
    I am also feeling bad, was this taken the day that I could not watch Iris?

  • 56 Kris // Apr 18, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I found DALS about six months ago and spent all night going back through the archives. I’ve read every post, in scary-obsessed fan fashion. The only item I had on my birthday wish list this year was your book…and my silly husband still didn’t manage to order it! He did get me a food processor, though, so…..Thank you for writing; I know I sound like a total sycophant, but you (and Andy–love posts by Andy!) make things sound simultaneously amazing and achievable and hilarious and touching. Consider me a DALS evangelist.

  • 57 Maria // Apr 19, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Awesome. How lovely to finally “meet” you through the video. I’ve been following your blog for the last year and a half and have enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks for sharing your meals and your family with us. You inspire me!

  • 58 kate // Apr 19, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile (Phoebe’s Moroccan Shrimp is one of the few things my picky one will eat…who would have thought!). I just wanted to say that your book looks beautiful and i can wait to snatch it up! Thanks for all the culinary (and family bonding) inspiration!

  • 59 Judy // Apr 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Love you even more after seeing this trailer. Can’t wait for the book!

  • 60 Judy // Apr 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I love you even more after seeing this trailer. Can’t wait for the book!

  • 61 Kimmy // Apr 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I have about 5 minutes of free time between putting my kids to bed and wanting to pass out myself, and this is where I want to be. I loved hearing your voice, I love your recipes, and I look forward to these 5 minutes every day.

  • 62 Tracy // Apr 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I am buying the book. You are so warm, real and natural on camera! I’ve enjoyed this blog/website for over a year (? I think) now and I’m so excited for you book to come out. Your recipes are great, and there is such depth when they’re written in the context of family life . . . . .chaotic, messy, unplanned, wonderful family life. I’m reminded to grit my teeth less whilst trying. to. get. dinner. made. (thank you very much), and just enjoy the good meals and craziness of it all. Bravo! & Congrats!

    (Hmmmm. . . I must really love this blog, as I just did math at 6:20 am to make this comment happen!) :-)

  • 63 Brittany // Apr 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Awesome. Will link the trailier to my readers at http://www.brittanyspantry.blogspot.com – and I am wierdly intrigued about the 24th…

  • 64 Caitlin // Apr 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I am coming late to this post but had to comment to let you know how amazing I think the trailer is. Beautifully done, I teared up a bit at one point. Can’t wait for the book, sending mass email with trailer link now.

  • 65 Namfon // Apr 24, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Great trailer and wonderful+inspirational stories. Can’t wait for DALS book :)

  • 66 Kris Connell // Apr 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Jenny – It’s fantastic! Relatable and aspirational! I was leaning into the screen, wearing my grey cardigan, to listen to every word you had to say, wearing your grey cardigan. Can’t wait for the book!


  • 67 Cydney // Apr 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Your book and the trailer are heartfelt and inspiring. I love that it’s a love story – and not just a book of recipes :)

  • 68 Teresa // Apr 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Great trailer Jenny. You are a natural! Can’t wait for DALS book!

  • 69 kristy // Apr 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Love the trailer! And the book is on my wish-list. Crazy question, though; is that just a simple string of white lights hanging in the background of your dining space? It looks oh-so-charming, along with the rest of your space!

  • 70 justaub // Apr 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    love the trailer
    i have loved you and your family (or what i know of you from here) since i started reading DALS
    and now…love you even more!

  • 71 Anne // Apr 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Love the video and all the great comments too. I will be buying the book for my sister who loves to cook and has a fussy eater in her pack.

  • 72 annie // Apr 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Great job on the trailer, now I really, really, really cannot wait for the book. It’s been preordered on Amazon forever!!

  • 73 Kerry // Apr 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    So excited for you and Andy! So excited for me to get your book in my greedy hands! I love your blog, and it was great to see and hear the person who has been cheering me on at 5:30 every night.

  • 74 Purchase Levothroid // May 22, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Love it!Awesome Jenny!

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