Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Book Tour Stops Here: "My Year With Eleanor" by Noelle Hancock, Served with Eleanor Roosevelt's Scrambled Eggs

Entertainment blogger Noelle Hancock was so busy and wrapped up in writing about the latest celebrity exploits she was neglecting her own life. Having a rare relaxing moment sipping piña coladas on the beach in Aruba, when a co-worker calls and the website has been shut down. Three weeks later, without a job and realizing she's also without much of a life, Noelle was making the rounds of coffee shops when she spies a quote on a chalkboard:
"Do one thing everyday that scares you"
--Eleanor Roosevelt
Ruminating over the quote, Noelle decides to spend the last year of her twenties doing the things she fears and confronting the self imposed insecurities and fears that have ruled her life.

Noelle Hancock's "Year of Fear" is chronicled in her book "My Year With Eleanor: A Memoir." The book's almost 300 pages fly by with Hancock's fun and breezy writing style. It reads as if you are meeting an old friend for coffee, catching up and laughing while they recount their crazy exploits. Some of the things Nicole does to overcome fears are grander gestures--climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, shark diving, taking fighter pilot lessons, sky diving. Others are smaller but no less significant--volunteering at a hospital, negotiating interest rates, meeting with former boyfriends to find out why relationships ended. It's the smaller, more personal changes she made that I found most endearing and engaging. Don't we all have tiny little fears that keep us from doing very simple things?

Interwoven throughout the book are the things that Hancock learned about Eleanor Roosevelt and how Eleanor overcame her own fears and forged a path for herself to an incredible and meaningful life. As an admirer of Eleanor Roosevelt ever since I wrote a report on her in grade school, I loved reading her stories, experiences and transformation alongside the author's.
"Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don't be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren't paying any attention to you."
--Eleanor Roosevelt
The book is fun, insightful, and easy to relate to--whether you are ready to climb a mountain or not. Eleanor Roosevelt changed throughout her life from a timid young girl, to a courageous woman. Noelle Hancock found herself changing during her "Year of Fear" to be bolder, more passionate and more engaged with life. In this book, I learned a little something from both of them.

You can see what some other bloggers had to say about "My Year With Eleanor" and learn more about the author Noelle Hancock, by going to the TLC Book Tours page and following the links.

My first idea in making something inspired by "My Year With Eleanor" was to make something I am "afraid" to make, something that intimidates me. Alas, I got a bit behind with life in general and I needed to make something quick and easy, so I looked to see if Eleanor Roosevelt had any recipes that she was known for. Turns out Eleanor wasn't much of a foodie, but there were a few to choose from and I ended up with her eggs.

From a Gourmet article from 2009 entitled "FDR's Anti-Epicurean White House" Laura Shapiro says, "It was a Roosevelt family tradition to have scrambled eggs on Sunday night, and Eleanor used to make them herself in a chafing dish, right at the table. In a lifetime packed with servants, this was the only meal she regularly cooked. The rest of the menu—“cold meat and salad, a cold dessert and cocoa” as she described it once—was probably assembled by other hands. But Eleanor scrambled the eggs."

Eleanor's eggs were no means a health food dish as they are scrambled with cream cheese and cream, but they sounded like fun and I found a recipe on Recipe and made a half-batch.

"This was a favorite dish of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was prepared frequently for him by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. She would usually prepare this recipe in a chafing dish at the dinner table."

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's Scrambled Eggs
Source: Portsmouth, Ohio-Times, Thursday, 12/28/49 via Antilope at
(Serves 4)

1 (3 oz) package Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup cream or top milk
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
few grains of pepper

Mash the cream cheese with a fork into a frying pan. Add cream or top milk, and heat until cheese has melted and cream is bubbling.

Break eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add salt and pepper to beaten eggs and mix all ingredients with the cream cheese mixture in the frying pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pan, using long, folding strokes.

Remove from heat when consistency is creamy and serve at once. Do not overcook.

Notes/Results: Creamy and dreamy eggs--these are fluffy and full of flavor. Although Eleanor was not a fancy woman, I didn't think she would mind if I served my eggs on a leftover (toasted) crumpet that needed to be used (Eleanor liked thrifty) and added a layer of sauteed spinach (I need my greens), and sprinkled on some tarragon and chives (just a bit of each) from my herb garden. I used some local golden-yolked eggs from the farmers market, fresh and perfect. I can see why Eleanor made these right at the table, the eggs are much prettier right out of the pan and I was a bit slow in getting them plated and pictures snapped. Still they were quite yummy as a light lunch/brunch with some fresh fruit. I would make them again.

Note: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher through TLC Book Tours but I was not compensated for this review or influenced by anyone--as always my thoughts and opinions (on books and scrambled eggs) are my own. ;-)


  1. I think eleanor would have been quite pleased with your rendition of her eggs! They sound quite creamy and dreamy.

  2. This sounds like a fun book...and I don't think she'd object to the way you served those tempting eggs, either...I'll take an order, please ;)

  3. looks wonderful! and sounds like a good book!

  4. Oh I wish I had seen this a few days ago, Deb. August 8th was Eleanor Roosevelt Day but I'm sure you knew that!

    Fabulous post and I agree, she would have been quite happy with those eggs. The crumpet is the perfect touch.

    Thank you so much for sharing...I'm filing this post to share next year!!!

  5. I am adding this book to my list, it sounds like something I would love!

  6. Not being much of a cook myself I was a bit worried about what you'd come up with that you were afraid to cook (certainly something I'd never be able to do!) so I'm pleased to see that you did these eggs - now THAT is something I can handle. :)

    Glad you enjoyed the book. Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  7. Joanne--Thanks! I think she would have liked them too. ;-)

    girlichef--thanks! It is a very fun book--quite inspiring. ;-)


    louise--I had no idea about Eleanor Roosevelt Day. Fun! I'll remember that for next year!

    Pam--I bet you would enjoy this book.

    heathertlc--yep, if Eleanor and I can make these eggs you can too! Thanks for stopping by and letting me be part of the tour. ;-)


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