I don’t do well with compliments.When someone praises me or my baked goods, I usually try to brush it off. This never works, of course, and I’ve slowly gotten better at just graciously saying “Thank you.” But you can imagine my embarrassment when a mutual friend introduced me to Ruth Reichl, the famous food writer and former editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine—and immediately my friend told her that not only was I writing a cookbook, but that I also made the best babka she had ever tasted! Ms. Reichl peered at me through her glasses as if she were sizing me up. Thankfully, she was very gracious and, sensing my discomfort, changed the subject, and we had a lovely conversation about New Zealand instead. But if I ever have a chance to meet her again, I’ll bake her this babka.