Book:Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Food: Moosewood Kitchen's French Vegetable Bean Stew, Roasted Beets with Feta, Cheese and crackers, Bread, and a homemade Raspberry Linzer Torte
Wine of the Night: Chapelle St. Arnoux Cotes du Rhone
One thing that I really enjoy about book club is planning the menu and preparing the food. I love feeding people. This time, I had March, which I always find a slightly difficult time to plan food for. Is it going to be cold?Warm? I don't want to make stew if it is hot, or something springy if it is cold. It ended up being a chilly day, so I was able to make stew. I love the Moosewood books, and this recipe I got from the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites Cookbook. The stew was thick and hearty, and everyone seemed to enjoy it, and I hope it warmed everyone's bones.
I also attempted a linzer torte. I am not the most fabulous baker in the world, so I enlisted the help of my mother, who is. Together, we spent three hours baking it! We had a great time baking and dancing around my tiny kitchen to Stevie Nicks and Van Morrison. (two of my favorites!) I think it turned out delicious!! I wish I could have served it warm but I forgot to heat it up when everyone came over. It was awesome, but would have been perfect a little warmed up.
This is the Smitten Kitchen version; our's wasn't quite as pretty. But it was delicious!
After stuffing our faces full of food, we got down to the book discussion. We didn't really want to talk about exploding buboes while eating for some reason.
Everyone was shocked by the big secret reveal in the book, except me, because I am jaded or something. I just felt something was wrong in their marriage for some reason. For Jennifer, it just about ruined the book. She was very upset at this secret, and I have found in reading other reviews, that other people felt this way too. I can see understand there position.
We talked about what we would do in that position. Would we stay, or go?
For practical Chrissy, her answer depended on a few things - if she had children, what is her financial status, if she had family that would take her in..all of these are factors that Chrissy would need to consider in making this decision. But she thinks she would stay since the chances of getting it elsewhere also exists.
Mary said she would stay, especially if everyone she loved had succumbed. Jennifer said "I doubt I would've left the village. Mr. Mompellion's argument was a strong one (even if he turned out to be a butthole) and I think at that time people were more apt to help others out in their own villages, even if they were risking the plague. Also at that time, you would have no idea if other villages were safe, it's not like they had Channel 7 action news so taking the chances of leaving home to just become ill somewhere else doesn't sound so hot to me." As for me... I would have stayed too.
We all ate and drank and talked and talked, as always. I love our book club nights, and this time with my friends. It is a dedicated night every month, that we all stop our lives for a few hours and catch up.
April is Alyssa, and our book is Still Missing by Chevy Stevens.