Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Lost Symbol....and a tamale...

Lorainne Beckett graciously hosted our book club meeting tonight. She is always a delight to visit with. Her home is immaculate and her decor is so unique. I love it. Thank you, Lorainne for welcoming us into your home. Dan Brown's new novel, The Lost Symbol had no clever food references...and so, as Lorainne put it..."I decided to make whatever I wanted!" And I know I'm not the only one who is thankful that you did! Delicious and beautiful enchiladas, two types of tamales, lemonade, limeade, ice water and a whole tray of assorted cookies to choose from. The perfect spread. And it must be noted that the plates she used were paper...but looked so beautiful, I thought they were glass. Blue and white with an Italian flare.

Book discussion was a mixture of religion, Dan Brown's seeming desire to "un-earth" the secrets within religions/societies, the shock of how the entire book only spanned one day in the life of Robert Langdon, and some it's "unbelievable" qualities. I must say though...this man does do his research and I am so thankful for the small peek into other religions, cultures and ideas. It was an experience in expansion of ideas and thoughts. Thanks, Dan. Oh, and thanks to Chari for giving the tutorial on the Kindle. Christmas lists are all being revised as we speak!

January's book will be Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicolas Sparks the meeting will be at Cari Ann Olsen's home. Here is a little synopsis to get you hooked:

As moving as his bestselling works of fiction, Nicholas Sparks's unique memoir, written with his brother, chronicles the life-affirming journey of two brothers bound by memories, both humorous and tragicIn January 2003, Nicholas Sparks and his brother, Micah, set off on a three-week trip around the globe. It was to mark a milestone in their lives, for at thirty-seven and thirty-eight respectively, they were now the only surviving members of their family. Against the backdrop of the wonders of the world and often overtaken by their feelings, daredevil Micah and the more serious, introspective Nicholas recalled their rambunctious childhood adventures and the tragedies that tested their faith. And in the process, they discovered startling truths about loss, love, and hope.Narrated with irrepressible humor and rare candor, and including personal photos, THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER reminds us to embrace life with all its uncertainties...and most of all, to cherish the joyful times, both small and momentous, and the wonderful people who make them possible.

February will be Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel by (one of our favorite authors) Jeanette Walls (The Glass Castle). Karalea Richards will be hosting that month (that's me! yippee!)

Alchemy and Potato Peel Pie

Alchemy and Potato Peel Pie, they go together, right? Well, if they don't they are going to be forced to co-exist in this post. Life has gotten more crazy with school starting (three kids in should have given me MORE time, right? Not so.) and a new church calling filling up many of my hours....alas I have gotten behind yet again. So here we go. Recap.

Our September book club meeting was held at Simone's home and I am still mentally savoring the delicious Brazilian delicacies that came from that woman's kitchen. Let me just say....sweetened condensed milk. Oh....heavenly goodness. Simone went out of her way preparing food from her homeland and i (no, we) appreciated it so much. Thank you, Simone.

On a side note (that is how the book discussion felt, after the food!), the book, The Alchemist, by Paulo Cohelo was discussed and got...oh, probably a 50% approval rating. Some seemed to feel that it did not end properly, or there was confusion about the general story/moral of the book. Those who did like it, seemed to rave and maybe...just maybe...convinced the non-believers that this was a book worth reading...and owning. Let's just say it drew a different crowd (Tom and Paul). All in all, my memories of this book club night were filled with sweetness. I'm not sure if that was the sweetened condensed milk, or Simone's hospitality or just being together with good friends discussing books and life. Probably the whole mix.

October meeting was at Betty Richardson's home with her co-host, Shauna Orton. Again, I must start with the food. A savory sweet potato dish, sweet potato fries, hummus, chocolate "pringles-shaped" chips, apple cider, and more....oh, note to self..."don't eat on book club Tuesday...food too good to pass up." So delicious.

Discussion ranged from the Nazi's taking over Gurnsey island to the lost art of letter writing. Questions like, "Would you send your children off the island for an undetermined amount of time for their own safety?" were posed. It was a very interesting discussion. A great night. (A windy night, if you remember....howling wind blowing outside as we all sat warm and toasty inside Betty's beautiful home). Thanks to Shauna (for baking and keeping us on track with the discussion) and to Betty for offering her home, hospitality....and hummus.