I soon found series Bobbsey Twins, Donna Parker and Nancy Drew just to mention a few , but my all time favorite was the Trixie Beldon collection. My friend Terri introduced me to Trixie Beldon during summer vacation of 4th grade. One of my best childhood memories is settling down on the couch with a bologna and raw onion (with lots of mayo) sandwich and a cup of sweet hot tea and a Trixie Beldon book. I can still imagine Terri and I camped out in her living room with our legs draped over a chair and our nose in a book!
But when I got to high school/college, my love for reading came to a abrupt end. The required High School/College reading list stomped that love in the ground. The Odyssey, Oedipus, Tale of Two Cities, yuck, yuck and double yuck! Sorry to offend you English scholars - but these books made no sense to me. It was all I could do to keep up with what I HAD to read, thus pleasure reading lots its appeal. Maybe I can redeem myself by saying I did like To Kill A Mocking Bird, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Catcher in the Rye.
So when I received an e-mail from Church friend, Pepper that she and her friend Shelli were starting a book club and would I be interested in joining - I was ecstatic. I had been wanting to join or start a book club for the longest time and this was the perfect opportunity. Pepper and Shelli graciously open their homes on the 2nd Thursday of the month, where 15 (or so) women meet to discuss the book of the month. What I really love is that it has forced me to go "outside the box" of my typical genre. I tend to gravitate to Mystery/Suspense, with a little Southern Novel flair thrown in occasionally.
I have read books that I would have never chosen for myself or imagined I would actually enjoy! This month's selection was Sarah's Key. If you have never read this book - it is definitely one to consider adding to your list. The book is fiction, but the "background" story is not. Its one of those books that touch so many emotions. It will break your heart and make you smile.
And, I love my Book Club. It a great group of ladies that I have grown quite fond. We sometimes don't agree on liking or disliking a book - but that just makes for lively conversation. It is truly one of my favorite days of the month!
The Sunflower Sisters!
Of course you simply cannot have a book club without food. We generally "theme" our menu with the book. It is our good fortune to have lots of great cooks in our group! The setting for the book this month is in France present day/1942 and one of the main characters is Jewish. So our menu was Jewish or French cuisine.
I have several Jewish friends from my Contessa Board, so I knew had a great source for suggestions! My first thought was Noodle Kugel, so I volunteered to bring that. Hilary also gave me suggestions of Matzah Crunch and apple cake (which is on my "to make" recipe pile). Linda gave me her favorite recipe for Noodle Kugel. I knew I could count on them!
see below for recipe
go here to view recipe
4-6 sheets matzah (can substitute saltines or graham crackers)
1cup unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
big pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
line baking pan with foil - then parchment paper (very important - I used wax paper with iffy results)
preheat oven to 375
in saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stir til butter melted and bring mixture to a boil. Boil 3 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add salt and vanilla. Pour over crackers and spread evenly with heat proof spatula. Put in over - reduce to 350 . Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chip. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with spatula. Sprinkle top with toasted almonds or sea salt. I put in fridge overnight just to really "set". Break into pieces! Enjoy!
**Hint - you CANNOT have just one piece!
And aalthough Book Club is winding down for a summer break - I will still be "hitting the books" this summer!
Ya'll come back!
May the Lord bless his people with peace and happiness and let them CELEBRATE! Psalm 64:10
*Originally posted April 25, 2012