Overall the reception to this book was quite warm. The romance was nice, without being disgustingly sweet or too frustrating. We were glad to have someone who appreciated the awesome life in France they were experiencing (unlike the lady from Trail of Crumbs).
What we enjoyed most was seeing the cultural differences of life in France (plus, the food, of course!). The incident with the mother-in-law giving her a reality check about the size of dessert she was going to eat was a very good example. It wasn't a guilt trip, but sincere concern for her health, in the sense that the cultural expectation wasn't "eat lots of what I serve to accept my love", but "experience it yes, but don't overindulge just because the opportunity presents itself". We agreed that American portion sizes are just crazy, and we as a culture need to seriously examine ourselves.
What we all envied was the lifestyle where you can walk to a fabulous market every day and select fresh produce and meats and cheeses and cook them that day, without it being a big production or part of a laborious commute like it would be here. And it was pretty much agreed that language would be the most challenging barrier of a move like this, but would probably be worth it for the experience.
Our dinner was truly lovely...it really is fun when we have great recipes to choose from!
To start out Laura H made the Better Than French Onion Soup (which looked lovely in the individual pots with cheese, but we ate them before I remembered to take a picture!)
Katie W. baked the Savory “Cake” with Bacon, Figs and Chervil which was very tasty...a bit like a corn bread but maybe 10 times better.
Dawn made the Fennel Salad with Lemon, Olive Oil, and Pomegranate Seeds and the Lentils with White Wine, Herbs, and Tomatoes.
Katie S. used puff pastry to make a savory treat: Goat Cheese, Tomato, and Anchovy Tarts!
Heather McN supplied some delightful frozen treats...eggnog gelato and raspberry, too (sorry I forgot to get a picture...one again, too busy snarfing down the delicious treats!)
Next month, we will again be meeting at Heather's house (due to a conflict at the church), and discussing The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure. There are a few extra copies just for the bookgroup waiting at the Mountlake Terrace Library behind the desk, or you can order it through the library's website.