This month we read The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden by William Alexander.
Those of us with yards, gardens, or parents who had some of these found this book especially hilarious. Many of us had some memories of our parents putting us to work, and could relate to Williams's poor kids! This book really made you remember that yards are hard work, it kicks your butt...so why do I do this? Somehow it remains rewarding, still.
Our favorite parts had to do with the descriptions. Particularly delightful were the kids reactions to their crazy dad's projects; the Christopher Walken gardener; and all the great stories Madeline was reminded of her dad doing. Katie pointed out that the decorated apple have already been done...there was a business in the 80s called Apple Attactions that used to do this right here in Washington! We also liked that this book had recipes, although it ended up that none of us made them for the meeting. (Note, I later made his Leek Potato Soup and it was tasty!) We thought it was funny that her garden became the flower garden, and his became all the work. And those of us who had canned could totally relate to how that project can become too much.
Our main complains were that he was a little too obsessive and out of touch at times. Maybe unknowingly a bit elitist. His problems were all the problems of someone who doesn't have to raise food, but just does it because they want to, and can keep throwing money at all the problems that arise. But still made for a fun read.
Our potluck was very tasty this month:
Barbara W. – apple salad
Dawn – Costco chicken
Madeline - gazpacho, garlic cumin garbonzos, bbq sauce, Girl Scout cookies (lemon and peanut butter).
On a few sidenotes, Katie recommends checking out Fizz (a fermented limeade carried by Safeway). And Paul (Madeline's sweetie who joined us for dinner) recommends Girls Scout CoffeeMate - Carmel and Coconut! Makes your coffee taste just like a Samoa!
Next month we will be meeting back at our usual place to discuss Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer. Copies are now available at the Mountlake Terrace Library.