Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Hundred Foot Journey

 This month we read The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais.   This was a sumptuous book, packed full of amazing food descriptions, but alas, no recipes.

Most of the group found the book delightful overall, although they were uncertain where it was going at first.  Morais is a "wonderful, descriptive writer", whose writing one reader found beautiful but "too much like a fairytale".  Another was reminded why she does not want to visit India, as she "could not handle the filth and poverty".

Our favorite parts of the book were the gorgeous descriptions of the French countryside and reader felt this read like "a set of travel snapshots" (although another felt the book was like a "bunch of magazines stories squashed together").  The hard core foodies amoungst us loved the section with the foodcart, and the porchini mushroom festival the family visits on their European tour.  But also appreciated were the interesting relationships in the book, and getting the perspective of what might be the driving force behind non-Americans.

What people disliked a variety of small things about this book.  They were frustrated that the relationship between the main character and his sister never really developed.  That the pacing felt inconsistent (perhaps the author's journalist background lead to this?)  Opposing viewpoints in the group held that it was too much like a fairytale, where another wanted it to be a true story.  Another found the butchering descriptions far to realistic and frequent.  There was much frustration expressed towards Madame Mallory...from her only eating at the restaurant once, to the amount of control she had over the town, and that she was responsible for almost killing the kid, but faced no charges.

There were many drool-worthy passages in this book, with tons of appetizing descriptions on practically every page.  But the memorial dinner for his friend Paul really stuck out in people's minds.

Our own feast was just lovely this month!  The desserts were particularly exceptional.

Barbara  – croissants and cheese

Dawn –   champagne and sparking cider

Heather McN – chicken tikka masala, 3 bean marinated salad, rice brown/white

Jane - roasted fingerling potatoes, with creme fresh and caviar

Julie - Ezell's Chicken  and rolls

Katie S. –   Haricots Verts with Dijon-Shallot Vinaigrette and  Chutney with blue cheese.


Katie W. –  crème brûlée

Laura  –   dessert - pear claufouti and homemade vanilla bean ice cream, and spinach pear salad.

Madeline -  (house arrest – calling in)

Vernetta – mushroom soup

Next month:  The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball:, thirtysomething, working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. Kristin knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to five hundred acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him.

There are currently copies available at the Mountlake Terrace Library. We will not be meeting at our usual location, due to a conflict.  Be sure to check our Facebook page, or the email list for more details the week before!  See you in March...

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