Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe

Much thanks to Katie S. for writing up this month's blog post while I (Dawn) was out sick.

The October selection was The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & CafĂ© by Mary Simses. It’s a book with a charming name and a gorgeous cover that was almost unanimously loved by the group.  Only one sourpuss malcontent didn’t like it, but enough about me.  [editor/Dawn's note: I didn't like it either.]

Enjoyed were, the sweet and romantic story, the investigative storyline, and that it was a light and quick read. At least one person even enjoyed feeling annoyed with the main character. Overall people thought it was a refreshing change of pace from some of the more serious and information dense books we’ve read recently. 

Everyone agreed that the food mentioned in the book sounded like the type of food we’d all like to eat – the many composed salads and intriguing sandwich combinations, the seafood, and of course the cornucopia of baked goods. 

The book also brought forth fond family memories for many, such as parents or grandparents making donuts, and having turkey cooked a million different ways. The very important question was raised – can you cook donuts in a turkey fryer? 

We tended to veer off topic pretty easily, agreeing that while the book was enjoyed, it didn’t offer tons of discussion topics. So, it’s only natural that we’d contemplate the merits of green bean casserole, and brainstorm fun things to do with dry ice. 

The food, as always, was top-notch:

Laura – Lentil & potato soup with homegrown leeks 

Mad – Caesar salad 


Sunny – Creamy broccoli casserole and fresh fruit 

 Bobbie – Blueberry muffins 

Barbara – Blueberry encrusted chevre with raisin rosemary crisps 
Katie – Apple cider donuts

Next month we are discussing Little Century by Anna Keesey. I'm really not sure how foodie it is, but a quick peek in google books shows that if nothing else there is chicken, potatoes, whiskey, and ice cream, so we should be alright.

There might still be a few copies at the Mountlake Terrace Library from the book discussion kit (ask at the desk), but there are also plenty of copies in the library system to order, too.

See you next month!

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Telling Room

Where has the time gone? September went by too fast!

Last month we read The Telling Room a Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti.

This was not our favorite book, despite high hopes (since we love cheese). Some folks found it tedious and uninteresting, and couldn't figure out where it was going. The people who enjoyed it most seemed to be those who skipped the footnotes (that went on forever), although there were a few great asides here and there.

What we appreciated about the book, was the romance of leaving America to live off the land, free of conveniences. The characters, food, and deli chapter were likable. Liked the stories, such as the old woman who walked a far distance every day just to spit on her enemy's grave. (I wanted to know more about the assassin known as The Freckle...she sounded much more interesting them some grouchy old cheese maker.)

 We especially enjoyed the passion of the Spanish people, the crazy folk sayings (I shit in the milk of God), and references to Slow Food movement. The cheese descriptions were divine, as were those of local wine and sausage. 

Overall, there were too many distracting footnotes. It felt too long winded, as though he was trying to stretch a magazine article into a book. One reader said: "The book was like a bad date. The food was great, but I couldn't wait for the author to shut up."

We didn't have a big group, but we did have a good meal:


Dawn – Manchego and wine

Heather McN – egg tart with potatos and onions 

Katie W. – grapes, apples, pears 

Roberta - Paramo Guzman?


Sunny S. – Berry Shortcake and Cream   

Madeline - shrimp and pear salad 

Next month...I mean next WEEK, we will be discussing The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary Simses. This takes place in Maine and has all kinds of yummy foods in it, but no recipes (so far).

See you very soon!