Friday, March 16, 2012

Eating Our Way Through Europe

So, I promised book club photos, and here they are! I know I've said this before, but the sheer awesomeness of the book-club experience has been one of those surprising delights of being a novelist. I'd never been a member of a book club prior to publishing According to Jane, never so much as attended a meeting -- although I'd heard about them and had friends who were in them. However, after going to my first one and finding out how incredibly fun it was to talk about novels (mine or someone else's) with such bright, charming women, I became a fan for life. And that was even before I realized just how many delicious foods we'd be eating every time!

Chris and I above were holding court over the extremely healthy side of the kitchen (gorgeous salad! fruit and cheese plate!), and Marty and Allison, to the right, were getting out the wine and the sangria (!!) while the final touches were being added to some of the other dishes. For the book discussion of A Summer in Europe, it was decided by the president (Allison) and the member who chose the novel (Lisa) that everyone attending should bring/make a dish from somewhere in Europe and, if they had pictures of one of their personal European trips, to bring those along, too.

Well, Lisa and her daughter Megan (pictured left), who had both studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria -- a couple of decades apart -- had some beautiful photos of their respective trips and jointly made an amazingly yummy and oh-so-buttery kind of Austrian crepe-like pancake (I should have asked them to write the name down because it was in German and I couldn't pronounce it to save my life, but, boy, was it ever delicious!!) and they served it with warm jam on top. SO GOOD.

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang arrived (pictured with their heart-healthy wine and sangria glasses: Marcie, Marty, Allison, Claudia and Dori) and, between them, brought apple strudel, spinach quiche, spaghetti squash with Italian sauce, pesto pasta, hazelnut-chocolate pie, marzipan/almond cookies...and more! No doubt about it, we had a fabulous feast.

As for me? Well, you won't be shocked to learn that I brought six flavors of gelato :). The limoncello, the chocolate and the salted caramel were declared the favorites...

Today, I'm blogging on Magical Musings about that feeling of luck (with or without any actual good fortune) and wishing everyone reading this -- whether or not you're Irish, whether or not you'll willingly eat corned beef and cabbage (I'll stick with soda bread and Shamrock Shakes, thank you!) -- a very Happy St. Patrick's Day tomorrow!! Is anyone doing anything special to celebrate?


Edie Ramer said...

Marilyn, I'm hungry just looking at the recipes. And gelato is a refreshingly perfect way to end that fabulous feast.

Marilyn Brant said...

Edie, I know I wasn't the only one who was positively bursting after devouring all of this food... I wasn't even kind of hungry until the afternoon of the next day :). Have a wonderful weekend!!

Candy M said...

Wow, you all did have a feast! It all sounds so good! What fabulous reading group you have there!

Marilyn Brant said...

Candy, thank you!!
It really WAS a feast...but, even better than the food (which was SO good), was the company. This is one terrific book club. Wish you and Edie could have been there as well!

Caryn Caldwell said...

That looks like so much fun, not to mention delicious! Glad you had a good time!

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, Caryn!!
Definitely delicious...I gained about four pounds in one night, LOL. ;)