Julia Child Themed Book Club Dinner

First, the evidence:

Well, if you haven’t read the book Julie and Julia yet, my personal opinion is to skip the book (I can’t believe I’m saying this) and go straight to the movie! I can’t remember ever saying this before – to ignore a BOOK and watch the movie! Yikes. Scandalous! I’m scaring myself, but the book was not my cup of tea. The movie, however, was delightful! It just made me want to, to, to, chop onions!

My book club decided to hold a potluck Julia Child dinner. Our hostess made the signature entree, Boeuf à la Bourguignonne (Beef Stew in Red Wine, with Bacon, Onions and Mushrooms). Served over rice, it was truly, as Julia might say, “Yum”. I made Potato Leek Soup – my first experience with leeks. Served with some fresh chives chopped on top, it was a great lead-in to the meal. Others made such things as Chocolate Almond Cake, Chocolate Mousse, a beet and orange salad, an apple custard side dish, and a corn salad. What fun it was to pretend we are all sophisticated chefs! And now (a little drum roll, please) I present my first video blog entry. Turn up your sound and wait for it to buffer:

Here are my dear friends, enjoying great food and company one September evening in 2009. And, just to redeem myself, I will recommend reading Julia’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volumes 1 and 2 as well as My Life in France.

Have you ever had a book discussion which included food from the era or areas mentioned in the book? Please leave your comments below. I’d also love to hear your ideas of food and book pairings that could be fun. Thanks for reading. I recently learned there is a term for people like you who read blogs. You are called Bleaders. 🙂

Published in: on September 12, 2009 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

A good night’s sleep at my daughter and son-in-law’s home. This day is “so far so good”! The GPS got me to the conference center only a little late. The scrambled egs were predictable, but the coffee surprisingly good! We just heard Robert Spector speak about his book, The Mom and Pop Store. Then Loren Long with what might be my favorite new picture book, Otis, about the relationship between a little tractor and a calf. Now we are listening to the hysterical young adult novelist, Libba Bray, talk about her new work, Going Bovine. Next up, Jonathan Safron Foer, with his book, Eating Animals, asking the question,”What is meat?”.

After this, I hit the trade floor with my sneakers on, meeting reps and buying books to bring home for our customers to love.

Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Tradeshow – Portland, OR

Here I am in Portland, OR at the Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Association tradeshow. I’ve already met several new author friends who are considering a visit to meet readers in Yakima. I also attended some workshops on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. I learned so much AND Jason, our resident techie, is with me to interpret what I heard! Stay tuned for some updates, photos and hot book news!

Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 12:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Movie Review

Well, only the top half of this image copied, but it is quite fitting for this review. Pieces of April. A 2003 B-type movie, this is a story about all the ways that April is pulled – almost into pieces. I started this movie and within 10 minutes I was thinking I might not finish watching it. The language is raw and the scenes are harsh, but the story just kept pulling me in. April is living in a rough neighborhood in New York City with her boyfriend, Bobby. She is estranged from her family, always having been very different from them. Now, her mother is dying of cancer and they are coming to April’s for Thanksgiving. Her brother, a budding photographer, seems very tender. Her little sister, though likeable, is irritatingly sweet. Her Dad is already grieving, not only the imminent loss of his wife, but the loss of the relationship with April. April’s mom is a somewhat cynical, determined woman who is starting to see things a little more clearly through the lens of her illness. And Grandma is coming too – in an Alzheimer fog, but surprisingly brilliant.

Bobby is helping April do something she has never done before – be a cook and hostess and offer love when she doesn’t feel like it. Before the day is over – you might call it the Day of the Traveling Turkey – April needs to seek and accept the help of many different kinds of people. This is a beautiful movie. I was not expecting to even write a favorable review in the beginning. A click on the blog title should take you to a webpage about the movie. Please believe me when I say this is well worth watching.

Published in: on September 3, 2009 at 5:29 pm  Comments (2)