Here is something for the blog. Feel free to edit as you wish.
The first rule about Culinary Book Club is you DO talk about Culinary Book Club. Our bi-monthly meeting at Boulevard Market is all about conversation. Sure, we meet originally to talk about the book we have all read, which is always food related. But we do not hesitate to branch out into discussions of family, pets, local events, and pretty much any sidetrack our train of thought chooses to explore.
Last night's meeting was especially fun for me as this week was my birthday, and Erika made a wonderful Italian Cream Cake for our celebration. We all brought food that was inspired, but not limited to, dishes and influences from "The School Of Essential Ingredients" by Erica Bauermeister. The book was a story of a restaurant owner, Lillian, who offers a cooking class, and it explores the lives and experiences of the class members, and shows how food and learning to fully appreciate it can change their lives.
We all enjoyed this book (not always the case with previous books, but that in itself is good for conversation). The descriptions of the characters were as well presented as the food that they were making. The author really made us care about these people, and left us hoping for more. A sequel? A movie? They are people we would like to know more about.
The book inspired me to make a Curried Butternut Squash Soup. It was not specifically mentioned in the book, but for me it contains some essential ingredients, so it fit into the "inspirational" category. I am very fond of local, fresh ingredients, and I still had some butternut squash from Prochaska Farms this fall. I also used some of our homemade wine, a blend of LaCrosse and St. Pepin grapes from 2009. I followed a basic recipe from the Round Barn Winery. http://www.michiganwines.com/page.php?page_id=145
I kicked up the curry powder a bit because I kinda like it spicy. And I may have added a touch more wine.
I hope the other book club members will post some of their recipes. We had a very nice variety of tasty dishes, and lots of memories and thoughts to share. It is so nice when strangers with a common connection can come together and become friends.
Perhaps you should join us for the next Culinary Book Club meeting.
Flying Otter Vineyard
3402 Chase Road
Adrian, MI 49221
NOTE: The only food I did not get a photo of was Gretchen's Mexican Hot Chocolate...I was not thinking photo, I was too busy enjoying her fabulous chocolate!