Tag Archives: book group

fruit tart AND cinnamon covered almonds

You might be shocked to hear that I turned off the sewing machine for the evening and crept up into the kitchen to make something, from scratch. I had to host my book group so I decided to mix it up and prepare something not including chocolate, an extremely curious decision- am I finally a grown up? losing my marbles? getting sick?  Making something different- like a fruit tart- hit me while I was running that morning, after some self reflection, I can (perhaps) admit the reasoning: I lack the stamina to say “no” to homemade chocolate treats. But last night, I easily stopped at one serving. I’ll portion out the leftovers to my neighbors (ladies, get ready for a knock). Even still, I’d better keep one slice of the tart for dessert tonight… therefore continuing my two-steps-forward one-step-back approach to diet, exercise and life.
The recipe is from Joy of Baking.

BUT after all of that work whisking ingredients and fretting over pastry crust, the big hit with the ladies was a bag of cinnamon covered almonds I grabbed while running through the grocery store. Delicious and still sans chocolate? That is saying a lot about these cinnamony nuggets of flavor.
The book we read was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline a book I have read (listened to) twice now and loved both times.

Here’s the schtick:
“At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.”

I’m not a huge fan of science-fiction, but I really enjoyed this book. Well written and chocked full of references to the 1980’s pop culture- the era in which I grew up, it’s social commentary leaves you pondering what life on earth might become if we continue on our current path of interneting and environmental insensitivity.

wedding dress party

The book group Wear Your Wedding Dress (and bring your photo album) Event went off perfectly last night. It was a riot trying to guess which dress belonged to whom as Steph, our hostess, drew from the pile, removed the archival case and displayed each one- we seldom got it right. Everyone remembered their wedding photo albums and with the exception of VaLene whose dress is stored far away in Oregon… we all suited up and attempted to zip…  We passed around and poured over photo albums and marveled at 1990’s fashion, the years that have flown by, the 33 children we collectively mother and that includes three sets of fraternal girl twins. And 9 husbands we owe some credit to- pictured in albums but not pictured above. I had to throw in some credit to the husbands because I know what you might be thinking,  and nice try but NO we aren’t sister wives…

This is NOT the case… but it sure is funny to joke about. We thought it would be inappropriately appropriate to put the long suffering Dave (husband of the hostess) in the picture, just for kicks and giggles. He appears a tad bit nervous.

Oh, if only I could laugh that hard and eat so many delicious treats every day…

Lord of the Flies book group


Last night I hosted book group. We had read Lord of the Flies, a very good re-read, it’s been since high school when I read it the first time. It was surprising how much I had forgotten, other parts I still remembered all these years later, but quite different from an adult/parent perspective.
Anyway, as you can see…I got a little crazy with the treats. I went with the theme of the book. Fruit, and lots of it, pig, (pulled pork from Smokehouse…yummm) guacamole, mango salsa and- I had to throw in cupcakes- because if it had been girls on that island don’t you think we would have figured out how to bake up a batch of scrumptious treats one way or another!?
We even had a conch on hand, although we didn’t bother passing it around to speak, that might be taking it a little too far.
I felt like a Piggy (or the Piggy) after the feast. I lieu of a warm beach on a coral island to lay on, we basked in front of the fire on the couch. Good times- it’s always super-fun to relax, eat too much, talk about a book (or not) tell a few stories, and chit-chat with my book group ladies every month.