Monday, March 2, 2009

culture club (the puritanical remix)

so, you may recall that i am a part of a book club that often ends up being more of a culture club, as we spend a bulk of the time digressing into other topics and eating really good food. i think you could even call it a supper club, because every person who hosts invariably ups the ante and serves and incredible meal.

so we finally met last night, to discuss the wordy shipmates by sarah vowell 
(her voice may be familiar to you if you listen to this american life on npr or have watched violet in the pixar movie the incredibles)
the wordy shipmates is basically a book about the massachusetts bay colony puritans. dry topic, you say? maybe if you only think of them as uptight killjoys that show up today as "puritan work ethic" or when politicians slip the phrase "city on a hill" into speeches; the puritans may be that, but they were also oh so much we discussed last night. the book is pretty good, and dismantles some commonly held stereotypes of the puritans in a quirky way. there were some points that i thought she glossed over, but that is probably because i was born and bred in a tradition that has the same roots as the puritans.
yum, waiting for steve and ren's yummy food...
hands down, my favorite item in their place:
 the mr. t chia pets (yes two boxes, not just one) that reside on top of the fridge. 
delish cheese, bread, and warm olives...
chatting and noshing pre-book discussion...
steve working on a really yummy bean-chard-garlic bruschetta situation...
then some delicious salad with mandolined fennel. oh so good.
steve and renetta hand-made some gnocchi with browned butter and sage.
matt chowing down (with a delightful orange juice-campari drink in the foreground)
i promise that we did discuss the puritans as well as eat. 
lots of talk: the individual vs. the common good, firkins of butter, ronald reagan, obama and sarah palin, anne hutchison and a horned baby, providence, and on and on...
luke and jennifer ponder the implications of the puritans' world view on our lives today...
we pounded steve's amazing meatballs (recipe from a16)
matt hung out, thoughtful, in the indoor garden area...
made this chocolate ganache/caramel/fleur de sel/chocolate cake. 
plus, there was extra caramel in the kitchen just in case. 
all of the females decided it was in case and headed for extra. yum.
full bellies and full brains.
our hosts (aka masters of disaster in the kitchen- and i mean that in a good way), 
steve and renetta.
to finish it all off, steve made *homemade* limoncello. 
i'm sorry, are we in italy?
cute little glasses full of a sweet way to end the meal...
next up! lush life by richard price. 

anyone want to join us? 
last time my aunt fern emma joined us in spirit and read along from new jersey. 
the only downside is that you don't get to join us for the meal.
xoxoxox, happy reading!


  1. love the loft...

    and maybe if i can pull myself away from facebook, i'll have enough time to read! are cliff notes allowed?

  2. Did I tell you that I was inspired by you saying that you were going to read this book and I bought it in December and read it. I usually love Sarah Vowell but I didn't love this book. Not as clever as I normally think she is....
    I want a piece of the caramel cake and the limoncello.


Hi friends! This is where you talk back to me. :) Easy peasy: write your comment, then scroll down where it says "comment as" to identify yourself (if you want to just write your name click Name/URL or just click anonymous. xoxoxoxo