“When the challah dough is smooth and glossy, I set it aside to proof and move on to the tzimmers, cutting the parsnips into coins and the sweet potatoes into paper-thin medallions. Rachel calls to me from the dining room as I finish slicing the parsnip and chopping up the dried pears, and I wipe my hands on my apron, a red-and-white-striped smock I bought at Anthropologie a few years ago. Adam used to joke that it makes me look like a 1950s housewife. I was never sure whether he meant that as a compliment or an insult.”
Welcome to our first book club meeting! Isn’t this fun? Isn’t this great?
Nicole and I have discussed what kind of content would be right for us here- reviewing products doesn’t really make sense for this space, not really. And we didn’t want to be flooded with ads (it’s so pretty, the site! So pretty!) But when we were approached to review a novel about food, well, my heart skipped a beat. Books! Food! Perfect!
“Rather than wearing a pair of matronly wool slacks and a shirt with a mustard stain on it, I am now wearing a pair of skinny black pants, flats and a silky jade tunic. I also managed to whip up and scarf down a small fines herbes omelet, since I wasn’t sure if tonight’s date would involve food and, as always, am perpetually afraid of missing a meal.”
The book is The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs and it’s a light, effortless read. It’s fun and engaging, about a young woman struggling to find her own way by hosting a series of (slightly illegal) underground supper clubs in DC. It’s the perfect book for your emergency beach vacation this winter (there’s a blizzard hitting Maine right now, you guys) but I’m going to be perfectly honest- you will probably appreciate more than the average person.
“I tell them lots of things- about food, about my bubbe, about me- and, to my surprise, they actually pay attention. They hang on my every word and ask intelligent questions and make thought-provoking points of their own. And I realize, hey, these are people who get it, people who love to eat and talk about food and culture as much as I do.”
It didn’t occur to me until I picked up this book that we (as in lovers of food, food blogs, cooking shows, food magazines, restaurants, cooking, baking and all that is involved therein. Hi.) are a thing now. An audience. I’ve picked up tons of novels over the years that spoke purely and clearly to fashionistas, for example, and I always yawned through the paragraphs describing the heroine’s shoe closet. I’m sure not everyone would be so excited to read about Hannah Sugarman’s deft handling of a four course meal or a description of honey ice cream “with crunchy chunks of honeycombe toffee.” But you’ll get it. You’ll nod and smile and feel that wink of recognition, the same feeling you get when you meet someone at a party and know from the first few minutes that you’ve stumbled upon someone you know, someone kindred in spirit. I know you will.
Devils on Horseback (Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Honey Laced Mascarpone)
Source: The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs by Dana Bate | Makes 12 Dates | Print Recipe
2 Tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
3/4 Teaspoon of honey
1/4 Teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
12 Medjool dates
6 Slices of applewood smoked bacon
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a small bowl, mix together the mascarpone, honey, and lemon juice. Using a small knife, cut a slit down one side of each of the date to remove the pot. Stuff each date with 1/2 teaspoon of the mascarpone mixture, filling the cavity. Close up the date.
Cut each bacon slide in half, so that you end up with 12 slices about 4-5 inches long. If the bacon is very, very fatty, trim away some of the excess fat. Wrap each date with a slice of bacon, securing the bacon in place with a toothpick. Place dates on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes. Turn dates over and continue baking for another 5-6 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Drain on paper towels and let cool for about 5 minutes. Serve.
Some Kitchen Stories received two (2) free advanced copies of The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs from the author’s press agent. The recipe and excerpts are property of the publisher. However all opinions, thoughts, feelings, impressions are strictly our own.