Monday, November 10, 2008

A New Kind of Book Club

I'm in a regular book club. We meet monthly, when we can. We talk about the book for a good 10 minutes then proceed to drink a lot of wine and chat for the rest of the night. It's great, don't get me wrong, it's just not easy to get all us women to read or talk about the book.

So I'm in another book club. This one is a cookbook club. The host for the month picks a cookbook and we all claim a recipe we want to make. We show up for our meal, dishes in hand, and like my other book club, we do a lot of eating, drinking, and chatting. The difference here is that we really do talk about the book. Did the recipes work? Was the writing clear? Would we make any changes? Should we cook anything from the book again? The nights are a blast.

Last week we met and cooked from the A16 Cookbook. A16 is a neighborhood restaurant for most of us and we know Shelly Lindgren, the restaurant's owner and wine guru. We invited Amanda, who had tested all the recipes for the book and she gave us great insight on how it all came together. We ate braised short ribs, meatballs, roasted carrots (grown right here in SF's Richmond district!), beet salad, lamb crepes, and chocolate 'budino' tarts with sea salt. The food was fantastic, the company even better.

If you're one of those people who has dropped out of countless bookclubs because you can just never finish the book. try a cookbook club. Pick a book you've had on the shelf but just haven't tackled. Invite 5-6 friends and, if they don't have the book, just give them a recipe. Try it once and you'll be hooked. You'll never feel guilty for not finishing the book again.

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