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Books + food = awesome [Mar. 27th, 2010|02:58 pm]
Last night I hosted book club. Whoever is hosting gets to choose the book, and I chose Water for Elephants. (As it turns out, it was not a great book club book because everyone loved it - it's makes for much livelier discussion when half the group hates the book!) Book club also involves eating, with the host in charge of main dish and everyone else bringing potluck.

Since the book is about a circus, I decided to go with a themed menu: upscale circus food. I made sun-dried tomato and basil elephant ears, home made soft pretzels, and corndogs. Also, fresh squeezed lemonade with limoncello to spike it.

The pretzels and corn dogs were Alton Brown recipes, and they were both excellent recipes. But I actually managed to improve on the corn dogs. Alton claims that beef franks are the best, but since Ferrett and I aren't eating beef I was planning on turkey franks. Then at Costco I found Apple and Gouda Cheese Chicken Sausages and thought I might as well try those, too.

OMG, they were a foodgasm. I am not much for deep-frying food, but Ferrett and I went to bed talking excitedly about how there was leftover batter and I could make more today for lunch. And I did. And they were still That Good.

[User Picture]From: merle_
2010-03-27 11:37 pm (UTC)
it's makes for much livelier discussion when half the group hates the book

It does indeed! I was in a book club for a few years, and when everyone loved or hated the book we would just chat about other stuff.

Turkey corn dogs sound like fun. Kind of an anti-Thanksgiving: instead of fried turkey and stuffing, you have fried stuffing around turkey.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-28 01:07 am (UTC)
LOL!! I didn't think of it that way, but it's true!
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-03-28 01:11 am (UTC)
That sounds excellent. I remember Alton's corn dog show, vaguely. I usually sort of skim by the deep fried recipes, since I don't have the equipment or inclination, but you're tempting me. I have generally had great success with his recipes--and speaking of turkey, we have never gone back since we first tried his brined turkey.

Plus, thanks for reminding me I've been meaning to read Water for Elephants. It's on my queue at the library now.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-28 01:32 am (UTC)
I don't have the equipment, either. Just bought a thermometer and put oil in a stock pot - on the back burner. I never deep fry anything, but this was a special occasion, and OMG good. As were his pretzels. The pretzels were actually pretty fun to make, but there's enough technique involved that watching that segment would be advisable.
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[User Picture]From: irishgalinabq
2010-03-28 02:02 am (UTC)
Do you have an Alton cookbook? Most of his books seem to be low on recipes and high on commentary. Do you have a recommendation for a cook book of his?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-28 02:41 am (UTC)
I don't. I'm just working off the website.
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[User Picture]From: polymorphism
2010-03-28 02:36 pm (UTC)
That sounds like such a good time! I've always been a solo reader, and I haven't joined a book club because I don't really enjoy mainstream lit enough to commit to reading someone else's choices. I would consider a genre book club; maybe I should look for one.

When I first read "upscale circus food" my mind's eye interpreted that as larger. Now I want a giant circus peanut. *chuckle*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-28 03:07 pm (UTC)
Due to nut allergies there were no peanuts.

Due to the fact that Circus Peanuts are only slightly less disgusting than peeps, there were NO peanuts.

The cool thing about this book group is that because there is no expectation of consensus in book choosing - whoever is hosting chooses - it is great for expanding one's reading choices. We've had Jodi Picoult and Ivanhoe, The Tipping Point and The Yiddish Policeman's Union. It's quite awesome for that.
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