...and a challenge missed
"This Book Makes Me Cook", the book club Bhags and I started exactly a year ago, is now 11 member strong. We have read some great books in the last 12 months, some old favorites, some classics. And in Joanne Harris, most of us have found our favorite fiction writer. We began in June with Chocolat, the first book in Joanne's food trilogy. We end May with the last one in the series : Five Quarters of the Orange.
This is a book about the irreversibility of what wars bring. This is also a book about the most merciless and selfish of the human tribe : the children, whose world so focuses on what they want and need that they shut out the consequences. Some would say they don't know better. Maybe Framboise, our nine year old heroine, did not.
But then she returns as a sixty year old to the village of her childhood, to a place scarred by what happened many, many years ago. It's the darkest book in the food trilogy, but it's also the most compassionate of the lot. As you would expect, an inherited recipe album is central to our story here. Just like the recipes strewn all over the book.
When I read the book the first time, I knew what I wanted to make. Then I read it the second time last year, and I rued the time was not right to make Framboise's special sour cherry liquor. This third time, I read it with a purpose to create this liquor recipe haunting me for a few years now. I can even recite it without opening the book, I know it that well. I prayed that cherries would come in before the month ends, and here they are. Hordes of bright red boxes on every fruit stall.
And yet, life took over. And for the first time since we started the book club, I don't have a recipe to offer. But I do have a suggestion. If you haven't read the food trilogy, read it. Even if you are not a book lover. You just might discover a new love.
Let's not stop at my no-show though. The other members of the book club have great inspirations from the book:
Sweatha made Framboise's Buckwheat Orange Pancakes
Aquadaze made Chicken Stew
In June, we are reading one of my top favorites : The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. If you would like to come join us, do leave a comment here and I will get back with details.