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Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm a Carny, You're a Carny . . .

My book group met today to discuss one of the strangest books I've ever read: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. Not geek as in Mavis, geek as in carnival performer who bites off the heads of small animals. The story (written by a Portland author, and partly set in Portland) revolves around a family of homemade carnival freaks. Trust me--it's even weirder than it sounds. The book is beautifully written (it was a finalist for the National Book Award), but not for the faint of heart.

So, for brunch today we had (in part) carnival-inspired fare. The parts that were carnival-inspired and the parts that weren't should be immediately apparent. Once again, in the bustle of getting everything ready and on the table I forgot to take pictures--you book group attendees need to follow Newton's example and remind me!
Peaches topped with Nancy's Honey Whole Milk Yogurt and brown sugar

Gourmet Corn Dogs made with chicken-apple sausage
Creamy Mustard-Dill Sauce
Corn Relish

Mesclun Salad with balsamic vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and chèvre

Umpqua Ice Cream Cones (with either Tin Roof Sundae or Beaver Tracks--an OSU promotional flavor with caramel-filled chocolate footballs and a fudge swirl in peanut butter ice cream)
Kettle Corn drizzled with dark chocolate

We ate on the back patio to enjoy our beautiful weather (seriously, it's been near-perfect lately!), and enjoyed a lively discussion of the book, the presidential race, and the more annoying aspects of Mormon culture. You shoulda been there!

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Blogger The Laundry Queen said...

I remember reading that book. It's kind of like when you are driving by a grisly accident. You're not sure you want to look/read, but you can't help yourself. It's so strangely enthralling that you can't stop looking/reading, even though you're not sure you're enjoying what you're doing.

September 13, 2008 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Hevansrich said...

Hmmm - sounds interesting - I do like hearing about your book group. How do you go about selecting your books? Do you do all the selecting? Or do all of the members take a vote? Or does each member take a turn making "their" selection, then they are responsible for hosting/leading the discussion? (thats how mine does it)
I'm curious about yours (and anyone else who would like to share!).

I also love your idea of theme food!
We meet in the evenings and usually just have a yummy dessert.

also, how often do you meet?

September 14, 2008 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I would love to have been there! My heart yearns for a good book group (and my stomach for the amazing-sounding food!)

September 14, 2008 at 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hevans, when I started the book group I thought maybe we'd end up rotating hosting, but I've enjoyed doing it so much (and folks have enjoyed what I've made!) that I've just kept doing it. We pick books by consensus, and everyone makes suggestions.

When we started, we did dessert on a weeknight, but Saturday brunches generally work better for scheduling purposes for us. I did theme desserts, too! When we read The Red Tent (which almost no one liked), I made baklava (yes, made!) and three ice creams: cardamom, rose, and pistachio. When we read The Secret Life of Bees, I made all honey desserts, including these really fantastic honey cakes with sage leaves in the bottom of the pan (forming a flower pattern when the cakes were unmolded). It's lots of fun to come up with stuff!

September 14, 2008 at 10:51 PM  

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