Woodruff Arts Center Box Office…”What’s the name of your book club, so I can add it to the reservation?”
Carolyn… “In all the years we’ve been together as a group, it’s always just been THE book club…I guess that’s our name.”
Woodruff Arts Center Box Office…”OK, reserving 10 seats for Thursday night for THE book club. Thank you!”
And so it has remained. THE book club started in March 1987 with a group of women who wanted to discuss Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides. This year is the group’s 25th anniversary, and I’ve been privileged to be part of the group for at least 18 years. I lost count a bit, as I did take a short hiatus in 1999, but it has been a bunch of years.
We celebrated our 25th anniversary in March with a special luncheon. Our March book was written by a local author and he was our special guest speaker. We had past members who returned for the occasion, and along with extended family members, it made for a room full of “bookies”.
We meet monthly and read 10 books a year. In December we have our holiday gathering, and in September we meet and plan our book list for the year. So, 25 years at 10 book a year…it’s an impressive list of reads. I’ve read books that I would not have picked up otherwise, and was so glad I did. Other books I looked forward to reading, only to be disappointed. As a group we have different points of view on many things, and even though sometimes the book disappoints, the discussion is always interesting. Oh I forgot to mention we have dessert! Each month we have dessert and “coffee talk” time before our book session.
This month was my turn to bring dessert. I went to one of my favorites…chocolate pound cake. I am not much of a baker, but this Nigella Lawson recipe is a delicious and easy cake, as you mix the batter in the food processor and bake it as a loaf cake. Here’s a link to the Food Network recipe.
A couple of hints…I use the mini chocolate bits, not regular chocolate chips, and I have to bake it longer than the 60 minutes called for in the recipe…it takes more like 65-68 minutes in my oven, so do try with a cake tester before pulling it out. And this cake gets even better as it sits, so I bake it a day or even two before I am going to serve it. It was perfect to bake on Sunday night for Tuesday evening book group. I sliced it up for transporting and serving, and neglected to take a before slicing photo. I like to dust the loaf top with powder sugar and chocolate shavings. For book group I took along some strawberries, whipped cream and grated chocolate. I came home with just enough strawberries for my morning cereal and an empty cake dish, so it went over well with the group.
Some of the original members are still with the group. Some have moved away and a few have passed away. New members have joined over time, and our current membership totals 18…which is a large group. With work, families and other commitments, we average 10-12 for our meetings which makes for good discussion.
We’ve supported each other with conversation, cards and comfort food over the years as we’ve celebrated milestones and felt each others sorrows. Isn’t that as it should be? Good books, good food and a good group of women you can count on when it matters. That’s THE book club. Thanks ladies!
From one bookie to another…Bluwatergal