Are any of you blog readers out there part of a book club? As you might have guessed, I am a card carrying book club member, and it was my turn to host this past Wednesday. For your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of the spread I prepared.
See that cake proudly standing at center stage? I found the recipe on Pinterest and was drawn in by the name. A chai spiced cake with honey ginger frosting? Sounds like the perfect spice cake, and it was good. Jimmy pointed out that it could have been more moist. Isn't it weird when people use "moist" to describe cake? It's just an odd word. But he was right. It was near inedible the second day. If you're a master baker and can tweak this recipe to bring the moisture back, I'd love to hear your thoughts, because the level of spice was just right. I didn't take a close up of the cake because it was the worst icing job ever known to man. As my sister-in-law said "You could've definitely used a crumb coat." But the copious amount of crumbs came from my inept cake-removal-from-pan procedure. Did you know you shouldn't let a cake cool completely in its pan before trying to remove it? All the experts on Google say ten minutes maximum cooling time should be given before removing your creation to a wire rack to cool completely. So, I threw the pan back in the oven for a few minutes to try and help loosen the thing, and it worked like a charm! But the crumby damage was already done.
I digress. Back to the topic of this post: book club. I was a part of one book club before this one, having joined my current book club after a break from all the clubbing. It's the same old story. I got busy and wasn't finishing the books, then felt guilty attending book club when I knew not how the book ended. Everyone tried to discuss in vague terms so I could finish the book, ending unspoiled. I also missed picking my own books, because all I had time to read were book club choices.
When my sister-in-law and her friend started up a new book club, I decided to try again. We would be meeting every six weeks so there would be more time to finish the selections, there was a good mix of members, and each month had a fun theme. For example at Christmas everyone brought a children's book for Santa's Anonymous, and before our summer hiatus we exchanged good (read: trashy) summer reads to be returned in the fall. But after two years, our book club is losing members, and I am losing steam again. I've not been finishing books, and even though I've always loved reading and read a lot, I'm finding it's becoming a chore again. It seems like a long time since I've read something I've been totally absorbed in. There were The Hunger Games books last spring and summer (just like Grace), and Jaycee Dugard's book this fall, but I just haven't been able to get into anything else lately. Next up on our reading list is Cutting for Stone. If you've read it, leave me your comments so I can get pumped up for it. It's around 800 pages, but I've got till the end of April, so hopes are running high. Although by that point in my pregnancy, holding a book upright to read it might seem like a lot of work.
Obviously the book club's fate is at a cross roads. We'll see what happens after the summer break. Any tips on keeping the choices and meetings lively or finding new members to fill our ranks would be appreciated, because I do love book club. And cake. And wine. And in the fall I'll be able to book club and booze again, and I'll probably really, really need it. In case you missed it, there have been no less than seven requests for your comments this post, a new Chez Quinlan record. So please do!!