Monday, September 13, 2010

Yummy Book Club Menu, Plus Tips on How to Get This Party Started

Have you ever thrown a book club party? Well, I’ve hosted my fair share. If you’re just launching a book club, determined to send everyone home from the first meeting well fed and excited over what books you’ve laid out for the next 12 months, there are a few tried and true guidelines that make for a successful literary nosh-fest.

First, you need between 4 to 8 pals who share your passion for books. Second, you need a reading list, with 6 books on it—to complete one full year of page-turning bliss. Translation? Your group meets at your place (or you rotate hosts) every two months.

Where do you find a great list of novels that appeal to a wide range of readers? In a word: Oprah. Her Books to Pick Up in September 2010 had me so intrigued in the synopses offered, I wasted more time than I dare admit reading first chapters on Amazon. When you click on the September books link, you’ll see a Readers Guide for every novel that gets Oprah’s seal of approval; using these questions lends your book party shape and coherence, so that you remember the whole point of congregating and enjoying excellent food & drink : )!!

Okay, so once you have in mind who you want to invite, it’s time to chat with them either in person, via Facebook or on the phone, feel them out for the best possible date, and hop on Evite for an apropos book club invitation.

This is the menu I recommend for the big day:

Peel and Eat Shrimp with Chipotle Cocktail Sauce
Asparagus Bundles Wrapped in Prosciutto
Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Green Olive Tapenade
Crustless Southwestern Quiche
Maple Cake Donuts

Now, to drink…?

Over Labor Day I did a post on 10 kicked up cocktails, any of which are a welcome libation at a rollicking fun book club party; however, I recommend providing an iced-down cooler with diet soda and a pitcher of sparkling water for those who want to take it easy. My Menu du book club has a dessert suggestion, which means that you absolutely must serve coffee!

If the food and wine are good enough, it won’t be long before your book club’s the talk of the town, and members grow into the big leagues (expert hostesses recommend no more than 11 guests for book clubs). From personal experience, hosting every kind of party, featuring every kind of theme, I recommend starting the party at 7:30pm, with the understanding that things are likely to run until at least 10.

Before I leave you to your shopping list (you have to get busy procuring savory veggies, prosciutto and maple-y sweetness), I want to invite anyone contemplating a book pick like, say, Memoirs of a Geisha, to write to me for dishes inspired by the ethnicity featured in the novel. If we’re reading a romance that takes place in the British Countryside, I’ve got minced pies for your banquet table you’ll never forget.

Happy hosting!


Indian Restaurant Fan said...

Nice way to promote your book over A glass of drink & tasty food, the more the tasty food the more people talk about the book launch !!

Beer Brewer said...

It is interesting to see how food has such a big role in our life. Cooking is hobby for some and for others it is a passion...

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