Monday, June 6, 2016

Book Club AGM - 2016

Another successful AGM at Nicki's Haliburton home (thanks, Nicki!).

A wonderful weekend, a bit later in the year than usual, so no trilliums but several Jack in the Pulpits. The sun shone, and there weren't too many bugs, and the night sky was a curtain of stars, and we had fabulous food, and fabulous drink.

Nicki hosted Virginia and I on Friday night, with Louise and Linda dropping in for dinner and a lemoncello dessert. On Saturday, Liz, Miriam, and Nicolette arrived and we all went for a walk in the Sculpture Forest where we saw the cairn Virginia had built with her class at the Haliburton School of Arts last summer. We also went to the thrift store, where I made some real finds, including a surfer skirt and jean skort, both which will be perfect to wear on the boat.

Somehow I have managed to live more than a half century without knowing about French butter cellars, a wonderful invention from a few centuries back, that helps to keep butter spreadable and soft. When I returned home I promptly ordered one from Amazon. I also learned a trick with a soft-boiled egg, which is to smack its bottom against your plate after it has been cooked for 6 1/2 minutes and then run under cold tap water. At that point, the egg will stand nicely without wobbling on its side. Virginia was emphatic about not peeling the egg, but using the spoon to lift it out cleanly from the shell. Thankfully I wasn't the only person who needed schooling in this regard, Liz also took a lesson.

Saturday afternoon I put together a gin tasting and laid out a sampling of herbs and spices typically found in gin (juniper, lavendar, coriander, nutmeg, cardamom, clove, anise). We sampled Boodles, Hendricks, and Ungava. Personally I like them all as they are very distinct from each other. Boodles has no citrus and is in the London Dry style, Hendricks is a newer style with rose petals and cucumber notes, and Ungava uses the botanicals of the Canadian North. However, the house favourite was Ungava, hands down. Cocktails were made to taste-drive the favourite: traditional G & Ts with dried hibiscus or G & Peach Tea.

I had also brought some Lafage Rose, which we enjoyed as a group at one of our meetings last year. Such a pretty bottle, with a glass cork, making it suitable for reuse. People started frantically searching online for LCBOs that had it in stock, because apparently it was dwindling. Someone actually got the son of a friend to drive to an outlet in Brampton to pick up a case for future use because it was in short supply. By the time Sunday rolled around, Nicolette alerted us that a few hundred bottles had arrived at the Summerhill store. There may or may not be a few bottles left. This will be a nice, chilled, summer sipper.

o, we picked books too:

  • September: HERO'S WALK by Anita Rau Badami (Nicki)
  • October: SALT SUGAR FAT  by Michael Moss (Nicolette)
  • November:  THE DRESSMAKER by Beryl Bainbridge (Virgiinia)
  • December:  MIDDLE AGED BOYS AND GIRLS by Diane Bracuk (Liz)
  • January: THE NEST by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (Debra)
  • February: THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari La Pena (Laura)
  • March: STATION 11 by Emily St. John Mandel (Pat)
  • April: ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr (Miriam)
  • May: Bring your favourite poem! (Diane)
  • AGM: LEAVING TIME by Jodi Picoult (Louise)

Honourable mentions: Medicine Walk by Richard Wagonese - End of Life Bookclub by Will Schwalbe - Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis - Children of the Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay - Still Mine by Amy Stuart - The Piano Maker by Kurt Palka - The Illegal by Lawrence Hill - The Story of my Teeth by Valeria Luiselli - The Year of Wonder by Elizabeth Hayes - River God by Wilbur Smith - Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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