Readers of Drink In Life Blog may or may not know this but, I love reading! I tried hard to think of when exactly my passion for reading started, but all I remember is it was about the summer after 5th grade. I recall those summer days, hunkering down in the cool basement with a glass of Kool Aid, a PB&J sandwich and a huge pile of books checked out from the library. That summer I absolutely fell in the love with reading, and it turned into a lifelong page turning adventure. I know that many of you have a similar story. How many of you remember the first book you stayed up through the night reading because you just couldn’t put it down?
Over the past few years I’ve noticed a decline in the amount of fiction reading I do, many of the book titles that sit on my nightstand are wine, food or travel non-fiction books. Add in a busy work schedule, blog writing, social media and of course my family, and it is no wonder that time to read has been sharply diminished. Although I am very lucky and thankful for these things that make my life so exciting, I wanted to make a small goal mid-year to be a little more committed to the reading of fiction. This means actually making time for reading, instead of just waiting for the free time to appear. So I hatched a plan to start Drink In Life Books, a place that I can share some ideas as well as great food and beverages pairings for each book title that you can use at your next book club get together.
The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock
This month’s recipes include Dungeness Crab Soup with Cajun Spiced Grilled Shrimp and Sage Cornbread Waffle and Southern Fried Chicken Sliders, and a delicious recipe for Mini Spice Bundt Cakes with a Warm Spice Glaze and Pear Ginger Rosemary Jam.
The recipes were paired with two wines from California Winery, Gratus Vineyards, the 2019 Estate Grown White and the 2019 Grenache Blanc.
The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian, January 6, 2023. Recipes for The Girls in the Stilt House include Mississippi Sin Ham Sliders and Mississippi Roast Party Sandwiches along with Sweet Potato Coins and Comeback Sauce. For dessert Mississippi Barq’s Root Beer is the focus with Root Beer Brownies including root beer caramel and frosting along with Root Beer Floats.
For this book I am sharing wines from a winery near my home in the Snoqualmie Valley, Chateau NoElle.
“Reality doesn’t always give us the life that we desire, but we can always find what we desire between the pages of books.”Adelise M. Cullens
The Widows of Champagne: An Inspirational Novel of WW2, by Renee Ryan, February 2, 2022. Recipes for The Widows of Champagne include Pan Seared Duck Breast with Potatoes Au Gratin(Dauphinoise) and Sparkling Wine Mushroom Sauce, Shrimp and Mushroom Vol-au-vents and Strawberry Sparkling Wine Cheesecake. All of these recipes can be enjoyed with your favorite bottle of Champagne.
Literary Libations: What to Drink with What You Read by Amira Makansi, January 5, 2022. Recipes for Literary Libations include French 75 “Jello” Squares, Ham Pizza with Tangy Mustard Herb Sauce, BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza and a couple more new recipes coming soon. The Spirits and Cocktail Partner for Literary Libations was Trail Distilling from Oregon.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, June 1, 2021. Recipes include my Gin Infused Kurobuta Pork Chops and Gin Thyme Apple Cake, stay tuned for more new recipes coming soon. The Cocktail partner for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was Jaz Spirits.
“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”— Anna Quindlen
A Hunger for more than Literature
A Hunger for Literature can bring a group of booklovers together, but the addition of delicious food pairings is the best way to prevent talking about books on an empty stomach. For each book title, I will be including a collection of recipes that are a perfect combination with the selected book. I want to find fun ways to link food to each reading selection so that you have a chance to connect with the literature and also try a couple of new recipes to spice up your next the book discussions.
Do you have a favorite literary libation? Something that you pour whenever you sit down to read a few chapters? What I like to drink changes with what I am reading and often I take inspiration from the title to find the perfect beverage to pair with it. With each new book title, I do my best to combine the book of the month with a selection of wines from a fantastic winery or a collection of cocktails crafted with spirits from a favorite distillery.
Promoting a Love of Literature
Each month I will be posting not only information about the book and author, but supplemental books that go with the general theme of the book. As mentioned above there will also be a selection of wines or cocktails to accompany the discussion, as well as a collection of recipes that are inspired by the titles. My hope is that these recipes and pairings along with some additional information about the book and author will inspire you when hosting your own Book Club.
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