A Night in Provence–Twice

We are a book club that reads Catholic Women Authors.  Read more about it here.

Two Months, One Book and One Essay

We were meant to gather in September and discuss A Traveller in Southern France by Christine Kaferly while eating Provencial cuisine.  We got off track though when some of us didn’t pick up the book in time and others were already finishing it up.  So Celeste recommended a superb article by pro-life activist Juli Wiley, titled “Jesus’ Genealogy: The Woman Problem.”

October 2013

October 2013

Plenty of French Food

Nevertheless when we arrived at book club in September many were prepared to discuss A Traveller and had fixed up some yummy French food.

When we assembled again in October to finally talk about the book lo and behold we ended up with plenty of dishes from the south of France.

I'm sauteing some Spinach

I’m sauteing some Spinach

Laurence and Gwen cook it up

Laurence and Gwen cook it up

Laurence's Leek Soup

Laurence’s Leek Soup

It was all extremely good and nobody minded.  Laurence grew up in France and made us an Eggplant Souffle and Leek Soup respectively.  I took the fresh vegetable route and cooked up some spinach and garlic that I topped with crumbled goat cheese.

Since I have a lot of time to make up for I’ll be back soon with news of a new baby, a beloved member who moved away (mom of the new baby) and a really new baby who is yet on the way!  There might be more news I haven’t thought of yet too.  And oh yes, I will comment more on the essay and the book.

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July Book: Ear of the Heart

At Least We’re Here is a group of ten women who have read books by Catholic Women Authors for the last 13 years.  Read about us here

Earlier in July we met to discuss Ear of the Heart by Mother Dolores Hart.

Most of hadn’t finished the book yet but everyone was enthralled by it.

Also in July we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the profession of our friend Celeste to Consecrated Virginity in the Denver Diocese.  We are so proud of her!!  That post is here.

Wine to help celebrate (can you believe the little heart shaped highlight in the third glass??)!

July2013 WineThen there is often food that captures the essence or ethnic heritage of the book.

On this night we were blessed to meet on July 10th, the vigil feast of St. Benedict (July 11) while talking about a book by a Benedictine Nun!  So Jean brought a dish of “simple monastic fare,” Macaroni and Cheese.

July 2013 FoodFollowing dinner there is dessert (not always but this time we got lucky with two!), Benedictine in spirit, Amy blessed us with a tasty, creamy Tapioca Pudding and Berries:

July 2013 DessertAnd Laura brought amazingly delicious gluten free treats from her Farmer’s Market booth, Laura’s Family:

July 2013 GlutenFreeEveryone agreed it was an epic Anniversary, and that the book must be discussed again– preferably after a Dolores Hart Movie Night!

Celeste in the yellow---10 years as a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World

Celeste in the yellow—10 years as a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World

We’re still trying to decide which movie Dolores Hart movie to watch at our next movie night!

What would you watch?  Have you ever had movies at your book club night?

February Book Club Night

Mardi Gras night was full of delicious stuff I probably shouldn’t discuss during Lent, and we had a long, rousing talk about The Deliverance of Sister Cecilia. 

All gone---Poppyseed Chicken!

All gone—Poppyseed Chicken!

Jean honored the Slovak heritage of our story’s protagonist with a magnificent Poppyseed Chicken which we all gobbled up.  It was also one of our only savory dishes, because being Fat Tuesday and all we had a great selection of treats!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Oh yum.  Amy created a Flourless Chocolate Cake.  If you are a chocolate lover and you’ve never had a flourless cake you’ve got to try one.  Maybe for Easter!

Special Guest

Special Guest

One of the moms brought her daughter to hang out for the evening.  She entertained herself for quite a while then came over to the table to visit with Celeste.

Goodbye Mardi Gras Hello Lent!

Goodbye Mardi Gras Hello Lent!

We always have the perfect mixture of flavors no matter what!  Even when we have almost all vegetables or nobody brings dessert Celeste has a box of chocolates to share or some diced fruit to balance it all out.

Do you eat at your book club?  Snacks, dinner, potluck or desserts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Book Club Night: The Deliverance of Sister Cecilia & Mardi Gras

Well, well.  I don’t think our Book Club night has ever fallen on Fat Tuesday before.  During Mardi Gras, yes.  And the Easter season for sure.  In fact before we began breaking bread together at our meetings we would have a yearly Potluck party to celebrate each Easter Season.  But this year we will be gathering on the night before Ash Wednesday.

The Deliverance of Sister Cecilia was chosen after Dianne’s recommendation which you can see here There is a strong ethnic theme for this selection, because the setting for the life story of Sr. Cecilia is her country of Slovakia.  It is the very sad story of the forced Communist takeover and rule of that country leading to her real-life escape.

The tale is riveting so far.  Around the time little Cecilia was 8 years old or so her father returned from fighting in World War I and Slovakia won its independence from Austro-Hungary.  After attending High School in a nearby town and entering the order of the Daughters of the Most Holy Saviour in the capital, Bratislava, Sister’s time in the convent before the Communists destroyed all the orphanges as well as the convents and churches was full of discipline, learning to be obedient and much fun.

Yes, there is fun in a convent, certainly if it is the Daughters of the Most Holy Saviour, who are not stiff and solemn at all.  Three days before Lent Mother Superior let all the sisters do almost anything they liked.  So we’d have a party in the convent and dress up in costumes which we would make ourselves, and dance and sing and have lots of fun.

The custom of having parties during the waning days of Mardi Gras approaching

Sisky: traditional Slovak donuts

Sisky: traditional Slovak donuts

Lent is called Fasiangy in Slovakia.  The traditional days of celebration are the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday leading up to Ash Wednesday.  The book does give some general food names such as Kolachi but not specific Mardi Gras foods.  One I found on the internet was Sisky, a type of doughnut.  In the past Mardi Gras foods of various cultures represented the types of foods one would fast from during Lent, so were made from eggs, butter, meat and meat fat.

Who knows what we’ll be eating on Fasiangy?  We never know until we get there.  But I’ll be sure to take some photos.

Also, many more Sister Cecilia quotes will be added here in the next few weeks to show as many people as possible how a hostile takeover of a religious people happens and how quickly religious liberty is trampled and thrown away!