21 November 2009

Weekend Cooking: Learning French

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


Although many of us read food-related books, review cookbooks, and share recipes, we are pretty much lightweights compared to the group over at Cook the Books Club. I love the idea that Rachel from the Crispy Cook, Debbie from Kahakai Kitchen, and Jo from Food Junkie Not Junk Food came up with. These women from New York, Hawaii, and Greece combined their love of reading with their love of cooking and came up with a terrific club.

Here's how it works. First they pick a novel or nonfiction book and read it. Then comes the fun part:
After reading the book, cook up something delicious inspired by this novel and blog about it. If you don’t have a blog, one of us three hosts above would be happy to post your entry as a guest blogger. Make sure to include a link to this COOK THE BOOKS blog so others can find out about the details.
Now who do you think picks a winner? Their first choice is always the author of the book they are reading, but when that fails, they find a fellow reader and foodie. And guess what? This month that person was me!

The club read French Lessons by Peter Mayle, which I reviewed in January. Then they each made a dish inspired by that book. Let me tell you, I was so utterly impressed with the participants. They did research, they adapted ingredients to the season and to their local resources, they took photos and shared tips. The round-up post is up at Cook the Books Club.

I spent most of the week reading and re-reading the eleven entries. Several people were inspired by the same dish, and it was fascinating to see how each one tweaked that dish to fit her own tastes and local ingredients. And I kept getting distracted by hunger pangs. OMG, no lie, I wanted to make every single one of the dishes presented.

Finally I had it "narrowed down" to five! Argh. But in the end I picked a runner-up and a winner. Because the announcement post isn't up yet at Cook the Books, I can't tell you who got that number one spot. You'll have to check out the Cook the Books blog later.

I want to thank Rachel, Debbie, and Jo again for asking me to be their judge. I had a blast, and I would step in to judge for them any time at all! One of these days, I hope to be a participant in a Cook the Books contest.

But wait, there's more! As you know, I participate in book memes and one photo meme. Did you know that there are food memes? Well I didn't. But as I was reading the posts on each entrant's blog, I learned that there are things like Pasta Nights and Heart Cooking. I haven't explored these, but the entry posts for French Lessons linked to several memes that looked good.

After the holidays, I'm going to do some research, and then I'll post about the food memes. Just what I need, more excuses to cook and blog.


JoAnn 11/21/09, 8:42 AM  

What fun! But oh, the pressure of trying to pick a winner! I loved A Year in Provence, and will look up French Lessons - haven't heard of that one. Will also check out the blogs you mentioned!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 11/21/09, 8:42 AM  

This club sounds fantastic! It makes me even more eager to run our #psilakiscookoff!

bermudaonion 11/21/09, 10:21 AM  

Wow, I need to check out there blogs and French Lessons. I loved A Year in Provence by the same author.

caite 11/21/09, 10:23 AM  

I can imagine the pressure of picking a winner...and the hunger pangs!

Lynda 11/21/09, 10:52 AM  

This week I'm thinking about Xams cooking
will lokk out for thise food memes

Jill 11/21/09, 2:21 PM  

Looking forward to your roundup of the food memes...and how fun does that club sound??!!

Unknown 11/21/09, 2:36 PM  

Congratulations on being asked to pick a winner!

I'm scared to look at all those cookery blogs as I'm sure I'll fall in love with them - I have too many book blogs that I want to read and can't imagine trying to fit cookery blogs into my time as well.

Sandy Nawrot 11/21/09, 2:51 PM  

Hey, if there is anyone that is qualified to judge such a thing, it is you! It sounds like so much fun. I loved Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. Obviously I need to get my hands on this one.

The Bumbles 11/21/09, 4:37 PM  

I didn't do a food post, but I did actually manage to bake something successfully *pats self on back* thanks to Penny's Bumble proof brownie treat that she posted the other day here:

Beth F 11/21/09, 4:43 PM  

Okay, if you haven't yet clicked on the link that Molly (The Bumbles) left, you're are definitely missing out. Wow!

Rachel 11/22/09, 11:35 AM  

Thank you so much Beth for being our Cook the Books judge. I enjoyed your review of Mayle's book initially and think you made an excellent selection of Claudia and her decadent truffle omelette.

Anyone can join in the fun at Cook the Books; there's no need to do anything other read our selected books (right now we are reading Anik See's travel/culinary memoir "A Taste for Adventure") and blog up a mini-review and recipe inspired by one's reading. It's all good, tasty fun and combines two of my favorite pleasures, reading and cooking. Come join us!

FoodJunkie 11/22/09, 1:19 PM  

Beth thank you so much for judging this round of Cook the Books and of course for doing such great or publicity for it on your blog! I hope we'll have you with us again, as a contestant this time. :-)

Wendy 11/22/09, 1:44 PM  

I'm totally scared at discovering more food memes *laughs*

My post this weekend looks at the TBR pile...

Julie P. 11/23/09, 3:14 PM  

How cool! I'll be looking forward to hearing what you "discover."

Molly 12/1/09, 8:46 AM  

Oh...I am anxious to read the post about the food memes. That was my first love - oh so long ago. I am hoping to get back into the kitchen a bit more now that the kids are older, and if reading book blogs is any indication of the power of blogs to inspire me....the food memes will be just the answer :)

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