Bridget Hoida on: Eating Bookmarks

So L.A. was featured in the BookClub CookBook’s July newsletter as a “terrific new book for summer reading.” In the BookClub CookBook authors are asked to create a Book Club menu (yum!) for readers. This is what I recommend:

Call me old fashioned, but when I’m asked, “What pairs well with books?” My go to answer is: “Libraries, readers, and a cozy deck chair.”  So, as you can imagine, I was a bit taken aback when I was recently asked to “pair” my book with “something edible.”

 —

“Like a bookmark?” I replied, because as my mother tells it, when I was a baby, and she was speeding through a novel holding me on her lap, I devoured an entire cardboard placeholder while she made her way to the end of the chapter.

“I wondered why you were being so good,” she says in the retelling, “and then I saw the bits of bookmark in your drool.”

I love this story almost as much as I love my mother because it shows equally my early passion for literature and my mother’s unwavering commitment to raising me right, which is to say, she raised me with, among, and inside of books. She not only read to me, but she read near me and that matters almost as much now as it did then.

I’ve been told, however, one cannot live on books alone and so I offer you the following Book Club recipes inspired by So L.A. as featured in this month’s BookClub CookBook’s “Buzzing About Books!

To be paired with So L.A. (and because I know everyone likes options, I’ve given you two menu choices!)

Menu you have SO got to be kidding me

 (conforms to The Hollywood Supermodel Diet)

Gin, Up:  A tall glass of Tanqueray Ten. With a paper straw. So it looks like a Sprite.

Peanut M&Ms: A grande package of peanut M&Ms. (To be eaten one at a time on the half hour beginning with red and proceeding in rainbow order.)

Menu L.A.

 (for those among us who are happily

NOT on the Hollywood Supermodel Diet)

Spiced Cucumber Collins: Made best bar side, by the tenders of Public at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, the Spiced Cucumber Collins is crafted with Hendricks’s Gin, lime, Shishito pepper, cucumber and mint. Embellished with cucumber, cut in a half-moon, for some cool summer flair this dazzling drink brings the heat with Shishito peppers that are abSOlutely So L.A.

Salsa Bar Trifecta
Mango-Avocado Salsa
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced medium
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced medium
  • 1 small red onion, diced small
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 habanero chili (stem and seeds removed), minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Pico de Gallo
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, ripe but firm
  • 1/4 cup green onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2-3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 hot peppers, or to taste
  • 4-5 Key limes,
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Black Bean Salsa
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (17-ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Homeboy Tortilla Strips: Dip with Homeboy Tortilla Strips, handmade in L.A., where their motto is “Jobs not Jails,” Homeboy Industries “offers hope, training and support to formerly gang-involved and recently incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community.”

Lettered Press is pleased to offer a Book Club Bundle

where Book Clubs can order discounted copies of So L.A. in bulk.

To order please visit the Lettered Press store and click on Book Club Bundle!

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