Monday, 30 March 2009

9 ½ months pregnant and hosting book club

This is the thought that ran laps up and down my mind as I walked up and down the Pavillion shopping centre searching for falafel balls. The tone of this mantra ranged from pride-filled declaration (9 ½ months pregnant and hosting book club! Yes!) to joking at the absurdity of it all (Come on! 9 ½ months pregnant and hosting book club? What was I thinking?!) and then later, through the lump in my throat, as I stood in the third shopping centre of the day, still without the falafel balls, I could but whimper, in a completely and utterly depressed tone, “Please, I’m 9 ½ months pregnant and hosting book club, I need help, I just need to find falafel balls”.

That was me on the phone to the guy who makes the falafel after I tracked down 1 little measly tub of 12 balls at the Everfresh in Cowie Road (newly renamed Problem Mkize). He tried to help but couldn’t so in the end I just decided to get various balls resembling falafel which would fit in a pita along with hummus, tahini and Israeli salad. So much for a simple meal plan.

After all that I abandoned the idea of whipping up my own home-made halvah ice-cream and just went with a tub of Nestle’s best for dessert instead. I still have all the ingredients in my fridge apart from the halvah, which I have managed to work my way through. Anyone for 2 tubs of fresh cream?

Once I was home, with my shoes off and an old mix CD playing through the DVD speakers, I felt much better. In fact, I found the chopping of ingredients for the salad and the soup rather therapeutic. Until I realized that half the ingredients bought from Pick ‘n Pay were rotten and all that chopping therapy went down the drain. Luckily my hubby picked up the bits and pieces on his way home from work and by the time the girls arrived the table was set with candles, the new books were laid out enticingly and a 3 course dinner sat waiting in the wings. I could have made a little effort with my own appearance, but I only realized that after everyone left and I caught a shocking glimpse of myself in the mirror.

Needless to say, I didn’t go into labour and the evening was a great success. We have four new books in circulation and all were quick to find homes for the month. While I look forward to hearing the reviews, I may have to skip next month’s book club because I will have a brand new baby to care for and I have now learnt the lesson about making over-ambitious commitments when it’s not just myself I’m looking out for anymore…

Thursday, 26 March 2009

My Horizontal Life: 0 stars... YOU HEARD ME! ZERO!

If you're looking for a no-brainer, you're in the right place.
In fact... You're not just in the right place. You've actually just bought a house there and you're probably the mayor of the town!
I didn't know that a book about sex could be this boring.
If you're gonna write about smut, GIVE US SOME SMUT DAMMIT! The badly written constant teasing that something juicy is on the next page drove me mad.

Noodle, is it too late for a refund from the bookstore? Hehehe...
Don't feel bad, though! I've wasted many a good cent on books I thought would be incredible, but they weren't. When you spend as much as we do on the actual price of books, wouldn't it be great if there was some guarantee that the book would deliver every time?

Oh well.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Posted by Carmen on behalf of Lor while we're still setting up her gmail/blog membership...

First things first, I have to announce that I have finished one of my books already, last week in fact, I think this is a great achievement for the black sheep of book club.

Ok, so now about dinner... I must say that when the decision was made to change to each others' houses for book club, I was a little nervous. I am a perfectionist in the kitchen and really was not sure how I would ever be able to serve up a 3 course tasty meal, in-style and in-time.

The menu is always key, the simpler the better. I tend to over complicate things, that can be done in a much easier way. This time round, I went for a simple menu that was easy to pull together and obviously vegetarian all the way.

Starters - Steamed asparagus with homemade balsamic, honey and mustard sauce dribbled over them – yummy, so easy and totally healthy.

Mains – Brinjal, pesto & mozzarella stacks. These caused me some panic. Once I had prepared them I decided to place them in the warmer drawer till the clubbers arrived, when I checked on them the mozzarella had melted so much that the perfect stacks were now nothing more then leaning towers of pizza. It’s amazing what a little wooden stick can do – “the toothpick” came to the rescue.

Dessert - Chocolate file pastry cigars with vanilla ice cream and fresh berries.
These really turn heads at dinner parties, as they look so professional but so easy to make. Grab some filo pastry, take one sheet, measure to the size of chocolate piece you are going to be using (the mini top decks are the bomb) then place the chocolate on the edge of the filo and roll up like a spring roll remembering to fold in the sides. Seal with milk. These are really delicious – one prefect bite - warm melted chocolate oozing from the crispy pastry, textures are intertwining harmoniously and then cold contrasting ice cream creates the perfect finishing touch – a real highlight!!!

The evening went so well, drinks flowing, dogs licking feet and of course great books, great company and great conversation.