Our current selection for that exclusive online group, known as Cook the Books Club, is The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe. And, BTW, exclusive meaning only those who love books and food need apply. We read a recommended book and then post about it with a recipe(s) inspired by our reading. That's pretty much it. Someone then judges the entries and a dubious prize is awarded. (A little bird just told me that this time may be an exception.) Feel free to join in.
This was lovely escapist fiction, and quite an enjoyable read, despite the whole time, just about, my wanting to yell at the heroine, Grace, to just wake up and smell the roses, or something to that effect. You have to love a book that involves your emotions. However, when a person is caught up in an obsession there is really not much anyone can say or do. Well, certainly not from the distance of readership.
Okay, she really, really, really wants a baby. It is not happening. That is her conundrum. On the way to waking up, she nearly loses what she does have, a very understanding, decent husband, who loves her.
Happily, Tunnicliffe brings our girl along to the place every character needs to go, development and maturity. I almost lost it for a bit there. But continued reading. Yes, a story of renewal, growth, friendship, and the bold, even brave adventure of opening a tea shop in Macau, of all places. Grace changes her focus in the very nick of time.
The main food group dealt with in this book, aside from tea, was macarons. For some folks, these little French confections come close to being an obsession. (So she had two). I am just surprised that the main characters' teeth didn't all fall out by the end of the story, at the rate everyone was consuming those macarons. Which are mostly composed of sugar. Good though sweet, as you might guess.
With so many flavors and combinations possible, one is tempted to try them all. I should mention that each chapter of the book was named after a macaron flavor, so there were plenty of ideas given. I did make macarons once before. And, had the opportunity of buying some excellent examples (in Honolulu) so knew what they were.
Obviously I had to have another go at the perverse little treats, to be served with tea, of course. I found something new (to me anyway) at the Natural Foods store, Pomegranate powder, and thought that would tint the cookies and help offset that sweetness. Thus, we have Pomegranate Vanilla Macarons with Chocolate Ganache sandwiched in between.
They were absolutely perfect for my women's OCC Prayer meeting Saturday morning, served with a pot of Thé au Chocolat, a lovely black tea flavored with dark chocolate.
Mind I am showing you the better examples. They did not all turn out so perfect. The parchment on one entire tray slipped as I was popping it into the oven, though I flopped them back onto the pan, and continued baking the misfits. Everything, happily tasted delicious, despite lacking discernable "feet" and having wrinkles where they shouldn't.
I used my Pampered Chef Decorator thingy for piping out the batter, and the recipe is courtesy of Bravetart's site. You can check it out there, though I do believe the method used for my first attempt was a bit more successful. They are a chancy proposition at any rate. Does that sound like sour grapes? Hey that might just make a good combination. The sour flavor offsetting the sweetness.
A good read, highly recommended. And, be sure to visit our club site to see what everyone came up with, perhaps by late next week.