The Color of Tea, for Cook the Books Club

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. 


Personal Beef Wellingtons for Daring Kitchen

Another of the Daring Kitchen challenges that sent me out preparing a meal which would otherwise never make it to our table.  Well, I have made Empanadas, or meat pies, but this is a few steps more complicated.
The lovely Monkey Queen of, Don’t Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys, was our May Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to dive into the world of en Croute! We were encouraged to make Beef Wellington, Stuffed Mushroom en Croute and to bring our kids into the challenge by encouraging them to create their own en Croute recipes!

I limit myself by refusing to buy hormone and anti-biotic inflicted beef.  In Hawaii, though we do have several large ranches raising grass fed cattle, the challenge is to find the cut one wants in a store. Something tells me that all the fine hotels here are sucking up quite a bit of loose meat, fish and produce.  Not able to locate a center cut, 3 lb. tenderloin, I opted for the individual portion version of Wellington.  So, on a gourmet level or two up from Pigs in Blankets or Personal Pan Pizza, I give you Mini Beef Wellingtons.

The first part of the job is to prepare crepes.  Luckily, something I do on a regular basis.  One of my very favorite breakfasts.  And there are usually some left.  Perfect for this dish.  So, Sunday morning crepes and Beef Wellington for dinner.  I don't think my husband realizes just how lucky he is.