For our reading of The Patriarch, by Martin Walker, everyone seems to have enjoyed all the food and wine inspiration available throughout the novel, and we certainly had an incredible bounty to choose from. All the tempting selections by our participants with brief snippets follow. Please do stop and visit each one for their recipes, photos and comments about the book.
First into the mix was Wendy from A Day in The Life on the Farm, with a yummy Braised Venison. Part of a fabulous meal that Bruno would have been proud to serve. She wrote, I "loved the setting of this novel. I could envision the beauty of the land. I wanted to taste the wine and partake in the many feasts in the story. I wanted to rent a vacation house on the property bought by Bruno's girlfriend and spend some time with the horses."
Next up was Terri of Our Good Life, who recreated one of Bruno's little hors d'oeuvres repasts, to be accompanied by her Jalapeno Infused Vodka. Sounds like a cocktail I'd like to mix up. She says Bruno " is a true Renaissance man, an unassuming .... gourmet cook, wine enthusiast, gardener who is dabbling in truffle oak trees, a hunter, and a dog man. He makes his own jams, pates, sausages, confits, etc. He rides horses and is a sensitive, caring man. Wish there were more like him!" Indeed!
Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, treated us to drinks as well, with her gentian inspired Negroni cocktail, made with a new bitters favorite of mine, Bruto Americano.
While she "wasn't enamored with the book, I did enjoy the descriptions of food that were sprinkled throughout".
Deb of Kahakai Kitchen joined our dinner party with a stunning looking platter of Salmon Salad Nicoise.
She also enjoyed the book, especially the food mentions, but was another who thought the characters could have used more development. A downside from choosing a book near the end of an ongoing series.
Simona of Briciole and a Cook the Books host, contributed a lovely pairing of cabbages in a a side dish creation of Savoy and Radicchio. She liked the novel and thought it was "a pleasant read, weaving together into a tense plot, local politics, the history of WWII, and the past and present life of the various characters." With " plenty of food and wine in the story", even likening two of the principal characters to the two cabbages she chose.
Debra, of Eliot's Eats, another one of our Cook the Books Club hosts, brought a fabulous Tarte Flambee to the party and though not much of a mystery fan, said: "Walker’s cast of characters (and there is a lot of them) did keep me intrigued along with the rustic traditions and beauty of St. Denis." She thought " the amount of feasting in the book is as rich and plentiful as the French countryside."
At Honey from Rock, I cooked up a dish inspired by an early mention in the novel, Bruno's Lamb with Monbazillac, however not having that wine available, morphed it into a braise, Lamb with Cotes-Du-Rhone, a nice earthy French red. Of course I loved the novel, being a fan of Martin Walker's series. His lead character, Bruno is such a well-rounded kind of guy, and a Foodie, in the best sense. I also enjoy the way Walker blends in local French culture, history and ongoing current events.
After the deadline, but just in the mix, was Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures with a warming Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup. It looks to be just the thing to chase away any lurking colds.
I would recommend reading Walker's series from the beginning. His first was, Bruno, Chief of Police: A Novel of the French Countryside.
Do join us as we read and cook, inspired by our next selection, Feast of Sorrow, by Crystal King, a novel set in ancient Rome, and hosted by Debra of Eliotseats. The deadline for Feast of Sorrow is January 31, 2018. See you then!