On Friday night ten people gathered at Casa Aquino to discuss Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's novel The Leopard and to eat a Sicilian spread. I think we were unanimous in our love for the novel, and the food disappeared, so I believe everyone was happy. Before I post pictures and the menu and have your attention, I wonder if you might hear me out about an idea I have of making this Books & Bakes literary and food salon an online business as well. What I'm thinking is a website where one can download the whole package -- the book suggestion, discussion questions and background/supplemental material and links, a full menu for the accompanying meal and recipes to download with links to where products can be found or ordered. You would, basically, be able to have a literary and food salon of your own, wherever you are and with whomever you'd like to invite, and I'd provide you with everything except, obviously, my physical presence. I'd appreciate your comments and suggestions for how much you'd pay for something like that. Given the constraints of caregiving, I am really trying to get creative with freelance work, so this might be a possibility.
Let me know.
In other news, I am going to Sicily with my sisters, cousin and father next weekend. My father turned 80 years old last April, and we decided that we'd like to take him to the old country. We'll be going to Sicily first because we've never been, but then we're headed to Calabria and the town where our family began. I am not sure what kind of internet service I will have while away, nor will I know if I can post from my phone, but if I'm gone for ten days, you'll know why. I'll take lots of pictures, in any case and post them on Instagram, if you'd like to check out my feed there.
Here's the menu from Friday night and some photos, excepting the dried fava bean soup, homemade cannoli and vanilla ice-cream. I forgot to take pictures of those! I would like to give a shout-out to my cousin Danielle who lived in Sicily for years and helped me with the menu. I ordered genuine Sicilian products from Gustiamo, a wonderful Italian food distributor where she works and highly recommend the outrageously delicious Sicilian extra-virgin olive oil and Sicilian sea salt. OMG, as the kids say.
BOOKS & BAKES
September 30, 2016
By Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change”
Campari and Blood Orange Soda
Slow-Cooked Octopus with Estratto and Wine
Sicilian Dried Fava Bean Soup
Pesto alla Trapanese with Busiate Pasta
Insalata di Lenticche con Menta e Scorzetta di Arancia
Lentil Salad with Mint and Orange Zest
Citrus Salad with Anchovies and Black Olives