Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Book Group, Friends and Food

Kris, with her raspberry dessert

Like thousands of people, I belong to a neighborhood book group. In our case, the group is all women, and we all don’t live in the neighborhood. People move out of the original area, where everyone could walk to each other’s houses, but can’t give up the book ideas, the general chit chat, or the treats that the group provides.

This month we read The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, by James McBride. With one exception, the group found the writing to be engaging, and they were eager to talk about the author’s desire to understand himself better by understanding his mother. The group likes memoirs, despite public brouhaha over some memoirs being fabricated, and they plan to read another one for June, The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Wells. We’ve read several others before, since the group enjoys talking about family relationships. As I look over our list I see A Girl Named Zippy, Angela’s Ashes, Daughter of the Queen of Sheba, and Too Close to the Falls. I think we also read The Liar’s Club.

Here’s a excerpt I copied into my notebook:

“Mommy’s tears seemed to come from somewhere else, a place far away, a place inside her she never let any of us children visit, and even as a boy I felt there was pain behind them. I thought it was because she wanted to be black like everyone else in church, because maybe God liked black people better, and one day on the way home from church I asked her whether God was black or white.

A deep sigh. “Oh boy...God’s not black. He’s not white. He’s a spirit.”

“Does he like black or white people better?”

“He loves all people. He’s a spirit.”

“What’s a spirit?”

“A spirit’s a spirit.”

“What color is God’s spirit?”

“It doesn’t have a color,” she said. “God is the color of water. Water doesn’t have a color.”

The photo is of Kris, who makes wonderful treats, treats worth driving out in the country to get, whether you've read the book or not.

She did not have a precise recipe for her lovely pastel frozen dessert, but here is what she told me. She also said you can use whatever flavor ice you want, but the green and pink in this recipe matches her dishes.

Kris’s Frozen Raspberry Dessert
serves about 10 readers

Make a graham cracker crust and bake it in a 9X13 inch pan, then cool.
Soften a carton of pistachio almond ice cream, then spread it on the prepared crust. Freeze.
Pour as much fudge topping over the ice cream as you like. Freeze.
Soften a carton of raspberry sorbet and spread over the fudge layer. Freeze.
Cut into squares and top with fresh raspberries.
Serve to ravenous readers.

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