Friday, March 25, 2016

Book Club-The Remains Of The Day

 Our book club, consisting of eight men and women gather monthly if possible.  I have to admit, the books that I enjoy I would not read if it weren't for the book club.  I'm typically not a deep reader, I like Southern novels or as some would say easy reads.   Hey, there is nothing wrong with that!   
One of my favorite books is Roses by Leila Meacham, and just last week I read her pre-sequal to Roses, Somerset. These books take place in Texas, my home state where I was born and bred.  Where ranching is a tradition, rodeo's a sport, and The State Fair is home to Big Tex, a 55' tall cowboy statue.   Why at this very moment the bluebonnets are washing over the rolling hills of Central Texas where I like many parents have placed their children for pictures. 
Back to the book club, what is interesting to me is the discussion about the writings we choose.  That's the best part.  Well that, the food and camaraderie.  Tonight we grazed on the many offerings each brought while watching the movie The Remains Of The Day, I loved it!  
This novel makes me think of the popular series Downton Abbey which I, my mama, my oldest daughter and many others watched religiously every Sunday evening.  Then first thing on Monday morning my mama and I would discuss the previous nights broadcast.  I like many will miss this show, maybe they will make a movie about it.

Book Club

The novel, The Remains Of The Day is mostly about regret.  An English butler, Stevens who dedicated his life to the loyal service of Lord Darlington and later to an American named Mr. Farraday.  Missing out on love and what might have been.

Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Pie Ingredients:
1 Baked Pie Crust, cooled
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
5 whole egg yolks, whisk together (save the whites for the meringue)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Lemon Pie Directions:
In a medium saucepan stir together 1 13 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup cornstarch.
Slowly stir in 2/3 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup water and 2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Add 1 Tablespoon lemon zest and cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil and starts to thicken.
In a small bowl whisk together 5 whole egg yolks.
Slowly whisk in cooked lemon mixture 1/4 cup at a time until 1 cup of mixture has been added.
Add egg yolk mixture back into lemon mixture and return to simmer.  Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in 2 Tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Pour lemon mixture into baked pie crust.
Billowy Meringue Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon cornstarch 
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
5 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Billowy Meringue Directions:
Preheat oven to 325'.
In a small saucepan add 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and 1 Tablespoon sugar, mix until well combined.
Slowly stir in 1/3 cup water to from a thick mixture.
Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Cook for 20 seconds once boiling.  Set aside and allow mixture to cool.
Beat together 5 egg whites, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter until soft peaks form.
While beating add 1/2 cup granulated sugar until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy.
Slowly mix in 1 heaping tablespoon at a time of the cooked cornstarch mixture on low speed util well incorporated.
Mixture should hold stiff peaks when finished.
Cover lemon filling with meringue and make sure to anchor meringue into edge of pie crust to prevent shrinking.
Use back of a spoon to form peaks all across meringue.
Bake in a 325' preheated oven for 18-25 minutes until lightly brown on top.
Once cooled slice and serve or chill for a more intensify flavor.

Sawdust Pie
Pie Ingredients:
1 (9") deep pie shell
7 egg whites, whipped, not beaten.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup pecans, chopped, not in a food processor they will be to fine and change the texture.
1 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1//2 cup mini chocolate chips
Whipped Cream, optional
sliced banana's, optional
Pie Instructions:
Preheat oven 350'.
Par bake the pie crust for about 15 minutes at 425".  
Mix all ingredients together and pour into cool par baked pie shell.  
Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350' oven.
Optional, when cool top with whipped cream and freshly sliced banana's.  Hmmm, just sayin!!!