November Meeting - Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise

  • November 16, 2013 · 6:30 PM
  • Linda's house

Hi all,

The book for November is Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl.  Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food.

She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world—a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us—along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews—her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

Happy reading and bon appetit!  Diane



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  • A former member
    A former member

    The lasagna recipe has been posted as requested.

    November 17, 2013

  • Liz R.

    Sorry...won't be able to attend after all...Woke up around 4am with horrible head cold, have fever, drippy eyes, runny nose and chest starting to hurt...I'll change my RSVP. Hope to see everyone at the December dinner...

    November 15, 2013

    • Diane

      Feel better!

      November 17, 2013

  • Sonja H.

    Diane, SO sorry... sister in Castle Rock ICU.. heading there now. Have to cancel for this meetup.

    November 16, 2013

    • Diane

      Sonja, I hope your sister is going to be all right! I will keep you both in my prayers.

      1 · November 17, 2013

  • Diane

    I had a great time! We all put together a wonderful dinner, and the discussion was very enjoyable. See you all again soon!

    November 17, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    had a great time as always. Thanks for leading the meeting Diane - great questions.

    November 17, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    , I'm not sure if anyone will this -- but, I have garlic in the potato dish
    Yes Sonja, there will be no potatoes for you tonight.
    Also, I am bringing the soup to be warmed - the crock pot seemed stupid. I assume a person who owns 12 soup bowls can accomodate a spot on the stove, Thanks Linda

    November 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sonja never shows up anyway.

      November 16, 2013

    • Sonja H.

      Wow, way to keep it classy Scott. My apologies that my sister's visit to the ICU interfered with book club.

      November 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I wasn't inspired by anything in the book, so I'm still trying to make up my mind, I found a dynamite recipe for cauliflower...it looks like we could use another vegetable, or perhaps my cheesy biscuits...or both? I have 12 bowls so we should be good.

    2 · November 13, 2013

    • Diane

      I like asparagus as much as I like cheesy biscuits.

      November 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I like asparagus much more than I like cheesy biscuits. Good call. :) Thank you.

      November 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Linda I thought she would ask, if you want to take other left covers home, please bring your containers.

    November 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    changed my mind...doing asparagus. Sorry cauliflower and cheesy biscuits lovers.

    1 · November 15, 2013

  • Diane

    Here's what we're bringing so far: Diane, spiced chicken; Scott, New York cheesecake; Meg, scalloped potatoes and carrot, orange, and thyme soup; Nancy, Brussels sprouts; Sonja, sweet potato bread; Shera, smoked salmon/cream cheese wraps and marinated cucumber; Tim, fruit salad.

    November 13, 2013

  • Liz R.

    No one said yes or no on the baked chicken dish...so do I need approval?

    November 13, 2013

    • Liz R.

      I didn't see your post regarding the spiced chicken...So, I will make something else...sorry...but whatever I make, we all have to pretend that it's decent. LOL

      1 · November 13, 2013

    • Diane

      You've got a deal, Liz! :-)

      November 13, 2013

  • Deb W.

    Hi ladies (and gentlemen). My travel partner cancelled on me, so I will be in town this weekend. Can I attend even if I haven't read the book?

    November 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, please attend. :) I may not be able to get through the whole book this time either.

      November 12, 2013

    • Diane

      Sure!

      November 13, 2013

  • TIM

    HEY I have it under control what to bring ,

    November 13, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    Hi Diane, can we get Linda's address? Also (since she isn't a member of this meetup) I can't contact her to find out if I need to provide bowls for soup. Also her friend Tim called me last night and said he couldn't get a hold of her to get permission to bring fruit salad.

    November 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    "Sonja H.
    I am allergic to GARLIC!!!"

    Well the name of the book is Garlic and Sapphires!.

    1 · November 12, 2013

    • Sonja H.

      Yep, still allergic . . . title or no (grin).

      1 · November 13, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    Hi, this is for Nancy. I just completed the book. Live in Wash park. Happy to pass it to you if we can connect. [masked]

    November 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks, Meg. Now I have book. Just have to read it! :)

      November 12, 2013

  • Liz R.

    So, I am thinking that I will bring a baked chicken dish. It's a great recipe and I've always had luck with people liking it...

    November 12, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    Hi, I signed up for scalloped potatoes. I was surprised they had a connection to New York. Also, my friend gave me some carrots from her garden in Boulder. I am also bring Carrot, orange and thyme soup - just for kicks. It is from the Union Square Cafe in Manhattan. I'll bring it in a slow cooker. So I need to provide paper Bowls Linda.

    1 · November 12, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    I agree; brussel sprouts are a very underated vegetable.

    November 12, 2013

  • Diane

    Please start posting what dish you are bringing if you have not already done so. Also, if you have an allergy, please note it for the group. Thanks!

    November 11, 2013

    • Sonja H.

      And will be bringing sweet potato bread with pecans and cinnamon butter on the side!! Missed you all and am super excited for this Saturday (smile).

      1 · November 11, 2013

    • Diane

      THERE you are!!!

      November 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am thinking of bringing brussel sprouts but I would want to have creative license to cook them slightly differently and probably without the bacon. Are there any objections?

    1 · November 11, 2013

    • Diane

      I love brussels sprouts!

      November 12, 2013

  • Diane

    I was going to do this last time but I forgot. I am posting the questions that we will discuss ahead of time so that you may ponder them before we meet.

    “Every restaurant is a theater,” Reichl explains. “Each one offers the opportunity to become someone else, at least for a little while. Restaurants free us from mundane reality.” How do restaurants allow a person to leave reality?

    Reichl creates wildly innovative disguises. Which disguise is your favorite? Why is it so important for Reichl to maintain anonymity in her work?

    Reichl states to her future employers, “Your reviews are very useful guides for the people who already eat in the restaurants you review...You shouldn't be writing reviews for the people
    who dine in fancy restaurants but for those who wish they could.” How does this attitude change her role as a reviewer as well as how restaurants are reviewed?

    November 11, 2013

    • Diane

      More: By using disguises, Ruth is able to see what each restaurant will serve to the patrons who seem to be nobodies. Why is important that she has this type of experience in a restaurant? Do you feel this allows her to write an objective review?

      How does she portray that eating in a restaurant is more than just a physical experience?

      Each disguise takes on a personality. What does Ruth learn about herself and others through each disguise?

      November 11, 2013

  • Diane

    Hi all,

    Polls are posted for the January and February meetings, if you'd like to vote!

    November 11, 2013

  • TIM

    hi i was going to bring a Fruit salad two different kinds or do you want me to bring something else let me know ,i am new at this
    tim

    November 11, 2013

    • Diane

      Tim, please bring whatever the book inspired you to make. Everyone will start posting what they are bringing , so you may decide what to bring based on that, or if we have duplicates, that's ok, too.

      November 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I got a copy from
    Douglas county libraries, so when my Jeffco hold came in ?I released it. Should be available, unless one of you folks requested it already.

    November 9, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    Diane, may I bring a guest? thanks.

    November 5, 2013

    • Diane

      As long as our members don't have to get waitlisted, then yes!

      November 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Still haven't been able to get a copy of the book to read yet...requested it at library several weeks ago.

    November 7, 2013

  • Liz R.

    Still haven't finished book, not sure what I'll bring...Indecision abounds today!

    November 6, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    Hi, I will bring scalloped potatoes - Meg

    1 · November 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm making the first recipe; New York cheese cake.

    2 · November 4, 2013

  • Diane

    I'm making Spiced Chicken, a recipe by Ruth Reichl.

    November 4, 2013

  • Diane

    FYI, this book is available as an audio book.

    November 3, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    Hi Diane, About a week ago I suggested a book, but after checking the library there are no copies. I don't think it's reasonable to expect someone to buy a book. So i will retract that suggestion. Also i heard you speak about the avacado quiche that you decided wasn't so worthwhile and you (I believe said) you couldn't imagine baked avacado. Well, I have recipe crab, tomato, lime juice and cilantro filled avacados that you bake for about 15 minutes. If you are interested, I'll send along the recipe. It's a tasty and fairly healthy meal for one.

    October 29, 2013

    • Diane

      Yes, please! It sounds delicious!

      October 30, 2013

  • TIM

    hi there there is my first cooking class an i will try to make something i mean that i know linda an scott.i see them when i am out dancing ,any way i am sure them two will tell me the things or Diane ,anyway i am new here so i am looking forward to meeting you all , sorry i am from North Dakota.

    October 28, 2013

    • Diane

      Hi Tim! By the way, we are not a cooking class, but just a group getting together to discuss the books we read and dine on whatever dishes we were inspired to make from reading the book. Why are you sorry you are from North Dakota? :-)

      October 28, 2013

    • TIM

      i will pick up that book to-marrow an start reading it

      October 28, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    May I recommend the book "Tender at the Bone" by Ruth Reichl? She was the food critic for the NYT and editor of Gormet Magazine.

    2 · August 9, 2013

    • Sonja H.

      I vote Tender at the Bone for December ! ! !

      1 · August 29, 2013

    • Diane

      I think two Ruth Reichl books in a row is too much. Maybe in a few months we'll revisit this author.

      October 27, 2013

  • Diane

    Hi everyone! Please RSVP only if you are going to attend! Please do not RSVP because you might attend, or hope to attend. It's getting out of hand with people signing up and then canceling at the last minute. Please be mindful. Thank you!

    October 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll host again. Or my girl Linda is offering to host in southeast Denver for those who are tired of driving West.

    September 22, 2013

    • Diane

      HI Scott, can you please email me with her address?

      October 20, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    I goofed! This is a recomendation for December's book and the title is actually Consuming Passions -A food Obsessed Life

    October 20, 2013

  • Margaret B.

    Recommendation:

    Consuming Passions _ Michael Lee West

    A delightfully quirky memoir of an adventurous life centered around food and family—the story of how she went from non-cook to gourmet of words and victuals by watching a multitude of relatives squabble, prepare sumptuous repasts, and carry on honored traditions. Laced with delicious secret recipes passed from generation to generation, West's irresistible chronicle recalls good times and wild times—mothers swinging from chandeliers, elderly aunts brewing up love potions, a South American nymphomaniac stirring up trouble at a Louisiana barbeque joint, and the spooky hauntings of a cabbage-eating ghost—all in the pursuit of good dining. Thoroughly entertaining, alive with West's distinctive humor and sharp, irrepressible insight, here are incomparable American kitchen tales as warm and tasty as freshly baked bread.

    October 20, 2013

  • Deb W.

    Dang, I have to miss this one. But I will be in Santa Fe, eating mexican food and drinking margaritas. I will miss all of you and our out of control conversations!

    October 19, 2013

    • Diane

      Have a margarita for us!

      October 20, 2013

    • Deb W.

      I'll have one for each of you!

      October 20, 2013

  • Liz R.

    Now that I've met a couple of people (fun), I'm excited to join in.

    1 · October 9, 2013

  • Diane

    Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
    by Ruth Reichl. Suggested by Margaret. Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world—a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us—along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews—her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

    August 26, 2013

  • Diane

    I loved, I lost, I made spaghetti by Giulia Melucci. Suggested by me. From failure to fusilli, this deliciously hilarious read tells the story of Giulia Melucci's fizzled romances and the mouth-watering recipes she used to seduce her men, smooth over the lumps, and console herself when the relationships flamed out.

    From an affectionate alcoholic, to the classic New York City commitment-phobe, to a hipster aged past his sell date, and not one, but two novelists with Peter Pan complexes, Giulia has cooked for them all. She suffers each disappointment with resolute cheer (after a few tears) and a bowl of pastina (recipe included) and has lived to tell the tale so that other women may go out, hopefully with greater success, and if that's not possible, at least have something good to eat.

    1 · August 26, 2013

  • Diane

    Silver Phoenix (Kingdom of Xia #1) by Cindy Pon. Suggested by Sonja. Ai Ling can see into other people's minds and reach into their spirits. But she doesn't know why this power has awakened inside her. She only knows that it is growing. It leads her on an epic journey—one that brings her to the edge of the deepest evil.

    Chen Yong has a quest of his own, but then his path crosses Ai Ling's. And there's a connection so strong that neither can ignore it.

    Now they must face terrifying demons determined to kill them, and battle through treacherous lands. It is their destiny. But can destiny keep them together?

    1 · August 26, 2013

  • Diane

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Suggested by Scott. First published in 1899, this beautiful, brief novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read and admired, The Awakening has been hailed as an early vision of woman's emancipation. This sensuous book tells of a woman's abandonment of her family, her seduction, and her awakening to desires and passions that threated to consumer her. Originally entitled "A Solitary Soul," this portrait of twenty-eight-year-old Edna Pontellier is a landmark in American fiction, rooted firmly in the romantic tradition of Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson. Here, a woman in search of self-discovery turns away from convention and society, and toward the primal, from convention and society, and toward the primal, irresistibly attracted to nature and the senses

    August 26, 2013

  • Diane

    I'll post all recommendations in the November poll, up to about five books. Maybe start recycling some previous poll books. My book suggestion for this month will be, "I loved, I lost, I made spaghetti", by Giulia Melucci.

    August 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am SOOOOO sorry to cancel at the almost last minute. I woke up feeling kind of crappy. Sorry again. Have fun everyone.

    August 10, 2013

    • Diane

      Hi Shirley, I'm sorry you weren't well. We missed you! I hope you are feeling better and I hope to see you soon!

      August 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    A Separate Country
    by Robert Hicks

    $10.40 Paperback, $9.99 e-book
    This historical novel will take you way back: Set several years after the Civil War, it's based on the life of Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood, a wildly controversial figure who led his men to bloody defeat in battle.

    August 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table by Sara Roahen

    August 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    How about some Cajun recipes? For the book:
    The Awakening (Chopin novel)
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Author(s)
    Kate Chopin Publisher
    H.S. Stone & Co. ISBN[masked] The Awakening, originally titled A Solitary Soul, is a novel by Kate Chopin, first published in 1899. Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the nineteenth century, the plot centers on Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century South. It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women's issues without condescension. It is also widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism, generating mixed reaction from contemporary readers and criticism.

    August 10, 2013

7 went

  • Diane
    Organizer
    Event Host
  • TIM
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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