Foodie Book Club

Foodie Book Club Meeting: Wednesday, June 30.  6:30 pm

It’s a potluck, so bring a dish to share inspired by the book. We’ll provide refreshment!

Our next book club meeting will be super sweet (and maybe a little savory) with a potluck inspired by American Pie: Slices Of Life (And Pie) From America’s Back Roads.

“Pie just may be the madonna-whore of the dessert world,” Le Draoulec writes. “It’s pie’s dual nature; the fact that pie is both sensuous and maternal. Sweet yet sensible.”

Come discuss!


we just got a new book in: The Vegan Scoop by Wheeler Del Torro.

The Vegan Scoop

i was lucky enough to try some Wheeler’s Black Label vegan ice cream at the 2008 renegade craft fair in mccarren pool. it was great! i eat dairy ice cream occasionally (i’m not vegan. i’m a vegetarian with a vegan love interest, and i cook only vegan.) and i wouldn’t have guessed this stuff was nondairy. while there are some great commercially available vegan ice creams out there, a lot of them are noticeably ‘different’. but wheelers -will- fool your friends. and it was tasty! i only had chocolate, but it was a rich awesome dark chocolate. but despite rumors that Wheeler’s would be opening a shop in our own williamsburg*, so far as i know it’s still only available in boston, where they have an ice cream shop and recently expanded into a restaurant.

a few vegan ice cream cookbooks have just come out this year, which is great, since i only knew of one before that, Vice Cream. But i’ve definitely been highly anticipating Wheeler’s book. And now it’s finally here, and just in time for Ice Cream Month! I took my copy home monday. there are some super unusual flavors in here (in my experience anyway) like yam (not sweet potato. yam). i thought red bean at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory was unusual! there is also a wasabi ice cream. and shandy**. there’s regular stuff like rocky road and peanut butter too. and vanilla and chocolate.

the book sports a pretty thorough glossary of ingredients, broken up into several lists: basica (that is, sugars and thickeners), fruits/veggies, legumes and then spices. from thumbing through, it seems that all wheeler’s recipes involve a soymilk/soycreamer combo, but he encourages experimentation and includes a brief rundown of other non-dairy milks. my one complaint there would be that it’s hard to find non-dairy creamer that isn’t soy. i know there is something called ‘coconut cream’ (as opposed to coconut milk) but i don’t know if that would work. but i also know of a product called Mimicreme, which i’ve used for ice cream before, that is soy free and mainly cashews. i actually think it’s pretty awesome, and just found out you can get it at khim’s millenium market on driggs.

there are also quite a few recipes for things that aren’t ice cream, like fruit sushi and amaretto fudge. and one thing i do particularly like, as an information junkie of sorts, is the ‘tidbits’ of information about ingredients in the sidebar. not things you necessarily need to know, but great for those of us who like to know stuff. there are also quite a few recipes for things that aren’t ice cream with suggested flavor pairin including fruit sushi and amaretto fudge!

for the book club meeting tonight we read A Dilly of a Death, a pickle themed, texas-set murder mystery. so i’m making Wheeler’s Sweet Cucumber ice cream. it’s not pickles, but i don’t like pickles anyway. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

*while wheelers has yet to open an outlet in the big apple, 2 vegan ice cream parlors have opened in manhattan since last summer.  Stogo and Lulu’s.  both feature soy and non-soy vegan ice creams, but i can only attest to lulu’s: it’s great!  still though, williamsburg could use its own vegan ice cream parlor.  for now we’ll just have to settle for milkshakes from foodswings and the chicago soy dairy ice cream they serve at Vinnie’s and Penny Licks.

**from wikipedia: “Shandy is beer flavoured with ginger ale, ginger beer, lemonade, or other soft drink. The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste, normally half-and-half, although shandy that is sold canned or bottled is typically much weaker (about one part beer to ten parts lemonade).”

the ice cream is a ginger beer shandy. i had a can of lemonade shandy in scotland once. once.

On Thursday night, we had the latest Foodie Book Club meetup, our excuse to gather with friends in the store and eat food inspired by some of our favorite books.  We try to do it every other month, and everyone is invited.  This month we discussed Madhur Jaffrey’s “Climbing the Mango Trees”, a memoir of a childhood spent in India.  Jaffrey is a famous actress who has gained fame here in the U.S. for her wonderful food writing.  “Climbing the Mango Trees” is not only filled with wonderful stories about how important food was in her upbringing, but there is an appendix of recipes in the back of the book.

As always, the Foodie Book Club participants are encouraged to make a dish inspired by the book- and this month’s crew came through in a huge way!  Check out photos of the amazing spread, and a few recipes, after the jump…