DIY Book Clubs
Are you in a book club? Would you like to start one? We have everything you need to host your own book club, from the discussion questions to recipes you can make and serve your fellow members. Follow the links below.
Download these sheets to enhance your discussion of One Two Three:
You might also want to check out the author’s website, https://www.lauriefrankel.net
Food for Your Meeting:
by Nancy Stohs
Planning a spread for your book club’s discussion is as easy as, well, one-two-three!
For inspiration you need only look to Nora, the energetic, tenacious mom of triplets with three jobs and an insatiable passion for baking. In one scene, we find her “baking bread, baking cake, baking tarts: sugary things, sweet things, anything to keep her hands busy, muttering under her breath, earbuds in deep as sunken treasure.”
We’re told that she “can make muffins that teeter at the serrated edge between sugar and butter, pillowed perfect sweetness you taste at the sides of your tongue like an afterthought, like you imagined it but imagined it vividly.”
A tough act to follow!
Nora bakes “to feed her fellow citizens,” Mirabell tells us. But her primary motivation for all this baking madness? “Nora bakes because baking doesn’t involve water.” And so, the baking recipes we include here don’t either. When liquid is needed, they variously use buttermilk, Coca-Cola, lemon juice, milk, orange juice or brandy.
Nora might take this emphasis on sweets a bit too far for most of us.
“To ensure our good health, to keep us well and strong,” Mirabell tells us, “Nora insists we eat cake. Cake and cookies, muffins and crumbles, Danish and donuts and croissants. Some Saturdays she feeds us nothing but brownies and a multivitamin.”
But there are other ways besides sweets to honor this book at your table. Consider a platter of assorted yellow foods for Monday’s obsession with all things yellow. Choices include cheese, summer squash, Corn Pops (a favorite of Monday’s), yellow M&Ms, Golden Delicious apples, even deviled eggs.
Or you could go green, Monday’s choice for rainy days: kiwi, grapes, honeydew, broccoli, cucumbers, asparagus, pickles – you get the idea. Guac and tortilla chips would be a nod to both colors of food that Monday will eat, as would a bowl of lemon and limes set out as a centerpiece.
Or, to keep things simple, you could just order pizza. Good pizza, given that the only choice available to Bourne’s residents was mediocre.
What about beverages? Bottled water is a natural, of course! So is beer, the drink of choice in Bourne’s only bar. Or, you could serve tap water and collectively thank your lucky stars that it’s perfectly safe for all to drink.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a from-scratch brownie. The recipe for this rich, fudgy bar was shared at the 2002 Milwaukee Public Library author luncheon when Ruth Reichl was the speaker. The addictive brownie appears in her 1998 book, Tender at the Bone.
Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake
When Mab and Monday visit the Templetons’ library home, blueberry muffins are set out for the guests. This recipe, published in The New York Times in 1987, calls for mashing a half cup of berries and adding them to the batter, which yields a very moist muffin.
Cranberry Orange Date Bread
Le Rêve Chocolate Chip Cookies
Raspberry Almond Tarts
For a fancier dessert, try these heavenly little tarts. They take some time but are worth the effort. The recipe is originally from Fessenbecker’s Bakery, which was located in Tosa around 92nd St. and North Ave. in the 1960s and ’70s.