When I was little I used to hide a flashlight under the covers in my bedroom so that I could read long after the light was turned out. My optometrist once told me that if I kept it up I would need glasses – and he was right – but I think it was worth it. The countless hours I spent reading into the depth of a quiet night on the farm will always stay with me. Once in high school I would sometimes stay home sick from school for an entire week after an especially fruitful trip to the library – tucked into a warm bed munching on chocolate as I whiled away the daytime hours and still read late into the night. Needless to say I remain an avid reader. Or I did – until Olive came along. Now I have not read a book in almost eight months (or at least not one that does not have chapters with titles like “how to lose post-partum weight”, “returning to work while breastfeeding” and “dealing with a sick child”). So when my husband suggested we start a book club I laughed – how am I going to read a book a month when I can’t even pick one out I am so distracted? Well – with the exception of the entire library of cookbooks I got for Christmas that I have already devoured – those I still whip through in no time – reading them like novels and savouring every delectable word. And then it came to me.

We are going to start a cook-book club.

The Idea – The only thing better than all the delicious virtual pot-lucks I have been seeing on everyone’s blogs is a real potluck! Every month of 2011 we will assign a cookbook that a number of us have. On the last weekend of every month we will have a cookbook club meeting – and each participant gets to cook one recipe of their choice and bring it to the meeting. Then we discuss the cookbook and eat – followed by choosing recipes for the next month….

The People – At first we really wanted to pick people who were reliable and who could cook – to ensure that each month we had a nice good group to give their opinions on fresh topics. Then we realized that it would be hard to pick cookbooks that way as everyone has different collections – so instead we are going to open it up to participate whenever you like and when the cookbook appeals to you.  Maressa and I are going to be doing it for sure every month. On top of that – we will most likely corral our moms into doing it as well. This will make up a main group of 4 people. In addition we would like to have guests as often as possible – so come on out if you live anywhere in the Ottawa area. We would also love to welcome any virtual guests so feel free to participate at home and let us know how it goes.

The Trial – January 2011 will be a trial month to see how it goes. We will be doing Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table”. The meeting was a success, read about it here.

February 2011 – Jamie Oliver’s “Cook with Jamie“. Read the review here.

March 2011 – Ina Garten’s “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

April 2011 – Mary Engelbreit’s “Dining Out Cookbook

NEXT UP  – Giada Di Laurentiis “Everyday Italian” – email us or comment if you want to join us on the May long weekend for an Italian feast:)

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