Yesterday was book group discussion day at my house…and, sorry to you guys who live in cold country, but it was 80 degrees here in sunny, drought-ridden, So. California….which called for a summery menu of tidbits to snack on while discussing the seriously good writing of Maggie O’Farrell in her recent novel, Instructions for a Heatwave.
My original thought for small bites to serve when hosting this month’s discussion included scones and hot tea (as the book is set in England and Ireland), but, alas, the weather forced me to rethink what to serve. Ironically, the unusually hot weather we are experiencing in California paralleled the strangely hot weather setting O’Farrell had London experiencing in her novel. Still, in the story, there was A LOT of preparing of hot tea going on. Actually, the Irish are known to drink more tea per capita than any other nation. Well, I decided on iced tea and prepared one of my favorites, Jasmine Pearl Green tea…it is light, refreshing, and fragrant. I also had been desiring my fragrant marbled tea egg (hard-boiled eggs, steeped in tea, cinnamon stick, star anise, and a bit of soy). They are unique and tasty served sliced onto a little biscuit, of which I had a few put away in the freezer just for this occasion. These, along with a raw coconut tea cookie (much like a shortbread, with coconut) would be the primary fare. Some fresh organic California grown juicy raspberries made it to the discussion too.
I’m not sure why my mind went this Asian route with the menu for our English/Irish story, but we had fun, ate it all up, and continue to be moved by how our small group discussions seem to soothe our souls in a special way. I will post the recipe for the marbled tea eggs in a few days. They are easy to prepare, yet just gorgeous and unusual. It’s as easy as boiling water, but looks like you painted them. Same for the coconut cookie, easy as pie (but it’s a tea cookie 🙂 )
Our discussion brought us closer together as we shared our own history as related to the book…and all over a cup of tea…amazing the revelations tea brings about.