Saturday, May 28, 2011

How to prepare for book club

1. Dust and vacuum the living room for the first time since. Since. When was the last time we had company? We never use the living room or the dining room when it's just us because in the winter, they are too darn cold and we are too darn cheap to heat them. Since a long time.

2. Iron the lacy white linen tablecloth. Why did I ever think it was a good idea to buy a 1. white 2. linen tablecloth? It's not like I have servants any more and actually, my cleaning lady in Chile wasn't exactly trustworthy (I refer you to the vegetable brush/toilet incident). My cleaning lady in Memphis let her little girl scribble all over my white sofa. And then didn't tell me about it. I discovered it when I moved the three pillows and discovered that the backside of each had blue ink lines. The odds of all three pillows being turned with the ink side down just randomly are only one in eight, which made me think that perhaps they had been turned deliberately. Anyhow, it's so hard to get good help these days, which is why my house now is not in top shape and which is why I don't wear my glasses indoors because really, who needs to see all that dust or the dead bugs resting in the bottom of the ceiling light fixtures?

3. Pick snacks that are within the bookclub lexicon but will impress the other members. What? You think I'm competitive? Well maybe I am. Snacks turn out to be cupcakes from the new place in the mall - there was a Living Social coupon for a dozen for about $15. Which is still too much to pay for cupcakes, but not as much as the $4.10 apiece you pay at the counter. You pay. Not me. I will not ever pay more for one piece of dessert than it costs for a pound of butter. Unless it's really fancy and at a restaurant and even then, I am reluctant to shell out the bucks, as I like to bake and it's not hard to make a good dessert.

I also make the Memphis Junior League onion dip that is so yummy and so easy:

24 ounces of cream cheese (I use the lowfat, so really, this dip is not fattening at all)
One lb chopped onion (one large onion) - the trick is to chop it, freeze it, thaw it and squeeze the juice out of it
1/2 cup mayonnaise (again, I used the lowfat - this dip won't add to your Milwaukee Roll at all)
2 cups or so of grated parmesan cheese.

Mix it all up, put it in a shallow dish, and pop it in the oven until it's heated through and browning on top. Serve with chips. Or just scoop up with your finger and eat straight out of the container. But don't do this in front of people or they will think you are uncivilized.

4. Most important: hide the brain candy books I've been reading (I didn't realize that Susan Elizabeth Philips counts as a Harlequin romance type writer, but the fact that the basic setup of most of her books is the

a. strong-willed, independent yet alone in this world (either orphaned or has been cut off by her wealthy parents) woman, who is also gorgeous but unaware of it
b. who meets the handsome but flawed alpha male (wealthy, of course) who
c. drives her crazy and vice versa but even so they
d. almost sleep together but then don't at the last minute but does that mean the chemistry between them diminishes? no it does not and after
e. some drama he
f. resolves his flaws and grows into a Fully Realized Human Being and she
g. realizes she is not unattractive and gains some confidence and then they
h. end up together, married to live happily ever after)

and replace them with serious, intellectual books (an analysis of FDR's Supreme Court, a history of mathematicians) so my book club friends will not think I am a lightweight.

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