Of October Nights and Twinkling Lights

Last night was the October meeting for my mother’s book club; she hosted the fête for Anna Karenina while I led the discussion. Such as that might be as several woman considered 400 pages read, of the 900 total, sufficient and therefore missed the entire reason for Anna’s death as well as Levin’s revelation. But more to come on that when Arti and I officially review the rest of the book at October’s end.
My mother used Greening apples which she’d purchased from northern Wisconsin over Columbus Day weekend to make the apple sharlotka, a recipe we found here. I cannot attest to the ease it may have taken her to make this treat, pictured in the foreground, but I can testify to its deliciousness. It is a lovely way to indulge oneself, especially in the fall, with a dessert which is not only fantastically yummy but actually good for you. I mean there isn’t any butter in the recipe, which is one of my favorite food groups, and I didn’t even miss it.

Tonight, a few colleagues and I met at Quigley’s, an Irish pub in our town, to discuss politics. Teaching. The Little Stranger. There was Earl Grey tea to be had, and fish and chips, unless one ordered the Shepherd’s Pie or lamb stew. On a dreary, drizzling, October evening, it was lovely to meet with friends even though we may differ on our political persuasion. Twinkling lights seem to overcome the darkness pervasive in this pre-election month. 

29 thoughts on “Of October Nights and Twinkling Lights

  1. Oh, how I wish I lived close enough to join your mother's book club! What a beautiful table… and that apple sharlotka (sounds like something my Russian-Jewish mother-in-law might have made) looks yummy, in spite of the lack of butter! But really? How could anyone attend without reading the entire book?!

    And, Quigley's. Sigh. I need to move closer. An Irish pub with fish & chips or Shepherd's Pie? Yes, please! You and I are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but I'm sure we'd have a lovely time. 😉

    BTW, guess what I did this evening? Yep. I wrote a draft of my review for The Thorn Birds. I'm going to send it to you before I post. We can chat about it via email or on the blog. Whichever you like.

    Have a wonderful Friday, Meredith! Hope our horrid winds aren't heading your way. 60 mph gusts!


  2. How I wish I could be there to join in the discussions, and taste the dainty delights. I’ve finished the book now. There are so much covered and I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts on it. I’ve scheduled the final post to wrap up Parts 4 – 8 of Anna K. for November 15. If you’re thinking of just writing one post then post it then. But if you’d like to share with two posts, I look forward to reading your late Oct one and then your conclusion come Nov. 15. BTW, the link you’ve embedded to my blog leads to a wrong site. It’s rippleeffects dot wordpress dot com. Can’t wait to read your sharing. 😉


  3. Such a beautiful picture, that one with the twinkling lights. I can just imagine, night, The Little Stranger, and tea. Thank heavens for lovely evenings, right?

    How wonderful of your mother to make that Russian dish for the book club's meeting. And you made me chuckle about the sufficient-enough 400 pages.


  4. So, this post made me hungry. The sharlotka looks fantastic! I might just have to try that recipe out next week. As for the book club ladies…I can totally identify with not having time to finish a book in time for book club meetings. Sometimes life just gets in the way. But when it happens, it's surely the done thing to turn up with apologies and offerings of cake, not to pretend that 400/900 pages is 'sufficient'?!



  5. Loved the pictures and that Russian dessert looked yummy! I can't believe they felt that 400 pages was sufficient – blimey! That would drive me bonkers. And seriously, no butter! Wow! Quiqley's sounds amazing! Tea and chatting – how perfect! What a lovely evening indeed! I definitely wished I lived nearby 😉


  6. That apple sharlotka looks incredible! (I “checked out” the recipe and **SPOILER ALERT** discovered that it's mostly apples, held together by just a bit of batter.) The table is a very lovely and refined setting for a book club, and Quigley's seems like a warm and charming place to convene, especially on a cool and drizzly October eve.


  7. It all looks wonderful, Bellezza. I love those gatherings of friends with food and twinkly lights and nice fall atmosphere. And great conversation, of course. 🙂


  8. No horrid winds have come our way so far, but we have had dreadful grey. I went for a bike ride today despite the gloom and still enjoyed the colors.

    I wish we could go to Quigley's together (among other fun adventures).


  9. I'll add you to the list immediately, CJ! As for the political discussion I am a bit on my own in education settings. Every one is liberal, and pro-Obama, and it wasn't helpful that one woman had just come back from Springfield where the inmates run the asylum. It's not that I don't have a heart for the down and out; it's just the whole entitlement thing really gets me. Among a few other issues like, say, abortion.


  10. My mom is an awesome cook, and no one could ever match her style in the hostess department. Not even Martha Stewart. It would have been lovely to have you, Claire.


  11. It even makes me want to be the hostess. Except it's so much work to make it so nice…sometimes it's easier for me just to be the leader with questions printed out from the Great Books Foundation.


  12. That movie is at our local theater now, as a matter of fact. I watched most if the trailer on Flixster which just had an Indian girl reading from some huge certificate so I didn't get a good idea of all it entails. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, though, Arti.


  13. Too bad that not all book club members felt it was necessary to finish reading the book 😦

    I love those lights outside the pub. Can't wait for those festive lights to appear here as well 🙂 Autumn is still hovering in the air, not quite descending on Rotterdam. It feels a bit indecisive in a way… while I would love it to get chillier outside and cosier inside!


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