Ideas for book clubs
FOR MADAME TUSSAUD'S APPRENTICE :
VENUE: Of course, Paris would be the perfect spot to hold your book club meeting for MADAME TUSSAUD. Or even Versailles, if you really want a glamorous venue! But because most of us lack our own private jet or millions of dollars with which to fly to Paris on a quick book-clubbing jaunt, why not bring Paris to your book clubbers instead? Buy some French music. Set up some small tables with candlelight. Find some cheap berets for your book clubbers to wear. Spray a light scent of perfume into the air. Now close your eyes. Are you in Paris yet?
FOOD: If not, the food should send you there. How much fun is it to dish out food when the subject of your book takes place in France? With the explosion of cheese shops around the country, find a nice warm baguette and experiment with different kinds of French cheeses – a cow’s milk, a goat cheese and a bit of pate, and France is within your grasp.
If you want to go really wild, cook up some roast chicken and haricots vert – the same food Celie dreams about in the Palais-Royal. Or get your book clubbers to try escargot (snails) a real French delicacy.
Here’s a great roast chicken recipe you can try from one of my very best friends:
SARAH SMITH CHICKEN
1 stick butter – room temperature
¼ cup plus more soy sauce
1 whole roasting chicken
Chinese Five Spice
Remove giblets from cavity in roasting chicken. Toss giblets.
Mix stick of butter with 3-4 large spoonfuls of garlic
Stuff garlic butter under the breast skin of the roasting chicken
Divide and pour ¼ cup soy sauce into both sides of breast under skin
Pour more soy sauce over the top of the chicken
Sprinkle Chinese five spice over soy sauce on chicken
Bake at 450 for 20 minutes
Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 1½ hours more
Carve and serve
If, on the other hand, you are meeting for breakfast, like Marie Antoinette, why not serve your book clubbers warm, buttery croissants with hot chocolate made with whole milk and real chocolate? Have them imagine how they would describe the new hot drink that was the rage across Europe if this was the first time they were trying it!
www.history.com/topics/french-revolution or www.youtube.com/watch
or www.youtube.com/watch to watch One Direction's Zayn Malik being sculpted at Madame Tussaud's
SPECIAL GUEST: If you live in a city where Madame Tussaud has one of her museums, consider making a trip and seeing her wax figures in person. Try and get a tour with one of the museum curators. If however, there is not a museum near you, why not contact the museum itself and try to get a Skype visit with one of the staff members. Seeing the actual process involved in making a wax figure will bring the book to life, too!