Our book club met last night (out on the back porch because it was a lovely night and I had filled the house with propane gas–long story) to discuss THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE. Our ratings ranged from 2 1/2 stars to 4 1/2 stars (out of five). What we loved–the concept. Brilliant. What we didn’t love? The characters seemed . . . aloof. As a writer, I know one way to make readers sympathize with your character is to give them a vulnerability, and Clare seemed totally self-reliant while Henry had learned to fend for himself by the time we met him. But overall, very good ratings.
My favorite bit: “Her father’s dead.” “But he’s not continuously dead!” LOL. My least favorite bit: Gomez.
On to other topics: Bible challenge today brought us up to the story of Joseph, one of my faves. But I mean to go back and check out Jacob and those spotted sheep. I have never understood what the shaved tree branches had to do with sheep genetics, but I’m going to look it up. If I find anything interesting, I’ll report back.
Best part of book club: We have an angel named Barb, a retired art teacher, who COOKS (something I gave up long ago). Better yet, she shares her recipes. Here’s the original creation she brought to us last night:
Barb’s Cinnamon Bun Pudding w/ Strawberries & Bananas
Cinnamon Rum Sauce
9×13 Pan Oven 350 degrees
Cinnamon Buns(6 or 7 lg. Panera Bread Cinnamon Buns or enough to snugly cover bottom of 9×13 pan)
10 tablespoons butter (1 1/4 stick)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup
16 0z. bag Frozen Strawberries
2 bananas, very ripe
7 eggs plus 3 yolks
2 1/2 – 3 cups whipping cream/or half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan melt butter with sugars and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring until smooth. Pour into 9×13 in baking dish to cover bottom.
Arrange buns in one layer on top of butter/sugar. Cut them into sections and squeeze them slightly to fit, if necessary.
Press them into the butter/sugar then flip them over so they are coated with the butter/sugar mixture.
In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, combine strawberries, sprinkled with several tablespoons of sugar, add a splash of Rum, and stir until sugar is dissolved and strawberries are soft enough to cut in half with a knife. Remove from heat, halve the berries, stir in 2 sliced bananas to coat with liquid in sauce pan. Distribute fruit on top of buns, pushing them down into the spaces between bun sections.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half&half, vanilla and salt until combined well, then pour over bread. Cover/refrigerate.
Chill bread mixture 8 hours and up to one day.
1 hour before baking remove from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350. Bake, uncovered in middle of oven until puffed and edges are golden, 40 – 60 minutes.
Serve as is, or with Whiskey Butter Sauce, Toasted Pecans, Cinnamon Rum Sauce, or ice cream.
Buttered Rum Sauce
1 stick butter
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 cup dark rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
optional: 1/2 cup cream, toasted pecans
Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add dark brown sugar, ground cinnamon, corn syrup, and salt and whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbling and smooth, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in dark rum and vanilla extract. Serve warm.
(Cinnamon-Rum Sauce can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Warm in microwave or over low heat, whisking occasionally, before serving.)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
For Book Club I increased the sauce by half.