The Saturday Breeze: Week of July 26

Recapping this week — the highlight was book club on Thursday night which you can read about here.  Kathy Hepinstall was a delight!  I wanted to make a special cocktail to celebrate the book’s main character, Polly, and I found the perfect sip from The Cocktail Club by Maureen Petrosky. It’s a “year of recipes and tips for spirited tasting parties.”  It just so happened that during the month of June, margaritas are the featured drink.  Strawberry-Basil Margaritas sounded perfect.

I bought huge containers of basil and strawberries from Trader Joe’s (I plan to make pesto with the leftover basil).

Recipe:

One cup of sugar

zest of one lime

10-12 strawberries, hulled and sliced

8 fresh basil leaves

2-2 1/2 cups of silver tequila

1- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice (about 10 limes)

Ice cubes

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and zest with 1 cup of water. Simmer over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and strain the syrup into a clean container.  Let it cool completely.

Add the strawberries to a large pitcher.  Bruise or gently squeeze the basil leaves and add them to the pitcher.

Add the tequila, lime-flavored simple syrup, and 1 cup of the lime juice and stir.

I only used 2 cups of tequila and one cup of lime juice, but taste it to adjust to your preference.  I also took a potato masher and crushed the strawberries more.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Serve in glasses filled with ice.

It was refreshing and a perfect twist on the traditional margarita.

For next week’s breeze, I will have fun details to share from our neighborhood fish fry — including a fried shrimp recipe from my hero — Helen Corbitt!

Have a splendid Saturday!

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Camino Island by John Grisham

We wrapped up The Book of Polly last night with an engaging phone call into our meeting by the author, Kathy Hepinstall.  She was lovely and funny and insightful.  We learned so much about the book publishing industry, and that The Book of Polly has already been optioned as a movie! We gave her all sorts of ideas on who should star in the movie and that our book club should be invited to walk the red carpet with her!  We already have our stylist Holley putting together our outfits for the big day. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful to Kathy that she accepted our invitation to talk with us last night.  The last thing she asked for in our call was a group photo holding Polly’s favorite drink — Margaritas!

So, moving on to July.  We will be reading Camino Island by John Grisham.

“A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.
     Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.
     Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.
     But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.”

According to this review from the NY Times — “Grisham has said that he and his wife dreamed up “Camino Island” during a long car ride to Florida, and the book provides the pleasure of a leisurely jaunt periodically jolted into high gear, just for the fun and speed of it.”

If you haven’t been able to read along with us the past few months, jump in any time.  Here is the link to Book Movement where you can sign up for free to be in Mrs. Twist Reads This book club.  You can see what’s in our queue, write reviews, read and share group discussion questions and be on the list to review emails from me about meetings and happenings in our club.  Our next gathering will be Thursday, July 27 at 7 p.m. to discuss Camino Island.

Have a fab Friday!