Once upon a time, before kids, I did things like go out to the sushi bar every Thursday night. There was another young, childless couple, that my boyfriend and I would see there often, and after a few awkward weeks of chatting across the bar and acknowledging that we clearly had the same date night, we just started sitting together. One week, the wife invited me to join her book club. She said it was fine if I hadn't read the book, but I should come to the meeting that month to meet everyone, and then next month I'd be like a regular. I was nervous to meet a new group of people, but it sounded like a fun thing to be nervous about. I had just graduated with my English Degree a year before, and the idea of talking to other ladies about books again really delighted me.
I drove to my sushi-friend's house, and then we rode together to the book club meeting. I realized that it was mostly social, although we talked about the book, and there was drinking involved. The club had a rule that they would potluck bring food associated to a theme picked from the book. I don't remember the book, but Spanish/Mexican food was the food theme. That was the first time I saw someone use a citrus press, which seemed kind of silly at the time but I now have and use nearly every day, and it was also the first time I had sangria. I thought it was just wine and juice (no one explained that hard alcohol was involved) and I foolishing drank it like the fruit punch I seemed to think it was.
I soon found myself wasted drunk and surrounded by strangers. When we got back to sushi-friend's house, I knew there was no way I was getting in my car, so her husband drove me home and I had to have my boyfriend drive me back to my car the next day.
I learned a lot that day. That book club is the model for all that is wonderful about female interactions. It was a group of social workers mostly. One woman was a counselor, others worked in different capacity, all helping juvenile offenders through the justice system. They were compassionate and funny and smart and the kind of women I have sought out since. I also learned the joy of a book club that doesn't have to take itself too seriously, and instead focuses on the joyful ways books bring us together and the pleasure of hanging out (and drinking) with other women.
I'm not afraid of sangria anymore- much- so for my first in a regular part of my blog on La Croix cocktails (La Croixcktails), I've decided on an aptly green sangria for St. Patrick's Day to offer an alternative to the beer with food coloring so often associated with the day. This is my first attempt, so be gentle as I work on my mixology skills.
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup brandy
I green apple, sliced
Most-all of alime La Croix (it would be good with other flavors too)
I mixed mine in a quart mason jar, because it's a gorgeous green cup, with about a cup of ice.
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