Goatherd Book Club: A Room with a View

Goatherd Book Club: A Room with a View

I haven’t before reported on book club. but CynDee went so over the top with matching food to theme that I finally broke down. I simply couldn’t help taking photos. To go with “A Room with a View,” set in partly in Florence, she emarked upon a true Italian journey. She asked her friend Dominick, a second generation Italian-American, to teach her the secrets of Sunday Sauce. He took her to Arthur Avenue to source her ingredients, and showed her all the tricks and trades to serving an absoultely stunning meal. Here’s just a peak at the pasta and the meat that goes along with it:

More mouthwatering dishes and photos of our fun and lively discussion, after the jump.

So CynDee was so excited to prepare an authentic meal for us that, as I said, she enlisted the help of Dominick, aka Dom. He took her to Arthur Avenue for shopping, and then helped her make the Sunday Sauce. Here, in this photos by Debbie, Dom’s wife, are CynDee and Dom making sauce:


And the meatballs she’s making in the above photo:

The hostess with the mostess:

One of the cheeses. I believe this one was with truffle and honey:

Another cheese, with sundried tomatoes:

A third cheese, this one with fresh fava beans:

The hors d’oeuvres spread:

The table is set:

So book club started out in January, 2008. I had been watching The Jane Austen Book Club movie on TV, and remembered how much Irene and CynDee loved the Jane Austen books. I had never read any. I asked them if they might like to form a book club and read them together. They jumped to it! We asked Greg, Rory, Niki and Kris to join us. Kris bowed out after Emma — she was in another book club and wasn’t a big fan of Jane, anyway.

After about a year, we finished all six of the books, and decided we’d keep up the book club with a new theme: The Modern Library’s 100 Best English Language Novels. Except Ulysses. He’s off the list. We asked Kris back — she was in, and invited Tom, too — and we also asked John. So far, we’ve read:

Angle of Repose by by Wallace Stegner
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemmingway
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Yes, I realized A Moveable Feast is not on the list. But we didn’t realize it at the time. And good thing, too, because the discussion of the book gave us our new name: The Goatherd Book Club.

The quote:

When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest…. The goatherd came up the street blowing his pipes and a woman who lived on the floor above us came out onto the sidewalk with a big pot. The goatherd chose one of the heavy-bagged,black milk-goats and milked her into the pot while his dog pushed the others onto the sidewalk. The goats looked around, turning their necks like sight-seers. The goat- herd took the money from the woman and thanked her and went on up the street piping and the dog herded the goats on ahead, their horns bobbing. I went back to writing and the woman came up the stairs with the goat milk. She wore her felt-soled cleaning shoes and I only heard her breathing as she stopped on the stairs outside our door and then the shutting of her door. She was the only customer for goat milk in our building.

We latched on to that, and, since we’re no longer reading Jane, we went with a new name.

But I digress. Here’s our Room with a View meeting:

Rory and CynDee:

The goatherders arrive:

John brought an amazing dish made with eggs from his chickens:

CynDee made negronis. Delishy!

CynDee gets dinner ready:

You drain the pasta —

— and pull the meat out of the sauce:

— then toss the pasta with the liquidy sauce:

The goatherd at the table. Irene serves some salad:

Delicious salad:

My pasta:

Oh my goodness. Insanity.

CynDee and Rory discuss something while Kris and Tom make afterdinner drinks:

Greg and John:

And, at the end of the evening, a dorky portrait of all the goatherders:


  1. Loved it! Thanks for sharing the link. I’m now going to forward to Dom … Great article in the paper this morning. Have fun tomorrow night!

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