Last night I had the Litwits over for Book Club night.
This month we read "Pride and Prejudice".
In our club we choose a month to host and then we choose the book for our month.
I chose "P & P" because I sadly had never read it and wanted to, but kept putting it off.
I know the movies so well, it was a travesty not to know the original material!
Thankfully the Litwits were up to the challenge.
Several weeks ago (when I wasn't in the middle of Thanksgiving preparations, school play practice, and meeting up with visiting friends), I was bitten by the Austen bug and decided to do "authentic" food for the P & P party.
Research was difficult.
Jane Austen herself was not a "foodie" so she didn't write much about food in her novels.
But I did come up with 3 recipes that were typical foods of her time (late 1700s/early 1800s). I'll be sharing those recipes on my food blog this weekend - http://www.yallcomeeat.com/.
And then I added other foods that she mentions in her books.
Olives (from Sense and Sensibility) were a real treat and hard to come by for most people.
Strawberries (from Emma) were a delicacy in the spring if you were lucky enough to have beds.
And mixed nuts were often served with sandwiches and sweets during High Tea.
For drinks I went with tea and Port.
I knew virtually nothing about Port, so was happy David was with me at the store when we chose one. I really liked it. And a little goes a long way.
Scones, tarts, and cucumber sandwiches.
With olives, strawberries, nuts and Port.
Tea in the kitchen.
I didn't have proper Port glasses so went with the smallest version of what I did have.
We chose the British Warre's Tawny Port.
I was pleased the recipes I was following turned out.
It's always slightly nerve wracking to make un-tried recipes with no back-up plan the day of an event.
We went with the unpitted olives, just as they would have back in Jane's time :)
We had a fantastic discussion and watched two pivotal scenes from both the P & P Mini-Series (Colin Firth!) and the more recent movie with Matthew McFadyen and Keira Knightley (which David watched and liked - amazing).
It was really great to finally read this well-written and highly entertaining novel and discuss it with entertaining friends!