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  • Writer's pictureEllen Harris

CookBook Club Sunday Dinner

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

On March 20, a circle of friends gathered together virtually and in-person to celebrate the first day of spring, life, friendship, and good food at the first 2022 Cookbook Club Sunday Dinner. As life would have it, we, also, honored the loss of a dear sweet mom of two young children, who are grandkids to one of our ladies. She passed on Friday from an aggressive form of breast cancer. With so much going on for everyone, our gathering was joyous and heartfelt.

Our theme was Spring Forth in Full Color and the signature cookbook was I Cook in Color by Asha Gomez. Everyone was simply told to prepare something colorful and did they ever.

Starting off on Zoom there was Deirdra in Baltimore, MD; Mary with two friends, Mina and BJay in Bowie, MD; and with me, Thishya, Carlean, Mervis, and Betty Ruth in Greenville, MS. Essie and Bea came fashionably later. We greeted each other and I shared a quote by Maya Angelou that was sent by Dianna, who couldn’t join us but wanted to be with us in spirit. The quote read “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” It was a thoughtful prelude to a short talk about the cookbook and another book I shared, The Color of Food, Stories of Race, Resilience, and Farming by Natasha Bowens.

Next, we talked a little about what each of us had prepared. Mary prepared a beet salad with mixed greens, cucumber, shredded carrots, spring onions, orange segments, blueberries, goat cheese, tomato, avocado, pumpkin seeds topped over with a balsamic vinaigrette. Mina prepared a vegan brown rice and quinoa dish with assorted colored sweet peppers. Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture.

Thishya prepared a Mediterranean salad with chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, red onion, Calamata olives, and colorful sweet peppers. Mervis prepared a corn salad with tomato, mushrooms, cucumbers, spring onions, and colorful sweet peppers. She, also, brought a pitcher of Strawberry Daquiris and fresh strawberries. There was pink lemonade for Thishya. Deirdra can’t cook right now because her kitchen is being remodeled, but she had a mouthwatering picture of leftover barbeque, baked beans and roasted brussels sprouts as a backdrop.

Betty Ruth prepared homemade tamales. Essie brought fruit and a vegetable tray. I did my own version of recipes in the cookbook and prepared roasted vegetables (sweet potato, garlic cloves, red onion, assorted sweet peppers, beets), braised purple cabbage, vegetarian Singapore noodles, and broiled Tilapia. Everything was delicious and we were really amazed by how the palette of colors came together.

Our Zoom call lasted about 40 minutes. Deirdra took a screenshot early on. Carlean and Thishya took additional pictures as our MS group grew. Our Bowie ladies went dancing after their meal. Deirdra daydreamed about her beautiful new kitchen to be. We MS ladies ate, talked and drank for a couple more hours. We even made a second pitcher of Strawberry Daquiris. I just love my Cookbook Club Sunday Dinner family of friends.

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Thishya Perera
Thishya Perera
Mar 22, 2022

It was indeed a lovely evening hanging out with these fine group of ladies!

All the dishes we shared were vibrant in color and scrumptious in taste. Grief and joy danced hand in hand throughout the evening. Hearing about the death of a young mother brought us even closer as we shared our friend’s sorrow while comforting her. Next moment, we were light hearted enough to share laughter while talking about daily happenings in our lives in the Delta.

To sum up, we all had a joyful time embracing each other and ended the pleasant evening with a sweet note.

We can’t wait for the next event!

A big thank you to Ellen Harris for organizing this quarterly cook book…

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