Each year during the holidays I host a luncheon for my friends. We always have the same menu… by popular request… and we share books. It is always a highlight of my holidays, and I get book ideas of what I might read in the upcoming year! Everyone brings a new book, and then we do a book exchange using the method often reserved for white elephant parties. Each guest tells a little about her book, and then we each get a number and choose the book we’d like to take home (if we are lucky enough not to have it “stolen”). This year I got The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan, the creator of www.CircusofCancer.org.
Here are some of the books I’m thinking about reading that my guests brought:
- City of Thieves by Daniel Benioff
- Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
- Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall (two people brought this one!)
- The Blind Side by Michael Lewis (will read this before I see the movie)
- What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell (love all his other books)
- Mindset by Carol Dweck
- March by Geraldine Brooks (loved her People of the BookI)
- Somebody Else’s Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage
- Influencer by Kerry Patterson
And here’s my recipe for vegetable soup that I always serve at the party. It was given to my family by our 90-year-old next door neighbor when I was a kid. He told us that if we ate this healthy soup, we could bend nails! It’s probably my favorite soup recipe of all times. Let me know how you like it if you make a big pot during your holiday season. It’s quite festive!
Royer Homemade Vegetable Soup
- 3 cans each of corn, green beans, and peas (including liquid)
- 2 large bottles V-8 juice
- 1 lb. lean ground beef, crumbled (will cook in the soup)
- 1 small head cabbage, chopped into small pieces
- 1 bag baby carrots
Put all in a large soup pot and simmer for 2-3 hours. Add rivels to soup and cook for 15 more minutes.
Note: Rivels are a Pennsylvania Dutch kind of tiny dumpling that thickens and adds texture to the soup.
To make rivels, stir together (using a fork) 3/4 cup flour with 1 egg and a pinch of salt. Then add to the boiling soup and stir to break up the rivels so you have little dumplings. Cook for about 15 more minutes.