I made this dish for my October book club meeting and it received rave reviews. You can make this in one large casserole dish or six smaller oven-safe dishes – such as a mini cocotte, ramekin, or French onion soup bowl. You could also swap the chicken for leftover turkey – if you’re still making your way through your Thanksgiving leftovers.
My book club has been around since before book clubs were cool amongst millennials. In fact, we celebrated our nine-year anniversary this month.
I’ve only been a member for eight years but my friend Erin is the only person who outranks me in seniority (not that we’re giving out badges), she’s been part of the Unputdownable Book Club since its inaugural meeting.
It’s pretty impressive when you think about the longevity of the book club. In the last nine years, we’ve managed to come together as a group of women almost once every month, we’ve read over 100 books and we’ve gained and lost dozens of members.
At one point, we were closing in on 30 members. As city-dwelling twenty- now thirty-somethings, you might be surprised to learn that few of us live in palatial suburban homes that can comfortably accommodate that number. We’ve been packed in like sardines in shoebox apartments without air conditioning in July and have had brunch meetings in a century farmhouse out in Russell.
In any event, 30 is a bit unruly when it comes to having a meaningful conversation. We had a “recommitment ceremony” back in January where we promised to do better at 1) showing up, and 2) reading the book. As a result, our membership was pared down and now we’re a group of 11 – which feels just right.
As you might imagine, a good portion of our monthly gatherings are reserved for discussing the various happenings in our lives, and drinking wine. Every meeting is a potluck and we’ve recently begun coordinating our menu a bit more intentionally, by sharing what we’re planning to bring in our dedicated Facebook group. Previously, we’d often end up with a lot of desserts, a lot of salads, or just a lot of wine, which isn’t exactly a balanced meal.
I mean, I’m perfectly capable of turning wine into a balanced meal but I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone.
When the conversation eventually turns to the book, we usually have a pretty rich dialogue. Our group enjoys an eclectic group of professions from pharmacist to interior designer to journalist. As such, there are variety of perspectives on offer which often means we come away with a broader appreciation for the text – having questioned something we might otherwise have missed.
We’ve shared a lot of laughs, a few tears, some heated debates and turned acquaintances into friends. The Unputdownable Book Club is an important touchstone in my life. It’s a special place where we gather our thoughts, share our passions, immerse ourselves in new worlds, travel through time and most importantly, come together.
Post a question in the comments section below if you want some tips on how to create a book club with staying power.
Top with the Herbed Parmesan Biscuit Topping and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling hot. As soon as out of the oven, brush the tops with a little melted butter or olive oil and serve.
Recipe from: Langford, Signe. “Four-Cheese Chicken, Sweet Potato & Kale Cobblers.” Food & Drink. Holiday 2015.