November 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm , by Allison Berry
The women of the Make Time To Read Book Club in Evansville, Indiana share a bond goes far beyond a common interest in reading. “Book Club has expanded my repertoire of reading choices and taken me outside of my comfort zone,” says club member Laura Stephenson. “But more importantly, I’ve formed life-long friendships.”
How many members do you have, and how long have you been getting together for book club meetings?
“We have been a group for the past 14 years with 15 members currently. Even though they aren’t official members, we have had 4 children marry through the years and 2 have ‘book club grandbabies.’” – Jerrianne Bonenberger
Is there anything special you do for each meeting or on occasion?
“We rotate houses for our monthly meetings, and we do have wine and snacks. We try to hold one special meeting a year, when dine out or have a potluck based on the book (The Recipe Club, for instance), or we take a trip. To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the club, we took a trip to Savannah, Georgia in May 2008. We read Paula Deen’s memoir that month and had a lovely time. We rented a beautiful, historic home, and visited Paula Deen’s restaurant and her brother, Bubba’s, too.” – Kim Higgins
What’s your favorite book you’ve read together and why?
“Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is a club favorite; but personally, Still Alice by Lisa Genova proved very poignant for me this year. Having a father suffering from Alzheimer’s, this book, while fiction, was a thought-provoking and truly insightful look into this cruel disease.” – Laura Stephenson
Everyone’s super busy these days. Why is it important to you to make time to read and then get together?
“My family knows that the last Wednesday of the month is book club and for me to miss it, there must be a very important excuse. The fellowship of this wonderful group of women means a lot to me, but also we like to refer to it as a mom council. Several women have older children, and they became the younger members’ mentors when we had parenting questions. Plus I know that any time I need something or someone, I can call any of these gals and she would be right there. I consider them not only good friends but sisters.” – Jerrianne Bonenberger
“We have such a connection with each other in so many different ways. Some of us only see each other at book club. Others see each other frequently. Many of us have children who went to school together. Some of us go to church together. Each month is a time for us to discuss the joys of reading and our favorite books, but also a chance to connect personally and discuss what is going on in our personal lives and with our families.” – Kim Higgins
April 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm , by Rachel Shippy
Just think of Paula Deen and you can’t help but be in a better mood (though your arteries may beg to differ)… now think of her charming sons, Bobby and Jamie Deen and you’ve got a family anyone would want to be an honorary member of.
The same was true of my phone conversation with Bobby and Jamie yesterday – as I flipped through the pages of their fun new cookbook, The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up (on sale April 19th) and we talked about food, I felt like I was standing around a grill in my flip flops laughing alongside them. The only thing missing was a cooler! As the brothers, whose last name is practically synonymous with Southern comfort food, prepare to host the 2nd Annual Great Steak Challenge with Beringer Vineyards, their creative and culinary juices were flowing with ideas. When it comes to steak, “Don’t over-think it, the cow has already done the work for you,” Jamie says, “There’s nothing worse than an over-seasoned steak because it masks the beef’s natural flavor. If a steak is cooked perfectly, you really don’t need more than salt, fresh black pepper, and a pat of butter.” But when it comes to grilling, for Bobby it’s not ALL about the beef – he recommends grilling up shrimp on skewers or in a metal grill basket – “they don’t take long to cook, they’re a lighter option, and they pick up great flavor.” Bobby and Jamie don’t discriminate when it comes to what’s grill-worthy, however, charring up everything from string beans, to pineapple, and even pound cake for dessert. Their new cookbook contains 125 other ideas that work well for entertaining outdoors, and the guys are sure to see even more recipes among the home cooks competing for this year’s $25,000 prize in the Great Steak Challenge (professional cooks are not even eligible). Entries opened today and the Final Grill-Off will be in Napa Valley this October. To learn more about the Deen Brothers, visit thedeenbros.com.