Last week to celebrate the launch of Deb Kerry’s debut, BETWEEN, I posted a recipe inspired by the book.
But with Deb Dana’s Delicious Debut, there’s just no way to compete with the tempting food stylings of her main character, Hannah Sugarman, would-be chef and culinary law-breaker. I mean, this woman, real or not, can cook. And then, to top it off, Deb Dana has littered the back of the book with recipes for delicious sounding morsels like braised green beans and Commissary carrot cake and turkey leg confit.
So you know exactly what to eat while reading THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND SUPPER CLUBS. But what should you drink?
Let me take you through it, step by step.
In the beginning of the book, our heroine Hannah is off to visit her boyfriend’s parents. These people could potentially be her in-laws so she’s got to get this right. To knock their socks off, she brings a towering carrot cake that sounds like it would take me six days to make. But as a reader I can practically taste it. What pairs with imaginary carrot cake?
Real Sauternes, of course!
Sauternes are dessert wines–not off-dry, just straight-up sweet– made from rich, honeyed grapes. A good one is balanced–as in it will have enough acid to cut through the ooey gooey cream cheese frosting but enough sweetness to mingle happily with all the sugar of the carrot cake itself. But there’s more! A wine-steward friend taught me that you don’t always have to spend big to get a Sauternes-style experience, just in case you want Dupont Circle townhouse for Dupont Circle basement prices. In fact, if you can track down a varietal from Loupiac like this one for just fifteen buckaroos, you will probably get some notes of gingerbread that pick up the spices in the carrot cake! Bonus!
It’s not long in THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND SUPPER CLUBS before Hannah is cooking up brisket. BRISKET! That most perfect of foods–and there’s a recipe too! Sure, you can guzzle Manischewitz with your perfectly tender, melt-in-your mouth hunks of beef and veg. But if you’re not keeping kosher, may I heartily recommend a malty full-bodied porter poured lovingly into a small glass for sipping? I like one from Great Lakes brewing company called the Edmund Fitzgerald–but only one, this beer is no joke. If, like Hannah, you live closer to DC than BC, Smuttynose in New Hampshire and The Samuel Adams mega-brewery both make American porters I’ve enjoyed.
Now, as tends to happen in every great work of fiction, the cake does hit the fan for poor Hannah. At one of her lower moments, we see her sitting in a bar, nursing her emotional pain with a martini or six. I don’t know about you but I can’t read a bathroom sign much less a novel after a good martini, so what can we taste to keep up with Hannah while still seeing straight?
Howabout one of my guiltiest pleasures, the Vodka Cupcake. Yes, this is a real thing. You know how vodka makes pie crusts tender and perfect? Well, the same holds true of storebought yellow cake mix. Just add two Tablespoons of vodka in place of some of the added liquid required by the box (if it’s milk or water, replace another two tablespoons with Kahlua and you will love me forever) and mix up the same as usual. Once baked, add silly amounts of lemon zest to homemade or storebought frosting, and voila, Martini Cupcakes with a Twist. Ok, so technically this is something to eat. But I take comfort in knowing Hannah Sugarman would never ever use storebought cake mix. So we’re not competing with her here so much as just waving the white flag in utter surrender.
If, after all of this, you’re still thirsty, why don’t you join me in opening up a decent bottle of Prosecco and toasting Deb Dana for writing such a delicious and thirsty-making read. May all your copies sell out and may your cup runneth over with good reviews, and may you write many more wonderful and hilarious and just plain tasty reads for your hungry fans!
Thirsty? What’s your favorite sip while reading? Coffee? Tea? Wine from a box? Comment to enter to win Deb Dana’s book, some cupcake mix that needs no vodka to spruce up, and a hand-written recipe card from the author herself!