(Book #66) This was Chris’ second book to host this year and given its maudlin theme, she went with a Halloween menu and referred to it as Addie’s Memorial Celebration. We started with a salmon-dill mousse decorated with the word Addie. (My mother is a fish.) At the dinner table we had a pumpkin soup, a salad of baked squash and arugula, heirloom tomatoes with basil, cornbread and biscuits. For dessert, we had Mud Pie. (perfect)
Our discussion of the book started with the notion that the book had been lauded for exploration/innovation of numerous narrators. This is only the second Faulkner novel I’ve read and I will borrow from another reviewer I saw on Goodreads who said, “I respect Faulkner, but I don’t love him.” There are moments when the prose takes me over and I feel his talent, but more often I don’t see the genius. It has an almost absurdist quality that I can’t appreciate.
Below is my Faulkner inspired recap of the meal:
As I Sat Eating by Teresa Yohnka Anderson
It was the sweetest thing I ever saw. Chris had made a delicious soup. There was some in each bowl and the rest was in a pumpkin-shaped tureen right next to where I was sitting. I always said Chris was different from those others in the club — the only one of them who knew how to entertain in the autumn.
The first time me and Geri looked on down the dining table we see there’s a salad of baked squash and arugula. Even though she spoke sternly to Marcia I have to ask Chris the recipe for the dressing. It is delicious and I am wild for the arugula. I ask her without the words and she asks “Why?” without the words. And that’s why I can talk to her with knowing because she knows.
Archie keeps rubbing my knees under the table.
Chris stands beside the table. From behind me she places another tray in front of us. This one is caprese salad with the last of the heirloom tomatoes. She said “I went to the Farmer’s Market for one more load. I thought there was time.”
She could do so much for me if she just would. She could do everything for me if she would just pass the butter. It’s like everything in the world for me is inside the butter dish. There is corn bread and biscuits but Sharon holds onto that butter.
It was nigh to midnight and it had set in to rain again. It had been a misdoubtful night with the storm making: but the bountiful supper was et, the Mud Pie served and all had been a delight. We thanked our hostess for the time spent and went out in the wet to hitch the team.