Our London Cookbook Club had a potluck party last month to review Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen by Yasmin Khan. As always, it’s so nice to come together and share food we’ve made, but the colorful flavors and variety of this meeting’s meal really stood out. Click through to see more!
If you’re new to the concept of a cookbook club, it’s a potluck party where everyone brings dishes made from the same cookbook. The benefit of sharing food from the same cookbook is that all of the dishes marry together into a themed feast. Palestinian food, as our club quickly discovered, is a wonderful combination of luscious salads and comforting stews. The dishes at our feast ranged from some satisfyingly sweet and zesty stuffed bell peppers, a spicy tomato-based shrimp (prawn) stew, a za’atar (Middle Eastern spice) rubbed roast chicken on flatbreads, and salads, salads, salads galore.
Now is as good a time as any to mention that I am feeling really nostalgic about what the London Cookbook Club has meant to me because our family is moving back to the U.S. this summer. We’ll have one or two more meetings before this chapter of the cookbook club comes to a close.
I adopted the idea of starting a cookbook club here in London in 2017 as a way to open up our home to friends we’ve made here, to bring people together over a common love of food and cooking, and to keep honing my culinary skills. What a gift this simple idea has been to our family.
Take, for example, the above dish, which is a bulgur wheat and pomegranate salad that my son (yes, my NINE year old son!) made by himself for our last meeting. He’s taken to picking his own recipe for each cookbook club potluck party and preparing a dish (of course, I do have to steer him a little in making sure the dish isn’t overly complicated). He’s like me in this way — he loves to think about, talk about and plan for guests, and I love sharing this passion with him.
But, not to fret — my Cookbook Club may be coming near you! We’re moving back to our home in the DC suburbs, and I’m planning to host regular cookbook club meetings from there. As always, we love “distance” members who cook and share along with us from afar.
LOOKING TO START YOUR OWN COOKBOOK CLUB? READ ABOUT HOW TO START YOUR OWN POTLUCK PARTY HERE.
FOR PREVIOUS COOKBOOK CLUB POSTS, CHECK OUT:
- Chapter 1: The Really Quite Good British Cookbook
- Chapter 2: Persiana
- Chapter 3: Ceviche
- Chapter 4: Tartine
- Chapter 5: Tasting Georgia
- Chapter 6: Chicken and Rice
- Chapter 7: Made in India
- Chapter 8: Orange Blossom and Honey
- Chapter 9: Christmas and Other Winter Feasts
- Chapter 10: The Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook
- Chapter 11: The Little Paris Kitchen
- Chapter 12: Season
- Chapter 13: Polska