After the fabulous success of our first book club experience (we read and ate our way through The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City, by David Lebovitz), we were thrilled to kick off our second club in January.
For seven weeks we traveled through To Shake the Sleeping Self with Jedidiah Jenkins as he (and some occasional companions) spent 16 months biking from the Pacific Northwest of North America down to Patagonia at the tip of South America.
Unlike the first club, this book didn’t have any recipes included in the text, so we had lots of fun finding recipes that might have coordinated with what Jedidiah experienced along his route. In some chapters we had context clues. The elements of the Colombian national dish, bandeja paisa, were listed out and the on-the-road classics of salami and crackers gave us inspiration for a full charcuterie on our last night together. We also specifically chose not to make a few dishes that were described. I have no desire to ever purchase, store or cook with chicken feet and guinea pigs (for residential consumption) are a little difficult to find in our local grocery store! See the end of this post for a full list of the foods we made & links to the recipes.
I read the over Christmas break in 2020, which was a perfect escape to round out a year of restricted living. I also turned 30 that winter, which was the milestone that initiated Jedidiah’s journey. For this book club experience, the group ranged from age 28-65, which provided a great multi-generational span of perspectives and life experiences to share.
The book centers on self-discovery, reconciling the faith of parents with personal experience, and the joys and pains of traveling to unfamiliar territory—all topics that spurred great discussions. None of us had traveled south of Mexico, so we vicariously lived through the wonders Jedidiah described and many of us added destinations to our travel lists and/or confirmed certain places that we would prefer to read about.
Overall, it was another lovely set of Tuesday evenings spent in the company of wonderful women, filling our tummies with delicious food and our hearts with pleasant conversations.
Washington: Seared salmon salad with blackberry gastrique
California: Trampoline bread for cinnamon-sugar toast
Mexico: Chicken tacos with baja sauce
Mexico: Orange sorbet with candied orange peel
Mexico: Homemade tortillas for vegetable quesadillas
Mexico: Tomatillo & poblano salsa verde
Mexico: Cocadas (coconut cookies)
Colombia: Bandeja Paisa
Colombia: Hot chocolate
Ecuador: Locro de papa (potato soup)
Peru: Frijole colado (black bean pudding)
Argentina: Guiso (lentil stew)
Argentina: Alfajores (dulce de leche cookies)
Bike snacks: Charcuterie
Celebratory end to a bicyle journey: Paris-Brest
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