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In my last post, I mentioned that “gooseberry” is slang for a singleton who hangs around a couple. This word is frequently used in “Toast,” the culinary book club selection for July. Author Nigel Slater, who grew up in England in the 1960s, frequently describes himself as a gooseberry. But since he eats mostly packaged foods, there is no mention of a gooseberry fool, unfortunately, although he is obsessed with pie and trifle and anything sweet, especially chocolate. Nigel Slater is currently the most popular and best-selling cookbook author in England.

Read his delightful memoir and join the culinary bookclub on July 22. The menu includes Nigel Slater’s favorites: cheese rarebit, chicken with roasted onions on potato mash, and fresh fruit and custard trifle. We will also have a tasting of some of the English candies with which he was obsessed.

Our August book club promises to be lively. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” investigates and discusses what goes into the food that we eat. Reading this book may change what food you choose to purchase. After all, we are what we eat, as Brillat-Savarin commented in 1825. The discussion will also feature the insights and commentary from a guest speaker, Dr. Eric Ward, a scientist who specializes in corn. Please join us on August 5.