Rhubarb Tart for Gatsby who really was Great

by Michelle

Sunday afternoon marked the end of our 12th year of book club gatherings. I love looking at my collection of novels. Each one, chosen by one of my book club pals, discussed over incredible food and delicious wine. My commitment to this book club is out of character for me. I have a history of only being able to focus on projects for five years and then I move on. In my own defence, most things that I get involved with have a natural life expectancy. I can’t bear the mundane so when the sparkle fizzles my interest wonders.

Not so with this ‘club’. I am not sure if it is the books or the women that keep me interested. Over the years, we have read some dismal messes for novels but for the most part our choices have been spectacular. Books that, left to my own devices, I would never have opened. So, perhaps it is the books.

On the other hand the women, who are or have been part of my beloved book club, have been much like the books. Delightful, infuriating, over-spoken, insightful, brilliant, challenging but, most importantly for me they are profoundly honest. Our discussions have lingered with me for days. Each woman confidently shares her insight with her own unique eloquence.

I think that’s it. I love our book club’s language…

As I was hosting, we discussed my choice. It has been a year of ‘classics’ which has turned out to be a bit of a downer. I think it had more to do with the books that were chosen than the fact we had committed to the classics. However, for our last read, I chose The Great Gatsby. I loved it! In fact, I found myself a little lonely for Nick and company once I had finished. Instead of doing our usual Q&A, I asked the girls to select their favorite passage, read it to us and then explain why they made their choice.

I love to be read to so it was delightful to sit and be entertained by these women giving voice to F.Scott’s words.

Before everyone arrived, my daughters Sara and Kate played with me in the kitchen.

This is what we prepared:

Seared Scallops with Pistachio Coconut Cream

Dill Pickles made at the Farm last autumn.


Spicy Chicken Skewers

Mango Salsa and Cheddar Chive Biscuits

Crab Cakes

Creamy Chevre in a pool of Tomato Salsa


serves 6

preheat oven 400*F

1 sheet of commercial puff pastry, 9×11

2 cups rhubarb, 1/4 inch slices

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 cup flour

Place the puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet, I use the parchment that the pastry comes wrapped in

Using the tines of a fork, prick the surface of the pastry at 1 inch intervals leaving 1/2 inch frame around the entire rectangle to act as a frame

In a mixing bowl combine sugar and flour then toss with rhubarb

Place the mixture on the puff pastry and distribute evenly

Bake for 25 minutes then place on counter

Melt 1/4 cup of crabapple jelly over low heat until it has broken up then spoon over the fruit.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thanks for reading.