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22 March 2014
The first time I went to a meeting/luncheon of the Woodland Shakespeare Book Club, it was as a guest, with the hope by the person who invited me that I would decide to join. I think I went to 4 different meetings where guests were permitted before I was on the fast-track list to membership, and now I've been a member for five months.
At that first luncheon they served little mint-flavored gelatinous things, which everyone called "the mints" and rolled their eyes in ecstacy. My sponsor, Sue, told me that these were unique to the club, that the recipe was a closely guarded secret and only special people were given the recipe to make them. She might even have told me that only one person had been making them for several years. They are even served on special "memorial" plates, with paper doilies just for the mints.
Truth to tell, I wasn't all that impressed. They tasted like ... marshmallows, and I'm not really a marshmallow lover (never could figure out what the big deal is about Peeps, for example). But I thought the whole idea of a secret recipe unique to the club was kind of fun.
Two or three months ago, I was asked if I would be willing to be on the committee to plan the decorations and host this year's annual luncheon. I figured it would be a good way to actually meet some people, since the meetings themselves aren't necessarily conducive to meeting new folks, since I'm the newbie and everyone is busy talking with their friends. Some women have been in this club for 20 or 30 years.
So I agreed to help with the planning, though lord help me, I'm not a "ladies' luncheon" kind of person. In addition to not having gotten the cleaning gene, or the gardening gene, I also haven't gotten the decorating gene, or the Emily Post gene, but the idea of getting to know a couple of the other members was the incentive for agreeing to help with planning the luncheon.
There is a huge book with directions for what has to happen to pull off this luncheon. I really realized that I hadn't gotten the luncheon planning gene when we were going through it, page by page, trying to decided what our decorations would be (given that the book being discussed at the next meeting is "Gidget.")
We have half-assed ideas of what we might do, based on what we could find cheap at the dollar store, or affordable at Michael's Craft Store. We planned to do inventory to find out what things we would need to beg, borrow, or bring, and then there was the question of who would make the mints.
Traditionally the mints are made by a member of the committee, I learned. I also learned that the big deep dark secret was somehow printed accidentally in the cookbook that the club put out as a fund raiser in 2008, so it's no longer unique or secret, but it's still tradition.
There was hemming and hawing about who would take on the responsibility, but I'm never afraid of trying something new, so I volunteered. Everyone was impressed that I would dare do the sacred mints.
I'm not the kind of person who will test the recipe out first to make sure I'm doing it right. I'll just do them a couple of days before and hope they all turn out all right. But since it's no longer a secret, I'll give you the recipe as it is printed.
First of all, do you beat while it's still on the stove over heat, or can you move to a mixer and beat in a bowl? I'd ask how much flavoring, but I can experiment. But what size pans do you use? 9x13? 8x8? some other size? Can you make triple the recipe, or do you have to make 3 individual recipes?
Nobody at the meeting today had any answers and everybody suggested that I ask "Barbara," who was, I was assured, the resident on all things "mints." Well, I called Barbara and found out that she is the oldest member in the club, has never made the mints herself and just published the recipe in the cookbook (though she should not have, because it was a secret recipe!). She couldn't answer any of my questions. So I called someone else and am waiting for a call back from her -- I have two weeks to get answers to my questions.
I know they will turn out fine, but you can be sure that when we write our suggestions for next year's committee, I will make certain that a more complete recipe is added to the notes!!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
After the meeting, I picked up KFC in Woodland.
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