" ‘…It’s more of a clafoutis.’
Frida could have laughed. She hadn’t heard that word in a long while.
'Think of it as a sweet pancake,' Anika explained. 'It's French, and traditionally made with cherries.'
'I know what it is, Anika.'
'Do you now?'”
- California, Chapter 13
I was inspired by this passage to finally bake a clafoutis. I’ve been meaning to try out this recipe and had an overabundance of both cherries and time this weekend.
I’m not sure Anika actually knew what a clafoutis is or if she was intentionally being obtuse to test Frida. It’s definitely not what I would describe as a “sweet pancake” since it has such a thick, custard-y batter and baked flan-like texture. It was a simple recipe with common ingredients that would no doubt be extremely difficult to acquire in Frida’s reality. I felt a little guilty that I still had the luxury of baking a dessert like this when she ordinarily could not. Surprisingly, baked cherries taste no different than the cherries that come in canned pie filling (do not like…). Pretty sure that I’m going to avoid baking cherries from now on. However, it was very light dessert, despite it’s heavy appearance.
The clafoutis was an analogy for how I felt about the middle chapters of California. I was expecting something heavier, more menacing in these chapters, but was presented with a more day-in-the-life view of the settlers of the Land. Cal was definitely justified in his growing paranoia, especially with bits of Micah’s crazy popping up every so often like the unexpected taste of baked cherries for me in each bite. I also wondered if the reason why Anika didn’t have cherries was because of her/their fear of the color red, or if it was actually due to a lack of supply.
The idea of the clafoutis and the flavors I was expecting of it was much like how the ideals and practices of the Plankers played out in the Land. A little lackluster, disappointing. It looked pretty, but didn’t have the substance I was looking for. To quote another reblogbookclubber: “While [the] seminar is a very powerful method of learning and dealing with texts, there is also the danger of only living in hypotheticals.” In theory, it sounds like it would be great! In practice, not so much.
Although what do I know. My mom loved it.
Now *THIS* is my kind of fan art!
At last, the carrot has come home.
Big news! In one week we’ll be holding the first-ever books.tumblr.com cover reveal! Check back next Monday, August 4, for the exclusive debut of the cover for Nova Ren Suma’s new YA novel The Walls Around Us.
We’re hearing lots of great buzz about this new one from the author of Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone. It’s a ghostly story of suspense involving a young dancer and a girls’ juvenile detention center—just think of it as “Orange Is the New Black Swan.”
Here’s something fun and new we’re trying!
Don’t think that if we’re all good girls, if we’re properly meek, if we don’t provoke our men, we’ll be safe. Good girls get hurt all the time.
We are not the problem.
I refuse to quietly accept that there is one set of rules for how men live and another set of rules for how women live. And still, at night in a dark parking lot, I will walk to my car with my keys splayed between my fingers like blades. Ain’t that some shit?"