Sutter Home Social Hour: April Book Club
Sutter Home’s April Book Club pick is an intoxicating tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, and love. The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank follows Leslie Anne Greene Carter, a southern socialite, through her journey to rediscover the carefree girl she once was. Daring to listen to her inner voice, she ventures out to find the life she’s always dreamed of.
Experience this sultry Southern story with a night of good wine and good friends. A true Southern story wouldn’t be complete without indulging in some delicious comfort food. For an easy soul-warming meal, try the author’s go-to carrot soup and mushroom risotto recipe.
2 small or 1 large bag of peeled baby carrots
Enough chicken broth to cover the carrots by an inch or two
6 pods of anise
½ cup of heavy cream
In a large pot, put in the carrots and cover with broth as instructed. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until carrots are fork-tender. (About 20 – 30 minutes) Remove pot from heat. Drop the pods of anise into the pot and cover it. Let it rest for about 20 minutes. Remove the pods and completely puree. Stir in the cream, salt to taste and transfer to a non-metallic covered storage container. Refrigerate over night. Serve warm or cold.
4 – 5 cups of sliced mushrooms (I like a combo of baby bella, shitake and standard white mushrooms)
1 large diced onion (about a cup to a cup and a half)
½ stick of unsalted butter (4 tbl) for the rice plus another 2 tablespoons for the mushrooms
2 Tablespoons of good olive oil for the rice and another one for the mushrooms
2 cups of Arborio rice
3 – 4 cups of chicken broth
½ cup white wine
½ – ¾ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Slice and sauté the mushrooms in 2 TBL butter and I TBL olive oil. When they are tender – about ten minutes – remove from heat and set aside. In a Dutch oven over medium high heat, sauté the onion in remaining oil and butter until transparent. Add the rice, stir around with the onions and add the wine. When the wine evaporates begin adding the chicken stock, ½ cup at a time until it’s absorbed into the rice, which might take 30 minutes of frequent stirring. When the rice is tender to your taste, add the mushrooms back in and stir well. Grate Parmesan cheese into the mixture and salt and pepper to taste.