Cook the Books Club: A Place at the Table

I am sure I loved this book because it combined so many things that I love to read about: southern lifestyles, good food, and characters that you want to be friends with.  A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White starts you with a scene in the 1920's North Carolina and from there takes you to New York City and California, spinning a tale around three distinct characters.  Even with their individual flaws, I fell in love with each of them and the story of their lives.

Alice, an author of a famous cookbook and restaurant owner, Bobby, a gay man outcast from his family and Amelia, a weathy woman who likes to come to the cafe are all wonderful characters and the book draws them together for a remarkable ending.

Then there's the story of the pound cake, and the life of a chef.  What foodie doesn't yearn to own their own restaurant?  I certainly do, although I know my own limitations.  That's what inspired my own recipe for this month's Cook the Books Club:  Banana Pudding with Toasted Angel Food Cake.

I don't remember pound cake being a major contributor of my childhood eating.  I do remember having angel food cake, as a base for strawberry shortcake and also for birthdays, spread with pink frosting and sprinkles.  Thus, this version of the book's banana pudding was born!

Banana Pudding

by Terri Steffes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (12 servings)
  • 1 container of low fat cool whip, thawed
  • 2 boxes of low fat, sugar free vanilla pudding
  • 4 c milk, 1%
  • 1 prepared angel food cake
  • 3 bananas, ready to eat
  • 1 1/2 t banana flavoring
Heat oven to broil. Tear angel food cake into small, bite sized pieces and place on a cookie sheet prepared with parchment. Place under a broiler for 1 minute, watching carefully, removing pieces that are toasted and continuing until all pieces are toasted. Set aside.
Prepare pudding according to package directions. Add 1 teaspoon of banana flavoring to pudding. Stir until well incorporated.
Add 1/2 t banana flavoring to cool whip. Stir until well incorporated.
In a trifle dish, add one layer of toasted cake. On top of the cake add 1/2 of the pudding mixture. Slice one banana on top of the pudding. On top of the bananas add half of the cool whip. Repeat layers, ending with cool whip.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
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Bimonthly, the Cook the Book Club gives us a book to read with the idea to be inspired to cook something!  The next book will be a Feb/March read, so come and join the fun!

Terri Steffes
Terri Steffes

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