Last Friday night (no, there was not glitter all over the room, nor were there pink flamingos in the pool), I went to a reading and Q & A session with one of my favorite authors, Jen Lancaster. You may recognize that name from my last blog entry on awesome reads because she produces just that: awesome reads. Most are memoirs, as she only recently got into fiction, and her newest book- Out May 1st– will be no exception. It’s called Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult’s Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It’s Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner. If that full title doesn’t shed some form of light on to her fantastically snarky and open writing style, then just go ahead and read a page or two of any of her books.
So, at this reading, we, the audience, were allowed to vote on whether we were read an excerpt from Jeneration X or a passage from her first piece of fiction, If You Were Here. I’m not quite sure which group of living, breathing adult lady-fans wouldn’t want to hear something new from Ms. Lancaster, so, of course, we got some love in the form of passage on her struggle with a fancy bra, a refinancing appointment and slow suffocation at the hands of lace and lycra. It. Was. Hilarious. It’s always great to hear an author read their work aloud, so you can really understand the emotion and intentions behind it, even if what you hear already matches the author’s voice in your head. That right there is pretty much the mark of a talented and effective writer and I think it’s important for everyone to have a favorite writer whose voice and words speak to them.
I’ll admit I had entered the date of the reading on my calendar months ago when Ms. Lancaster’s book tour dates were released because my enthusiasm for most everything she writes is unwavering. I appreciate her candid, casual style as she retells stories of her Thundercats and pit bulls destroying home goods in unique ways, thwarting neighbors in their attempts to terrorize the only pearl necklace, polo shirt wearing woman in the ‘hood, and making a mockery of herself in college bars 10+ years after graduation and experiencing the 10+ year version of an undergraduate hangover. Even if you’re of the male variety, I’d suggest you check out a book or two, even if it’s under the cover of darkness or subtlety of an ipad or kindle. You’ll find yourself laughing at her acerbic wit and extensive, creative vocabulary. With any luck, in a few years I’ll find myself alongside Ms. Lancaster on the virtual bookshelves of the internets. Go Team Parkersplash!
SIDENOTE: I rocked a delicious gluten free/dairy free German pancake this morning and got a request for the recipe, so here it is:
GF/DF German Pancake
3 T unsalted butter –or- non- dairy butter spread (Earth Balance is pretty solid)
3 large eggs, at room temp
Pinch of salt
½ C whole milk –or- coconut milk
½ C unbleached flour –or- gluten free all-purpose flour
Generous pinch of nutmeg
Generous pinch of cinnamon
Confectioner’s sugar –or- agave syrup
Preheat oven to 425. Add butter to a heatproof pie pan or baking pan and place it in the oven. While the butter melts, whisk together the eggs and salt until the eggs are well beaten, then add the milk. Sift the flour, nutmeg and cinnamon over the bowl and whisk just until smooth. When the butter is melted and hot, add the batter. Bake for 15 minutes, until puffy and browning. Remove from the heat and drizzle with agave syrup, sprinkle with extra cinnamon and nutmeg.
*Borrowed and modified from Cakewalk: A Memoir by Kate Moses