Re: the notes below: OK...I'll bite (pun intended)...what's traif???? The ideas below are well-done!! Sorry I missed the meeting, but the last inning of the Phil's game was not to be missed. I'm assuming we will be meeting ahead of time in the room where we will be presenting? Rosanne

Notes from the 4/20 Meeting

Tasting the Best of 2008 or So.
In the year of Hunger Games, Jellycoe Road, Tender Morsels, and What the World Eats our theme is food related.
Though we didn't come up with an official title, the overall theme is Top Chef, Joy of Reading, Bon Appetit with Books.

Here's the plan so far:

Appeteasers=(when we walk out)
Wear your favorite apron. (The worse the apron, the better it will be.) Pat will bring chef's hats.

Walk in with your choice for your most delectable read of the year, introduce yourself, and make up an award for that title.
Maybe we can each try to bring a tray (or plate) to carry our books on(?)

Entrees (the reviews):
Relating to genre, we will try a little read this-not that as we do our reviews. We can hash this out on the wiki if it makes sense. So if I describe a baseball fiction book, for instance, and Susan has one she thinks is bettter, she might say as she begins her review: "Read this, not that," ala Eat This Not That.

We will intersperse reviews with Quick Fire challenges involving cooking trivia, like:
  • Five spices that begin with letter C
  • Five restaurants in State College
  • Five types of apples
  • Five types of shellfish
  • Five kinds of traif
  • Five things to do with matzoh
  • Three books with food in the title
  • Five kinds of martini
  • Five brands of gourment chocolate
  • Five Hershey candies
  • Five different types of liquers
  • Five types of mustards

Please feel free to add challenges!

Fast Food Flava: (previously Reference Run) This year we will discuss not just reference, but the other truly fabulous books we didn't get a chance to talk about.

Gourmet Selection: Top Ten List

Get your final reviews and Top Ten list suggestions in to Casey ASAP!
Pat will work on covers and send them to Casey.
Thank you to those who volunteered to make copies.
Please remember to bring those books you plan to discuss.
Please bring books you are not planning to add to the collection as gift books.
Let's plan on bringing a snack to eat and meet prior to the evening session to further organize ourselves. (This is especially important in our new venue.)

For the past several years, we've done "reality" shows. Not sure if that mine has played out or not. I was thinking about my new favorite book, _Hunger Games_ and what reality show that would represent and thought about about "Top Chef". Our books can be food related themes or titles. We could also do "Hell's Kitchen" or maybe "PSLA Kitchen" and as we walk out with our books "Gordon Ramsey" does his shtick...but nicely. He does compliment people once in a while and we could be complimented on our choices as entree, dessert,etc.

Can we wear aprons?

I love it, Rosanne!!! (Joyce)

Me too! It lends itself well to yummy adjectives and as always silliness! Susan Mowery

And we can call the Reference Roundup the "quickfire challenge." joyce

Hunger Games is my new favorite book too. I guess I better watch "Top Chef" to see what is going on... I don't have a TV, so I'll have to do so somehow. But I'm willing. Toni

I love food (in fact, though I've been lamenting missing the chocolate at Hershey, I am really excited about the ice cream and other delicious dairy products at Penn State) and agree with Susan's note about how easy it is to connect descriptive food words to books. --Erika

I like it!
It seems really versatile! - Karen H.

This sounds like a great idea! Nancy C.

I think it sounds like a lot of fun...but I am hoping that you will share your specific ideas with me. I do not watch the show regularly...and am drawing a blank about what I would do when my name is called. Thanks! BTW I am so happy to be seeing you all in my "neck of the woods" - I live in Huntingdon, which is 25 miles south of State College. This is beautiful country! Sarah B.

I don't watch the cooking shows, but this sounds like fun. If anyone has any tips for the best show to watch, please let me know.

This is my first year on the committee, so I have a few questions about our presentation.
  1. Approximately how many books will each of us be talking about?
  2. Will we be doing non-fiction as well as fiction books? I attended last year's presentation, and there were so many wonderful fiction books that the presenters stuck with fiction. This year, some of the best books I was given to read are nonfiction.
  3. It appears that we are in agreement to do the "PSLA Kitchen" theme. Will we be getting together at the conference sometime on Thurs. to "rehearse"?
  4. Should we come up with a food reference for each of our books? I think that would be fun, and it's not difficult.
  5. Do we need props, costumes or other visual aids?
I have been having a wonderful time reading and sharing all of the books that were sent to me, and I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to serve on this committee. I'm looking forward to meeting all of you. Tricia

Hi Tricia,
The first thing to know about this committee is that it is a lot fun. The second thing you need to know is that while it may appear to be a smoothly put-together professional production, often times it is hammered out only moments before the doors open for the attendees. Sometimes even we are surprised at what happens! For anyone in the vicinity of Joyce's house, we will meet later this month to go over our plans, but don't worry about not being there if you don't live in the area. There have been some years when were unable to meet. There will most definitely be a meeting about an hour or so (I'm guessing but that will be decided at Joyce's, probably) before the session starts to go over what we plan to do. You should bring props...the crazier the better but don't sweat it since we have some members, whom I will not affectionately name :-) who will make up for those of us, like me, without stage presence.

When we meet ahead of time, we will probably be going over the list of books that we want to discuss, so make sure to bring a bright marker so you can mark up the handout so that you know which books you'll talk about and so you can keep track of what everyone else is talking about so that you know when it is your turn. I can't remember if we do that as a preliminary at Joyce's or not, but whatever...anyone who is not there will be informed of what was decided.

Usually we talk about fiction and then at the end run through non-fiction and reference. But sometimes that shortchanges the non-fiction, as you noted that your non-fiction was better than the fiction.I have suggested that we divide the number of minutes in the presentation by the number of presenters, to give us a rough idea of how much time each of us has for speaking. You can decide how you want to use your five minutes of fame: you could talk about five books for one minute each or you could talk about 2 books for 3 1/2 minutes...but for some reason that never quite works out the way it should because we get excited about the books we are talking about. You decide which are the books you want to present.

If I may make another suggestion, ladies....can we have a semi-prepared review ready ahead of time to refer to when speaking...that would help stay on track with the time. We sometimes end up rushing through the end of the list because we run out of time.

Are we going to have any cooking challenges? Or cooking trivia? We could call it the Quickfire Challenge (great idea, Joyce!)


I also like the idea of having a Quickfire Challenge. I am working on a list of trivia questions pertaining to food and cooking references in YA literature. What do you all think?

I think it's great! You definitely could use Like Water for Chocolate, Kitchen Confidential, and Candy Freak - should we come up with a list of books with food references to help start the question development?
Also, for the non-trivia part -the part where we are introduced or other theme stuff - I wonder if we could "saute a compelling plot" "whisk in a protagonist" "gently fold protagonist v. society into the mixture" - I'm wondering if we could create sizzle sounds and create a final poof that would be fun??? Our main chef would yell at us and make us all stressed and one of us could spill something during the story's climax.

I'm looking forward to meeting all of you on Thurs. Let me know if there is anything I can do in the meantime.