Book Club- Americanah

/ August 5, 2016/ 3 comments

The book we read this month was Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This book was amazing!  The main character, Ifemelu, grows up in Nigeria and then lives in America for 12 years.

The writing is truly outstanding.  This is a story about love, loss, evolution, race, immigration and learning to be comfortable in your own skin.  With all of the current racial issues our country has, this book was very timely.  As a black woman in America, I could truly identify with Ifemulu.  Though her story was of an immigrant living in the US, I was amazed at the truly insightful observations the author (also Nigerian) made through Ifemelu’s eyes about race in America.  This author has other books that I will surely be checking out!

Book rating:  Outstanding- would recommend and read again (9/10)

 

Because a large portion of the book took place in Nigeria and the main character is Nigerian, I wanted the menu to have a Nigerian theme.  It turns out Nigerian wine and/or beer is extremely difficult to find (at least in the Seattle area).  Several times in the book the characters were drinking a cocktail called the Chapman, so I decided to make that.  It’s a fairly simple drink to make, you just mix equal parts Fanta orange soda and Sprite over ice and add a tablespoon of black currant liqueur and Angostura bitters.  It can be garnished with a slice of citrus. It is sweet and refreshing!

Jollof Rice is a Nigerian dish also mentioned several times in the book, so I wanted to try making it.  I found a recipe and gave it a whirl.  It was delicious and I can’t wait to make it again with fresh tomatoes from the garden.  It is surprisingly similar to Spanish rice with a stronger tomato flavor- really delicious!  I also grilled some chicken and seasoned it with some of the same spices used in the rice.

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Ready to eat and discuss!

For dessert I knew I wanted to make something with bananas.  The main character mentions several times throughout the book that a common Nigerian snack is bananas and peanuts. This made me think of bananas and peanut butter.  I ran with that and made frozen banana and peanut butter bites covered in chocolate. You’ll find the recipe at the bottom of the post.

Frozen Chocolate covered Banana bites

I really hope you all get the chance to read this book.  Of all the books we’ve read in our book club (which has been going over two years- pretty crazy!), this one has been my favorite by far.

The next book we’ll be reading is The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass.  Have any of you read it?

What are some characters you were surprised you identified with so well?

 

Frozen Chocolate-covered Banana Bites

4 large ripe bananas

1/2 cup peanut butter

20 ounces (2 bags) bittersweet chocolate chip

 

Cover a large plate or platter that can be frozen, with parchment paper.

Peel all of the bananas and scoop the peanut butter out of the jar into a bowl (you may get banana on your hands, so this will prevent the whole jar of peanut butter from getting “banana-ey”).

Slice one banana into 1/8-1/4 inch slices.  If you want the peanut butter to be the more dominant flavor slice them close to 1/8 inch. Count the number of slices you have.  Half of them are going to be the bottoms of little sandwiches.  Spread each bottom with 1/4 teaspoon peanut butter and top with another banana slice.  Once you have all the slices from the first banana sandwiched, slice the next banana.  We are not slicing all of the bananas at once because they can get a little slimy when exposed to the air which will make the peanut butter slide off.

Once you’ve made all of your little banana and peanut butter sandwiches, put them on the plate and cover with plastic wrap. Put in the freezer to chill for 2 hours or until frozen solid.

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Yum!

Now melt the chocolate.  There are two different ways you can do this: in the microwave, or over a double boiler.  If using the microwave, put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second increments.  Stir after each increment and stop when the chips are almost completely melted.  Stir until the chocolate is smooth.  If using the double boiler method, heat about an inch of water in a saucepan until it boils.  Turn it down to a slow simmer and place a bowl with the chocolate over the water.  Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the simmering water or the chocolate may burn.  Occasionally stir the chocolate and remove the bowl from the heat when the chocolate is just melted.

Let the chocolate sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.  Take the banana mini sandwiches out of the freezer and remove the plastic wrap.  Dip each little sandwich in the chocolate, lifting it out with a fork.  Place back on the parchment covered plate.  Repeat with all the sandwiches and return them, uncovered, to the freezer.  Let them chill at least an hour, or until the chocolate has formed a dry shell.

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Eat straight from the freezer.  The chocolate won’t melt right away, but this is not the kind of thing that can left out awhile.

Frozen Chocolate-covered banana bites

You can store any remaining frozen bites in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer for up to a week.

Enjoy!

 

Frozen Chocolate-covered Banana Bites
Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 large ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 20 ounces (2 bags) bittersweet chocolate chip

Instructions

  1. Cover a large plate or platter that can be frozen, with parchment paper.
  2. Peel all of the bananas and scoop the peanut butter out of the jar into a bowl.
  3. Slice one banana into 1/8-1/4 inch slices. If you want the peanut butter to be the more dominant flavor slice them close to 1/8 inch.
  4. Count the number of slices you have. Half of them are going to be the bottoms of little sandwiches. Spread each bottom with 1/4 teaspoon peanut butter and top with another banana slice.
  5. Once you have all the slices from the first banana sandwiched, slice the next banana.
  6. Put all of the assembled banana and peanut butter sandwiches on the plate and cover with plastic wrap. Put in the freezer to chill for 2 hours or until frozen solid.
  7. Now melt the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is smooth.
  8. Let the chocolate sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  9. Take the banana mini sandwiches out of the freezer and remove the plastic wrap.
  10. Dip each little sandwich in the chocolate, lifting it out with a fork.
  11. Place back on the parchment covered plate. Repeat with all the sandwiches and return them, uncovered, to the freezer.
  12. Let them chill at least an hour, or until the chocolate has formed a dry shell.
  13. Eat straight from the freezer. The chocolate won't melt right away, but this is not the kind of thing that can left out awhile.
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3 Comments

  1. Sounds like a great book. I will definitely read it. Meniscus yummy too!
  2. Pingback: By the Pounds Don’t Judge Me Mondays: Liquid Fruitcake

  3. Pingback: Don't Judge Me Mondays: Liquid Fruitcake - By the Pounds

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