Book Club- The Tin Drum
Welcome to Book Club! The book we read this month was The Tin Drum by Günter Grass. It is a German book that has been translated to English several times, we chose the most recent translation by Breon Mitchell. When our newest member to book club (hey Sally!) picked it, she said she found it in the magical realism section of the bookstore (Yay Powell’s!). I’ll be honest, I don’t even know where to start with this book. It was pretty lengthy and we all agreed that there might have been some symbolism we missed. The book follows Oskar from boyhood to becoming a man. We all felt that the word that best described the book was bizarre. It’s set in the era of WWII and Oskar never grows more than the size of a 3-year-old. He stopped growing through a magical “force of will” and was a little person his entire life. He has a tin drum that he uses to soothe himself and we see some of his extraordinary abilities throughout his life. The trouble I had with this book was that I just couldn’t relate to any of the characters…there wasn’t anyone that I wanted to root for. The author was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999, so I would be curious to read something else he’s written. I wanted to get into this book, but I just couldn’t.
Book rating: Would not recommend (5/10)
Since a majority of the book was set in Germany, I made a German-influenced menu. Here’s what we had:
- Bratwurst with homemade sauerkraut
- Cucumber Salad (recipe below)
- German Chocolate cookies (I’ll be sharing these next week)
Of course I had to serve German beer also! The beer I served was the Weihenstephaner Vitus which I found at Whole Foods. It was light and crisp without being too sweet, with a fruity finish. It reminded me a little of Hefeweizen and was the perfect pairing to the Brats. I think it would also be great with burgers, a Caesar salad or on its own. It was about $3 for a 16.9 ounce bottle.
Beer rating: Really enjoyed it- would definitely drink again (8/10)
If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think!
I found several versions of this German cucumber salad online and decided to create my own. Even though the dressing is creamy, the Greek yogurt gives it a tanginess, which was a great complement to the heavier Brats.
English cucumbers are used in this salad because the peel can be eaten, which adds a nice pop of green. These cucumbers also have less seeds, so the salad won’t get as soggy.
Slice the cucumbers in about 1/8″ slices. They’ll look extra fancy if you slice them on the bias. 😉 Lay the onion with the flat side down and cut into thin slices. Put the cucumber and onion slices into a bowl.
In another bowl mix together the Greek yogurt, dill, lemon juice, and garlic salt to make the dressing.
Pour the dressing over the cucumber and onion and mix together. Chill until ready to serve and garnish with some fresh dill. This salad will last a day in the fridge.
- 2 large English cucumbers
- 1/2 red onion
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
- lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- Slice the cucumbers in about 1/8" slices.
- Lay the onion with the flat side down and cut into thin slices.
- Put the cucumber and onion slices into a bowl
- Mix together the Greek yogurt, dill, lemon juice, and garlic salt in another bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the cucumber and onion and mix together.
- Chill until ready to serve and garnish with some fresh dill.
- This salad will last a day in the fridge.