Book Club- So Close to Being the Sh*t Ya’ll Don’t Even Know

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Last month was my turn to select the book we read, so I chose So Close to Being the Sh*t Ya’ll Don’t Even Know by Retta.  I’ve enjoyed seeing Retta’s star rise after she played Donna on Parks & Rec.  I am sad to say I was a little disappointed in this book, all of the book club ladies were.  I still like Retta after reading her book, but I didn’t really learn anything about her that I didn’t already know from social media.  I will say the book did make me laugh, at least.   However, she just didn’t “dig in” if that makes sense.  Her parents are from Liberia and she  lived there for about a year.  I would’ve loved to hear what that experience was like.  It’s obvious she has a close relationship with her parents but we didn’t learn much about them and the struggles they must’ve faced as immigrants.  Speaking of struggles, I also wanted to learn more about what Retta went through to get to where she is today.  I’m sure that being a woman of color that started as a stand-up comedian can’t have been an easy road.  I wanted to hear more about how she persevered and how she’s probably mentored other women of color to help them succeed.  It makes me sad because one of the book club ladies said that this book doesn’t make her like Retta and that’s not what I want the takeaway to be.  For people that are already fans of Retta, this probably won’t dissuade you.  However, those that aren’t might not get the right impression. Retta is a smart, savvy, funny woman that had to have some serious hustle to get to where she is today and people should know that.

It was a quick read and I laughed so I don’t necessarily regret reading it. If you want something funny, read it.  If you want to learn about Retta, I can’t recommend this book. (5/10)

The menu was sort of a mish-mosh, since I took inspiration from several areas of the book.  Here’s what I served:

  • Liberian Chicken and Peanut Stew- as I mentioned, Retta’s family is Liberian, so I wanted to make at least one Liberian dish.
  • Rice to go with the stew
  • Melon- I wanted something fresh to go with the rich foods we were having
  • Cornflake Marshmallow cookies– Retta mentions eating off-brand cornflakes as a kid and I was also inspired by the Milkbar pop-up at Canlis we went to a few Sundays ago J
  • The Treat Yo Self- Retta is a coffee fiend so I knew I wanted to make a coffee-flavored cocktail (see recipe below).

The next book we’re reading is Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller. As always, you can follow along with what we’re reading on my Book Club Pinterest board.  If you read Retta’s book or Swimming Lessons, let me know what you thought!


The Treat Yo Self

As I mentioned, Retta loves coffee and with the hot weather I thought a boozy slushy with coffee flavor would be ideal.  This drink is creamy, refreshing, and perfect for summer!

In a measuring pitcher or bowl, pour your milk.  Now add the Ovaltine powder.

Using Ovaltine might seem like an odd choice but I actually got the idea from Joy the Baker a long time ago.  It’s an ingredient in her chocolate buttercream and it really adds a rich chocolate flavor.  It dissolves quickly in milk and isn’t as sweet as chocolate syrup.

Add your ice to a blender.

Once your milk and Ovaltine mixture is longer clumpy, pour it into the blender over the ice.  Add the espresso powder and blend until you don’t have any ice chunks.

Now add the Kahlua and blitz it a few seconds to get it mixed in.

Pour it into glasses and top with a dollop of whipped cream if you’re so inclined.  Enjoy with your feet up in front of an episode of Parks and Rec. 🙂



The Treat Yo Self
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  • 3 cups ice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons Ovaltine
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 ounces Kahlia


  1. Pour milk into a measuring pitcher or bowl and add Ovaltine.  Stir until there are no clumps.
  2. Add ice to blender. Pour in milk and Ovaltine mixture and add espresso powder. Blend until ices is no longer in chunks. 
  3. Add Kahlua and blitz a few seconds to mix. 
  4. Pour it into glasses and top with a dollop of whipped cream if you’re so inclined.  Enjoy with your feet up in front of an episode of Parks and Rec. 🙂





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