Water for Elephants Book Club: Recipes, Movie Clips, & a Deluxe Giveaway

In exactly two weeks from today (!), Sara Gruen and Kathryn Stockett (author of the amazing debut novel The Help) will discuss Water for Elephants in front of a live audience, which will be simultaneously streamed live on our Algonquin Book Club website. When you tune in to the live webcast you can chat with other viewers and even ask questions of Sara Gruen. How cool is that? Mark the date: Monday, April 26, 7:00 p.m. EST.

To tie you over until then, we have a special Water for Elephants meal planned for you, taken right from the book. It’s the same meal Jacob had when Marlena and August invited him to join them for dinner in the railway car. We’ve taken a few liberties with the dishes, but in our humble opinion, we’ve improved upon them. Sara Gruen herself offers a divine spin on Oyster Bisque with a recipe for Oyster Brie Soup, courtesy of the Grove Park Inn. You can view the full recipe, plus recipes for the other dishes, here.

And speaking of two weeks–the Water for Elephants film opens up in less than two weeks (!), on Friday, April 22. You can view eight high-definition clips from the movie over at the Water for Elephants Movie Fan Site. Our favorite of the eight is below. So what do you think: Are you excited to see the film?

This week we’re giving away an autographed copy of Water for Elephants and several Algonquin tote bags. To enter, tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page: What Water for Elephants-themed dish would you bring to a book club party? We’re looking for creativity here, folks, so put your thinking caps on!

24 Comments On This Post:

April 11, 2011
10:37 am
Virginia says...

In honor of the tents, I’d make papillote de poisson, wherein the fish and aromatics would be contained in parchment paper and steamed to perfection. I’d use brightly colored veggies to emulate the colors of the circus.

Dessert would be a bombe. I found a recipe for one that combines chocolate and peanut butter. To make it extra fancy, I’d create a cage out of caramel, formed around a bowl that’s larger than the bombe. I might do individual bombes w/smaller cages.

April 11, 2011
10:41 am
Lisa Emig says...

Beautiful clip. I’m a voracious reader, and must admit to having never been excited to see a novel adapted to the big screen. However curiosity got the better of me, and I’ve followed the movie’s production on Twitter and the Water For Elephants website. What I’ve seen so far has been truly breath taking. Beautiful cast, wonderful director and a terrific story – I’m really looking forward to April 22nd!

April 11, 2011
11:33 am
Shari Stauch says...

We’d make vegetarian (in honor of the elephants) tortilla tents (in honor of the circus!). A tortilla or pita base, sprinkled with your favorite shredded cheese (sawdust), topped with selections of “three rings”, i.e. onion, tomato, green, red or yellow pepper rings. Another tortilla (the big top) can be propped over the base with a variety of fresh veggie sticks, i.e. carrots, celery. When it’s time to eat, just fold up your “tents” and go… Peanuts optional!

April 11, 2011
12:06 pm
Jana Harver says...

Not sure what circus cuisine really is, but would include popcorn (or carmel corn) and do the tortilla thing held up by carrot sticks. Love the book and can’t wait to go to movie with my book club sisters!

April 11, 2011
12:35 pm
Ewa Laurance says...

Salmon papillote on a bed of spinach, covered with herbs and veggies…Easiest, tastiest tent I know of!
And yes…can’t wait to see the movie. Loved, loved the book!

April 11, 2011
1:21 pm
amy lahr says...

I would go simple. Cotton Candy and homemade Lemonade.

April 11, 2011
2:26 pm
Carin says...

I would take the lobster salad and the plum pudding. Both of those sound amazing. I got addicted to lobster in Nova Scotia a few years ago. It’s been several years since I read the book, but it was amazing and I recommended it to several people. I am also planning on seeing Miss Gruen this summer when she comes to do an author event. I am looking forward to the movie and a possible reread of the book!

April 11, 2011
5:01 pm
Hira H. says...

I borrowed “Water for Elephants” from the library during medical school – I had merely borrowed it for light reading,but I remember being completely engrossed in it, and greatly touched by the novel.

Now,I cannot wait for Director Francis Lawrence to bring Sara Gruen’s vision to life on the silver screen. I think Reese Witherspoon looks absolutely adorable, and Robert Pattinson makes an handsome Jacob Jankowski. I cannot believe that no one is talking about Christoff Waltz playing August – because he is absolutely PERFECT for that role. The real star, however, should be Tai, as Rosie! I know I am no critic, but I am so very excited, and getting carried away.

Our book club is reading “Water for Elephants” for the April 26th Live webchat event with Sara Gruen, so we were planning on holding a meeting on that day – and we were thinking of making

1)”Boiled Seasoned Peanuts”, and sweet-cinnamon dusted “Elephant Ears”. The BEST bit: I’m making “Elephant Turds” which are basically baked potatoes stuffed with cheese and beef and covered in barbeque sauce! Yes, they sound GROSS, but they taste DELICIOUS! ALL in honor of darling ROSIE!

2) Having popcorn and caramel apples, in honor of the Circus.

3)”Clown Cones” with brownie bits (You take an icecream cone with one large scoop of icecream,and turn it upside down – The sugar cones will look like hats and the ice cream ball will look like the face. With brownie bits to decorate for eyes & mouth) to honor the Clowns.

4)I’m also making deep-fried pickle spears, as a tribute to Southern and “fair/circus foods”.

5) And of course, hot dogs & corn-on-the-cob for fun & simple circus foods.

Thank you for this amazing opportunity, and for the webchat event that we cannot WAIT for!!!

April 11, 2011
5:16 pm
Allison says...

Elephant ears and corn dogs, of course! As for the movie, my daughter, a good friend of mine, and I are psyched to go see it. We all three devoured the book and can only hope that the movie lives up to it.

April 11, 2011
6:51 pm
Gina says...

I read this book with a bookclub I’m in within my community and loved the book. I enjoyed how the author was able to switch from the main charagter being an elderly man in the nursing home and then to him working with the traveling circus. I am looking forward to viewing the movie!

April 12, 2011
9:27 am
Colleen Tracey says...

Cracker Jack shrimp

April 12, 2011
11:47 am
Torri Jackson says...

I loved this book. There were so many times when I actually laughed out loud but I can just image Jacob’s face when he walked in on Walter with his pants down. I cried laughing so hard.
But what touched me more than anything was the care that Jacob and Walter (who tries to be so hard, and really is a softy) took of Camel. Hiding him away behind boxes during the day and giving him the cot. They both risked so much for him.

I loved the fact that Jacob never understood why performers and workers should not mix together. We are all people. Great underlying message.

April 12, 2011
1:45 pm
Debby says...

The changes sound delicious. I like the idea of the 1930’s Apple Cake, but wouldn’t it be better with extra apples? I make an apple cake, and I modified it to use applesauce and apples of any kind.

April 12, 2011
2:14 pm
Martha says...

Chicken on a stick, popcorn balls, cotton candy cupcakes, and big, soft hot pretzels…strawberry lemonade to drink!

April 12, 2011
2:53 pm
Jessica M. says...

I seriously can’t wait for this movie to come out. 🙂 I’d bring all the sort of stereotypical circus and carnival themed foods — cotton candy, circus peanuts, corn dogs, popcorn, etc. Not very creative, I know, but I was thinking it would be fun to come up with a creative way to present it — maybe make a big top circus tent out of the food, gingerbread-house style.

April 12, 2011
4:50 pm
Susan says...

Our book club did a circus theme under the big top. We actually were able to get a big top tent for a couple hours. We had peanuts(Rosy’s favorites). Cotton candy, hot dogs, and popcorn. We had such a good book club that day. I always like to have a theme with the book. Looking forward to the book discussion at Aloquin boooks. Looking forward to the movie with Reese Witherspoon.

April 12, 2011
4:58 pm
Susan M. says...

Roasted peanuts in the shells, which would be scattered on the floor as they were being consumed. Then we’d draw straws to see who would get to sweep up afterwards, thus continuing the elephant theme even further!

April 12, 2011
5:15 pm
Deana says...

Why, fried elephant ears of course! Made with dough of course, no real elephants would be harmed in making of these delicious treats.

April 12, 2011
5:22 pm
Corey K says...

Peanut curry with ginkgo biloba tea (because elephants never forget!) or maybe some watermelon martinis…

April 13, 2011
8:38 am
Mika says...

I would bring a strawberry pineapple punch, reindeer food, chicken and steak kabobs, and chocolate truffles!

April 14, 2011
12:20 pm
Nikki Hodgkins says...

I would have to make carnival themed foods! I’d start out with a cake made to look like the face of an elephant and make the ears out of fried dough. Then I’d use the mini ice cream cones for buckets and fill them with blue cotton candy to make it look like water!

April 20, 2011
9:41 pm
Mizjen says...

Absolutely loved this book can’t wait til friday!

April 29, 2011
12:45 am
Shari Stauch says...

Who won?

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