By Stephanie E. Ponder
FOOD AND WORDS have always been two
of Amy Reichert’s passions. “I come from a
long line of women who cook,” Reichert
tells The Connection from her home
in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. She
adds, “I’ve always told myself sto-
ries, even as a child.”
So, it’s only natural that her
first novel, and the latest Costco
Book Club pick, The Coincidence
of Coconut Cake, would be a deli-
cious combination of food and words.
Reichert, who has a master’s degree
in English, says she decided to write a novel
after she had two children and found herself
in a position to do what she wanted to do, not
what she had to do.
Her recipe for getting published included
an eight-year post-graduation job as a technical writer, which taught her how to “write
efficiently” and allowed her to grow “a thick
skin for going through critiques.” And, she
spent five years writing, rewriting and editing, which helped her learn about the writing process.
The result is a story that focuses on Lou
(short for Louella), a fledgling restaurateur,
and Al, a restaurant critic who writes under a
pseudonym. The two meet after Al writes a
mean-spirited review of Lou’s restaurant.
Having agreed not to talk about
work, neither realizes who the
other is—until romance is already
Not only does Reichert, a
Costco member, deliver a tasty
treat for book lovers, but she also
has the following suggestions for
recipes to serve when your book club
talks about this book. Oh, and of course
you’ll want the recipe for coconut cake, which
you’ll find on page 311 of the book. C
arts & entertainment
A slice of
Have your cake and read it too
The Coincidence of
Coconut Cake (Item
now) is available at
most Costco warehouses, along with food and
wine for hosting your
own book club.
BEER ’N’ BRAT BITES
Few things are more Wisconsin than brats boiled in beer
with onions. This snack-size version is ideal for parties.
6 uncooked brats
1 onion, sliced
24 ounces beer, any type
36 pretzel sticks
Di;erent mustards for dipping
Place the brats and onion in a large saucepan.
Pour in the beer. If the beer doesn’t cover the
brats completely, add extra water or beer until
it does. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium and boil until brats are
cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove the
brats from the saucepan and discard the onions.
Grill the brats just long enough to brown and crisp
the exterior. If you can’t grill them, brown them in
a skillet or the oven.
Cut each brat into 6 chunks. Poke a pretzel stick
into each, like a toothpick. Serve while warm,
accompanied by the mustards. Makes 36 bites.
AL AND LOU’S PICNIC SNACKS
Technically this isn’t a recipe, but a re-creation of Al
and Lou’s picnic after their visit to the Milwaukee Art
Museum. This recipe is perfect for book clubs.
8 ounces of 4-year-old cheddar (or your favorite extra-
8 bottles of hard cider, chilled
sharp cheddar), preferably from Wisconsin, sliced
2 to 3 apples (Gala, Honeycrisp or something
1 loaf of crusty French or Italian bread, sliced
8 ounces hand-rolled butter or a European-style
Set the cheese, apples, bread and butter on a
serving tray or platter.
Open the cider and make a toast to good food,
good friends and good books. Makes 8 servings.
SIMPLE YET FANCY GOAT CHEESE
This is one of those so good yet so simple recipes.
Something about the tangy goat cheese, sweet honey
and crunchy almonds makes this seem fancy.
8 ounces soft, plain goat cheese
¼ cup honey, plus more if needed
¼ cup sliced almonds
1 baguette, sliced and toasted, or almond crackers
Spread the goat cheese in a shallow bowl so it’s
about ½ inch thick.
Cover with honey until all the goat cheese is coated,
adding more if needed. Sprinkle with the almonds.
To eat, spread the goat cheese on toasted
baguette slices or crackers. Makes 8 servings.
Recipes courtesy of Amy Reichert