This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of author Nicola Harris and publisher St. Martin's Press. I received a complimentary book for the purpose of review, but all opinions are honest and they are my own. No additional compensation for this post was provided; this page may contain affiliate links.
This week I am thrilled to be taking part in a virtual book release party for The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison* hosted by The Book Club Cookbook. I received an advance copy to enjoy and be inspired into the kitchen to create a dish.
You can see the party page! You may also search for the hashtag #TheShowGirlParty on social media to find the posts. But to make it easy, I'm also linking to my fellow bloggers; I will add their direct posts once everyone is live. Please take a look...
On the Page
Historical fiction is probably my favorite genre. So, when I was offered an advance reader copy of The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison, I readily agreed.
It's the Roaring Twenties and Olive McCormick has moved from the Mid-West to New York City to star in the Ziegfeld Follies, a stage revue inspired by the Folies Bergères of Paris and run by showman Florenz Ziegfeld. Harrison paints a vivid portrait of the life of a show girl.
"That night the ribbon act went off without a hitch. The adrenaline that ran through me leading up to that final moment of being lifted off stage made me sing even better than I had before, with more passion and seduction and determination. When the fans turned on behind me, the ribbons flwe forward and I was dazzled by the floating colors. I don't know how it must've looked from the audience's perspective, but from where I stood, it was as if I were in a storm of rainbow confetti. I stood, arms in the air, smiling, catching my breath, not even able to see the audience out front for the mass of dancing ribbons blurring my view. I felt a slight tug on my waist from the harness, and I began to lift off the stage. It wasn't until that moment that I began to feel a pang of trepidation" (pg. 104).
There was a surprising amount of food in the novel. At one point, Olive explains, "I could eat anything I wanted - in fact, if I didn't, I'd start to see my ribs, and Ziegfeld didn't like his girls too skinny" (pg. 81). On that same page, she ordered lasagna for dinner followed by peach Melba for dessert. On a date with Archie, she narrates: "We settled into a corner booth at Sardi's at 234 West Forty-fourth Street, where I ordered Duchess Soup and a pork chop with potatoes and French fried onions. Archie ordered the sirloin steak and a Waldorf salad. He'd found one of the few places that stayed open this late to serve dinner" (pg. 115).
This isn't a world that I would normally want to inhabit, but it was a pleasant diversion and look at the epoch.
But the passage that inspired me was a meal when Olive meets her mother at the Palm Court tearoom. "The waiter approached our table. 'We'll have anchovy canapés and the stuffed celery to start,' I said. 'Oh, and Mother, you must try the cassoulet of lobster" (pg. 205).
A canapé (French: [kanape]) is an hors d'oeuvre most often a small piece of bread, puff pastry, or a cracker topped with some kind of savory. It's a finger food that is often consumed in a single bite. Upon researching and reading, there are a couple of ways that anchovies can be used in canapés - as a paste spread on the bread or cracker or sliced into strips and used as a garnish. This isn't a recipe...just a nibble that I hope will inspire you.
In this case, I used anchovies as a garnish on a smear of garlic aioli and a black olive tapenade. Both also had a mini heirloom tomato slice and a sprinkling of fresh herbs.
To the Publisher, St. Martin's Press, on Twitter
*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.
I have also added this to #FoodieReads.
Click to see what everyone else read in August 2021: here.