Category Archives: Readers Groups

Rhubarb ramblings from the Nom Nom Nom cookery book reader group

Wakefield Libraries’ Nom Nom Nom Cookery book reader group has been meeting on the first Saturday of each month at 2pm since April 2014. Our meetings are a  bubbly combination of chat, reading and cookery skills sharing. At our most recent meeting on the 3rd February 2018 we turned our thoughts to the forthcoming Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb, which will be taking place 23-25 February 2018.

As huge fans and advocates of rhubarb-based cookery we felt we had to share our favourite recipes with each other and Wakefield Libraries blog readers. Rhubarb, now in season, is so much more versatile and delicious than it is often given credit for. Our top 10 rhubarb recipes include:

  1. Rhubarb Ginger Crunch from Mary Prior, Rhubarbaria, (Prospect Books, 2008)

A no-bake cheesecake with a crunchy ginger biscuit base and creamy filling.


Rhubarb Ginger Crunch

2. Custard yo-yos with Rhubarb Icing from  Yotam Ottolenghi, Sweet, (Ebury Press, 2017)

Delightful sandwich biscuits with a rhubarb-vanilla custard cream filling. Sometimes known as ‘melting moments’ or ‘custard kisses’.


Custard yoyos with roasted rhubarb icing

3.  Roasted Rhubarb with Ginger from Claire Bailey, The 8 week blood sugar diet recipe book ( Short Books, 2016)

A compote featuring rhubarb, coconut oil and ginger, could be eaten on its own, or as a topping with porridge, thick yogurt or ice cream

4. Rhubarb Curd from Sean Wilson, The Great Northern Cookbook ( Hodder, 2012)

Another versatile recipe, Nom Nom cooks particularly recommended this is used in place of lemon curd to make a light gluten-free dessert in Mary Berry’s Meringue roulade recipe

5. Joan’s Rhubarb and Oat Muffins Apple (or rhubarb) and Oat Muffins

Moist and with a pleasant tang of rhubarb, these muffins were a real treat. Joan modified an existing recipe she likes to use, substituting rhubarb instead of  apple


Rhubarb Crumble Muffins

6. Spiced Rhubarb sauce for Mackerel from Mary Prior, Rhubarbaria, (Prospect Books, 2008)

Proof, should it still be required, that rhubarb can also contribute to savoury dishes, this sauce with a hint of winter spice would go well with a range of oily fish and roast meat dishes.


Spiced Rhubarb Sauce for Mackerel

7. Rhubarb Lattice Pie with Cardamom and Orange  from Epicurious

A beautiful-looking traditional rhubarb plate-pie hiding a fragrant twist of cardamom and orange. Works well also with ginger and orange.


Rhubarb Lattice Pie with Cardamom and Orange


8. Rhubarb and Almond Cake by Nadiya Hussain for The Times

We wholeheartedly agree with Nadiya’s own description “A cake of sharp contrasts, thanks to a shot of rhubarb”

9.  Rhubarb Mule Cocktail  A favourite recipe from Jennifer Klinec

Jennifer came to speak to our group a couple of years ago after her return from Iran, where she had fallen in love with the food and a certain Iranian gentleman. Her recipe for a  Rhubarb Mule Cocktail  is bursting with the same joie de vivre as her book.

rhubarb mule

Rhubarb Mule cocktail

10. Virginia’s Rhubarb and ginger cheese cake 

made as dainty cupcake-size samples, this no-bake cheesecake was another simple way to incorporate the sharp tang of rhubarb into a delicious creamy treat.



Finally…Tusky – Yorkshire forced rhubarb pieces dipped raw into a bowl of sugar and eaten as a sweet treat

A traditional treat for children, candy-pink ‘tusky’ with a bowl of sugar to dip and eat raw is a sweet-sour taste explosion guaranteed to blow off your hat (and some tooth enamel).  Its a  love-it-or-hate-it experience to sort the true rhubarb connoisseur from the  mere aficionado! Dare you try?


A Nom Nom Nom Christmas!

Members of the Nom Nom Nom Cookery book Reader group, who meet at Wakefield Library on the first Saturday of the month at 2pm recently held their festive meeting. The meeting was filled with tasty treats and good cheer as we all look forward to cooking for ourselves and our families over the festive season.

First on the agenda was a discussion of our November book club 51XFwia+ZOL__SS160_title, which was Linda Collister’s Great British Bakeoff: Everyday, one of the first books in the long running franchise from 2013, which took us back to the very beginning of the Bake off phenomenon. It includes recipes from Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, bake-off contestants and was compiled by Linda Collister, who has collaborated with Mary Berry on a number of titles.

Members agreed that there were a great deal of excellent recipes in this book, particularly highlighted were some of the savoury recipes, which balance out the sweet treats and breads, making this book a great all-round title for the avid baker, and equally great for beginners too.

Book group members then shared their favourite festive recipes which they will be making for their loved ones this Christmas, including Lemon Buns, Marzipan filled Chelsea Buns, cheese and mustard savoury biscuits, homemade cream crackers with cumin seeds and parmesan and sesame lollipops. Members then chose a mystery festive cookery title to take away and try this coming month.

Particularly admired was book group member Pam’s square Tunis Cake, an alternative to fruit cakes at Christmas, the recipe for which Pam has written up to share with Wakefield Libraries Blog readers download here. Pam has adapted a Mary Berry recipe and added a rich chocolate icing to make this family friendly treat for the festive table.

The group meets again on the 6th January, 2pm at Wakefield Library, all are welcome.

The History of Afternoon Tea – Author Event

afternoon-teaThe Nom Nom Nom Cookery Book Reader Group invites you to join them on Saturday 1 April  2.00-3.30pm  at Wakefield Library. Cookery author and blogger Meryl White will explore the origins and the characters involved in creating this quintessential British tradition and what makes the perfect afternoon tea. This is a free event but booking is essential please.

To book:

Tel 01924 305356


The Nom Nom Nom! Cookery book reader group was established in March 2014 meeting monthly, whose members are interested in food and cookery and want to share experiences and recipes with like-minded individuals. Members of all cooking abilities are welcome, you don’t have to be of bake-off or masterchef standard to enjoy your food and cooking it!

The Nom, Nom, Nom book group meets on the first Saturday of each month 2-3pm at  Wakefield Library and Museum at Wakefield One, Burton Street. The book club gives members the opportunity to try new cookery writers, ingredients and experiment with different cuisines and share their results (and disasters!) within a friendly group.

Visit Meryl’s blog at

Cookery author event – Grandma Abson’s Traditional Baking

The Nom Nom Nom cookery book reader group, which meets regularly

Grandma Abson's Butterscotch Cake (4)

Doncaster Butterscotch Cake

at Wakefield One Library and Museum the first Saturday each month at 2pm, invites you to join us for an afternoon of tea, cakes and Edwardian recipes from Grandma Abson’s vintage recipe book. On Saturday 5th March 2.00-3.00pm author Meryl White will be talking about her book and sharing some tasty home-baked treats. Read more about Grandma Abson’s legacy on Meryl’s blog


“Grandma Abson’s Traditional Baking is all about simple and tasty baking, a legacy from my Grandma’s time as a

Flakemeal biscuits (5)

Irish Flakemeal Biscuits

cook-housekeeper in Edwardian times and a lifetime of baking. As I was growing up, I watched her bake and cook, and acquired her expertise and passion for baking. Now I’m sharing Grandma Abson’s baking with you. Enjoy!” – Meryl White, Author


Free event but booking is essential please


Wakefield Library and Museum

Wakefield One, Burton Street

Wakefield WF1 2DD

Tel 01924 305356


The Big Read


This year we are taking part in The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate’s 2014 Big Read. The Big Read book is A Place of Execution by Val McDermid


In the Peak District village of Scarsdale, thirteen-year-old girls didn’t just run away. So when Alison Carter vanished in the winter of ’63, everyone knew it was a murder. Catherine Heathcote remembers the case well. A child herself when Alison vanished, decades on she still recalls the sense of fear as parents kept their children close, terrified of strangers. Now a journalist, she persuades DI George Bennett to speak of the hunt for Alison, the tantalizing leads and harrowing dead ends. But when a fresh lead emerges, Bennett tries to stop the story – plunging Catherine into a world of buried secrets and revelations.

Join us on Tuesday 10th June, 2pm at Wakefield Library and Museum to discuss the book with Festival Reader-In-Residence David Mark and travel back in time to Wakefield in 1963 with Wakefield Museum and Library staff.

I’m afraid talking part in the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival does not entitle us to any free beer, but we do have some copies of the book available. Leave a comment if you would like to take part in the Big Read and we’ll get a copy to you to enjoy.

Nom Nom Nom Book Group – The tastiest new reader group in Wakefield!

Nom, Nom, Nom Book group – The tastiest new reader group in WakefieldWAKEFIELD LIBRARIES

Wakefield Libraries present The Nom Nom Nom book group – the tastiest new reader group in Wakefield, the launch of which will take place in the Rhubarb festival marquee at 2.15 on Saturday 22nd February. The group will be an informal reader-group, meeting monthly whose members are interested in food and cookery and want to share experiences and recipes with like-minded individuals. Members of all cooking abilities are welcome, you don’t have to be of bake-off or masterchef standard to enjoy your food and cooking it!

The Nom, Nom, Nom book group will meet monthly on the first Saturday of each month 2-3pm at the Create café, below Wakefield Library and Museum at Wakefield One, Burton Street. The inaugural book club meeting will  take place on the 1st March and the club will give members the opportunity to try new cookery writers, ingredients and experiment with different cuisines and share their results (and disasters!) within a friendly group.

The first meeting on the 1st March 2-3pm will include a chance to borrow one of 15 library reader group copies of our first reading book – The Hairy Dieters Cook Book, to experiment with throughout March, which will be issued to library members on a first come-first served basis of course…Library members just bring yourself, a copy of your favourite recipe to share and your library card!

If you don’t already have a Wakefield district library card, library membership is free, visit our website  for details of how to sign up at your nearest library branch.

The cookery book reader group is a free library service event. Refreshments will be available to purchase in the café before, during and after the book club meeting.

National Reading Group Day




We celebrated National Reading Group Day on 29th June at Wakefield Library and it was lovely to see people from Readers groups across Wakefield and to share a day with so many poeple who love reading. Our guest author was Christina James, author of crime novels In the Family and Almost Love, literary psychological thrillers set in the Lincolnshire fens.Christina shared in the discussions about her book and spoke about writing and publishing. You can read about her impressions of the day here

I love my Readers groups because they persuade me to try books I wouldn’t have opened, because they make me think about why I loved or hated a book but above all I love the discussion – the different viewpoints, the insights I missed, the chance to have my opinion challenged or defend my point of view. What do you love about your Readers Group?

National Reading Group Day

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National Reading Group Day is talking place on Saturday 29th June and we have planned an exciting day of activities on the theme of Crime fiction to be held at Wakefield Library and Museum.
11 – 11.30am Arrival, coffee and a chance to look at some of our new book collections
11.30-12.00 Discussion groups for Peter May The Blackhouse, Christina James In the Family or Wilkie Collins The Moonstone.
12 – 1 Group session: discussion of crime fiction and recommend favorite books, chaired by Julie Walker.
1 – 2 pm lunch. The Create Cafe in Wakefield One will be open or bring a picnic to enjoy in the library.
2-3pm Talk by Christina James, author of In the Family about her work as a writer and publisher and her new book Almost Love
We hope to see lots of Readers Group members on the day. If you haven’t yet booked a place and would like to, email

Spring Cleaning

mjYBjGWIt’s time to spring clean the sets of books we supply to readers Groups across Wakefield – retire some of the most well used titles and buy some exciting new books to enjoy. What would you like to see on our list? The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce has already been suggested but what else should we look at? A classic novel or a Richard and Judy choice? The Womens’ Prize for Fiction or science fiction? Leave a comment below with your suggestions.

Book Reviews

long songharlequinHere are two reviews from members of the Crofton Reader Group. Have you read these books? What did you think of them?

Review from Eileen – Crofton Reader Group
Andrea Levy – Long Song
The story takes place in Jamaica during the last turbulent years of slavery and is told by Miss July who was born into slavery on a sugar plantation. She is taken from her mother by Caroline Mortimer to train as a ladies maid.

Caroline and July are the main women in the story and although on the surface, one has all the power and the other has none, in reality it is a constant game of one-upmanship between them, in which July generally has the upper hand. Despite their differing status they are, in fact, both trapped by their circumstances.

Caroline finds herself in charge of the plantation and overseas its deterioration throughout the Negro uprisings and the eventual freeing of the slaves.

During her life Miss July experiences fear, violence, tragedy, success and love and bears two children. One of her children Thomas, who becomes a successful publisher, asks his mother to write down the story of her life and the book moves from the past to the present as we hear of July and how she now lives with Thomas, his wife and children.

The story of Jamaica told through the experiences of Miss July gives us a glimpse of the way of life of the planters and slaves and their differing outlook on life with humour and compassion and is an excellent read.

Review From Jane – Crofton Reader Group
Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell

The book follows Thomas of Hookton, an archer fighting for the English in France, at the beginning of the Hundred Years War

Seeking revenge and a stolen relic the reader witnesses, through Thomas, the brutal battles the English wage against the French. The English lay waste to the French lands taking crops and livestock to feed the army, ransacking homes for treasure to send back to England and brutally killing the men and taking the women, if they were lucky, for their own pleasure. They leave nothing behind.

Bernard Cornwell obviously researches his books well, going into great detail about the preparation for attack, the tactics of the attack and the armour and weapons used by the men and horses. The battle scenes were very descriptive and not for the faint hearted.

I felt I learnt much about the archers and their bows, arrows and their incredible skill.

The book ended with a unfinished business and I have borrowed the next two books in the trilogy, Vagabond and Heretic to find out if Thomas succeeded in his quest and what happened to the other characters of the book.

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