Conversations

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

NOVEL GATHERING

INVITATION

There are always many ways to create an invitation.  Since Jem, Dill and Scout loved to reenact plays, create a play bill for Tarzan or The Rover Boys.  I would create an invitation to resemble the front page of The Maycomb Tribune.  Here is my example below,

SETTING

I would love to have this book club discussion on someone's front porch with rocking chairs and Adirondack chairs displayed in a circle. I can imagine the hanging baskets filled with geraniums.  If this isn't possible, how about a picnic in your town square?  You can sit around pretending you are waiting for Tom Robinson's trial to begin.  Finally, you can have this gathering in your living room with a few added Maycomb touches.

Here are a few other touches you can incorporate to your home.

Have a line of lemon drops from your walkway to your front door
Azaleas and/or Camellia bushes
Chipped enamel jars holding brilliant red geraniums
Have a sign on your front door that reads, Atticus Finch, Attorney-at-Law
Have Amazing Grace playing when your guests arrive and To Kill a Mockingbird movie playing on your TV, on mute of course
A candy box with wet cotton and perfect camellia blooms for all your guests
A Bowl at the front door with Wrigley's Double-Mint Gum, a (purple) velvet box with two shiny pennies, and two images carved in soup (improvise here)
Again at the front door a fishing pole with a note on the end greeting your guests (or you can hang a pair of freshly stitched up boys pants)
A silver dinner bell, silver serving tray, a real or play tea set (this will make Aunt Alexandra happy)
Checkerboard
A miniature steam engine and a twirling baton (what Jem bought for his birthday)
Some books, namely The Gray Ghost (here you could wrap any book cover in paper and create your own book jacket)
A syringe, box of absorbent cotton, an alarm clock, and the novel Ivanhoe (Mrs. Dubose's night stand)
Genealogy charts or books
Handkerchief's
Popular Mechanics magazine
Playing marbles
Halloween costumes hung around the discussion area with an apple bobbing station or a pin the tail on the donkey station (instead of a donkey, you could have the movie image of Bob Ewell?) 
A box of cigars so everyone can have unlit cigars in their mouth like Judge Taylor) 

FOOD

**  Just because Atticus never ate desserts doesn't mean you don't, ENJOY.

Miss Maudie's scuppernongs (bowls of green grapes)
Pound-cake or Lane Cake
Christmas dinner at Aunt Alexandra's included three different kinds of meat (we can image ham, roast beef and turkey), summer vegetables from her pantry shelves, peach pickles and two kinds of cake and ambrosia (I am guessing fruit salad?)
Biscuits and butter
Corn bread
Egg dish (Jem couldn't get enough)
Sardines and crackers or cold chicken and cold fried port chops (people sitting in the town square waiting for the trial to begin)
One big cake and two little cakes (usually 3 but Jem is older now)
Dewberry Tarts
Silver tray with cookies
Banana's and milk (any of your guests bulking up like Jem?)
Hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, pickled pigs knuckles, chicken, rolls (the people of Maycomb thanking Atticus by bringing in food) 
A bowl of tootsie rolls 

DRINKS

Coca cola bottles wrapped in brown paper bags with a straw
Calpurnia's lemonade
Hot Chocolate (what Atticus prepared for Jem and Scout after the fire)

If something stronger is required or desired, try,

Tequila Mockingbird

(from Tim Federle's cookbook Tequila Mockingbird:Cocktails with a Literary Twist)

Ingredients

2 parts Reposado Tequila
1/2 Part Green Mint Liqueur
1/2 Part Lime Juice
1/4 Part Simple Syrup
1 Sprig Mint Leaf

Fill a shaker with ice cubes.  Add all ingredients.  Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with mint leaf. 

 

 

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