Barnham Book Club

Season Two: East of Eden

Big Ed Barnham and Summer America Barnham live in Portland, Oregon where they love whiskey, pie, singing, theatre, cats, independent bookstores, and reading. They love these things so much that they formed a book club  and a web series around them.

Ep.2 - Chicken 'n Fruit

In this episode, the ladies of the book club delve into the first part of Anna Karenina and into Cate's cookbook.

EP.2 Resource Guide

By Big Ed Barnham

Howdy folks, 

I think the title of this episode and one of Kenny Calisota's lines in it ("I like chicken 'n fruit, yessir") sum up the direction I'm taking with this episode's resource guide.


In the Constance Garnett version of Anna Karenina, it's spelled Poularde à l’Estragon, but you might find it as Poulet Estragon. Either way, it's a tarragon roasted chicken, and it's a recipe that's hard to get wrong. In fact, it's so easy to get right, you should have it in your weekly recipe rotation. It's a tasty dish, and one that will fool folks into thinking you're a gourmet chef.

I've picked Nigella Lawson's version of the recipe as a starting point as well as Xanthe Clay's take on it. Roasted Chicken is one of the finest things in life…so is watching Julia Child work her magic on one, including the most ridiculous show intro ever.


I have had such a hard time finding a recipe for Macedoine de Fruits that suits my palate, that I'm not going to list any recipes. If you want fruit…cut up some fruit. If you want any kind of liqueur…have some liqueur. For me, I'd suggest cutting some cantaloupe and honeydew melon (let them sit at room temperature for better flavor) along with a snifter of cognac. Lately, I've been sipping Jay-Z's product. Actually, that's my Macedoine de Fruits recipe right there.

Big Ed Barnhams Macedoine de Fruits

  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 1 honeydew melon
  • 4 oz of D'usse
  1. Cut the cantaloupe and honeydew into quarters, remove the rinds, and cut into large pieces.
  2. Place the cantaloupe and honey dew in a bowl.
  3. Pour the cognac into a snifter.
  4. Take the snifter and bowl out on the front porch with a fork.
  5. Enjoy

Serves 1 (double the recipe if your better half is joining you).


Portland Center Stage produced a version of Anna Karenina a few years back. Sadly, I did not see it, a regret that I've had ever since I discovered that they mounted that production after the fact. Miranda Hoffman created several renderings as options for costume design were explored.

Miranda Hoffman renderings for Anna Karenina.

Miranda Hoffman renderings for Anna Karenina.

And by the way, check out the Portland Center Stage Resource Guide for Anna Karenina. You should definitely read their guide, mine doesn't hold a candle to it.

See ya next week.

Copyright ©2018 Brian Scott Rogers