Curry Rice Salad with Artichokes for Food ‘n Flix

December is always uber busy.  That’s nothing new.  It’s hard to get gifts made, cards sent and holiday posts written.  (I have been very lax on the last two here.   No cards were sent this year and my one holiday post had to rely on past year’s themes.)

There was little or no time to watch this month’s feature for Food ‘n Flix:  The Jane Austen Book Club.  I was prepared to write an apologetic note to Kimberly (the host this month) to say I would sit out this round.   (Her announcement post can be found here.)


I finally found a bit of time on December 19 to watch the movie before making a couple of holiday parties that afternoon and evening.  (Goodness knows that after December 21, my life was going to be jammed packed with travel, family and friends.

I was so glad I found the time.

jane austen

Having read a few reviews of the film, I was prepared for the typical chick flick.   Don’t get me wrong, this movie is definitely of that genre, but I truly enjoyed this one.

Yes, there were lots of characters that could have been developed.  I would have loved to have seen more of Lynn Redgrave’s whacked out hippie mother.  Maybe we could have figured out why Prudie was such a whiner.   Really, I loved all the characters but I wanted to slap her.  I have no patience for high school teachers who even entertain thoughts about dalliances with their students.    And, could she have spouted off any more pretentious French comments?

Just to round out the other more likable characters there are the following members of the club:

  • Jocelyn:  Her grief over a companion’s death is the catalyst for the forming of this club.  I coveted her entire wardrobe.   Where can I buy that blanket coat she was wearing?  Even though it was obvious what couple would be formed from the book club from the beginning of the film, I was still rooting for her and Grigg.
  • Bernadette:  By the end of the film, she will be on her seventh marriage.   Bernadette is the backbone of the club and serves as a matriarchal figure.
  • Sylvia:  This club helps her deal with the divorce from the super hot (and soon remorseful) Jimmy Smits.
  • Allegra:  Sylvia’s daughter who soon moves in with her mother to watch over her after the divorce.  Allegra struggles with her own relationships as well but isn’t afraid of taking on physical challenges (and risks).
  • Grigg:  He is the token male of the group and he and Prudie are the only ones that didn’t have prior relationships with the other members of the club.
Jocelyn's coat

Does anyone know where I can get Jocelyn’s coat? I love it!


Although there’s not a plethora of food in the film, we are given a lot of glimpses.

Was that cheesecake I saw on the table at the Marmalade Cafe when Daniel breaks the news of his infidelity to Sylvia?

Those were some huge ice cream sundaes (with lots of extra whipped cream) that Bernadette and Prudie dive into on their first meeting.

Sylvia makes flan to keep the divorce blues away.

I also saw beautiful crudites at Jocelyn’s, lots of salads and finger foods at the other club members’ homes and at one point, Allegra is delighted by grilled artichokes.   Then there is the final club meeting at the picnic on the beach.

Curried Rice Salad from Eliot's Eats

I was inspired to whip something up that could work at a picnic or at a book club luncheon (and could be served to impromptu holiday guests.)  This salad goes together very quickly.

Curry Rice Salad with Artichokes
loosely based on Cold Rice Salad from San Francisco a La Carte (The Junior League of San Francisco, 1979)

1 3/4 c. chicken stock
1 c. long grain and wild rice mix
1 (12 oz.) jar marinated artichokes (quartered)
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 c. roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 c. marinated olives, chopped or sliced.
1/8 c. fresh flat Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 t. curry powder
1 c. mayonnaise
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Bring chicken stock to a boil, stir in rice and return to boil.   Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook 20-25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.  Cool.

Drain artichokes, reserving some of the marinade.  Chop.   Add to cooled rice.

Add green onions, red peppers, olives and parsley.   Add to cooled rice mixture.

Combine 1 T. reserved marinade from artichokes with mayonnaise, curry, and salt and pepper.   Stir and taste to re-season if necessary.

Toss with rice and mix thoroughly.    Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The next time I make this, I will throw in some shredded chicken.

Kimberly, thanks for hosting and thanks for making me want to revisit Jane Austen’s books.  (You see, I had a horrible experience with a Victorian English literature professor in college which left me with a distaste for Jane.  In fact, she reminded me a lot of Prudie!)

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are preparing for a festive New Year’s Eve!

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