This Sunday afternoon I had the wonderful experience of speaking by phone with the “Eat, Drink, Laugh, and of course READ!!!!” book club of Connecticut which had read When We Were Strangers. As the organizer Shanon explained, the club typically creates a meal inspired by the book. They eschewed the bread and raw onions meals of Opi (for some reason) and went right for Irma’s going away feast in Chicago (pp. 258-259). From the look of this meal, it’s a wonder Irma didn’t stay in Chicago.
The choucroute garnie is a traditional hearty winter food of Alsace and while I don’t know the recipe used by Shanon’s group, here is one by Jacques Pepin.