January 8, 2012

The Reading Corner.....Can You Really Find Salvation at the Dairy Queen?

Sometimes you have to return to the place where you began,
to arrive at the place where you belong.

It's the early 1970s. The town of Ringgold, Georgia, has a population of 1,923, one traffic light, one Dairy Queen, and one Catherine Grace Cline. Catherine Grace Cline was six years old, and her sister Martha Ann was four, when their mother drowned. Their daddy is the preacher at the Baptist church in their small Georgia town. When their father is busy, Gloria Jean, a neighbor and old friend of their mother's watches the girls. Catherine Grace loves Gloria Jean because she's the only person who will talk about her mother.

 Catherine Grace and Martha Ann head down to the Dairy Queen every Saturday for a Dilly Bar. That's when Catherine Grace does her dreaming and planning. She longs to get out of their small town and head to Atlanta and can't understand why Eddie Franklin is content with his life - working at Dairy Queen in a small town.

When Catherine Grace causes a commotion at a church function, her father punishes her by forbidding her to go to Dairy Queen for the rest of the summer. Gloria Jean comes up with a plan to keep the girls busy and help Catherine Grace earn money for her get-away all at the same time.

After she graduates from high school and turns eighteen, Catherine Grace heads to Atlanta with her savings. She finds a job and a place to live and things are going pretty well for her when she's called home because of a family emergency. She gets some shocking news when she gets home and finds out that she may have been looking for happiness in the wrong place all along.

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen is the wonderful debut novel of Susan Gregg Gilmore. There is so much more to this book than appears on the surface. It's about love and acceptance of friends and family. It's about having a dream, following your dream and most of all, it's about forgiveness.

We love hosting Sunday Night Book Club! Tonight, Estelle's is serving some comforting, cheesey pasta and a very special after dinner treat.....right in keeping with the theme for our chosen monthly read!

Three Cheese Ziti
1 (16-oz.) package ziti pasta
2 (10-oz.) containers Alfredo sauce
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 (15-oz.) container ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

Cook ziti according to package directions; drain and return to pot. Stir together Alfredo sauce and sour cream; toss with ziti until evenly coated. Spoon half of ziti mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Stir together ricotta cheese and next 3 ingredients; spread evenly over pasta mixture. Spoon remaining pasta mixture evenly over ricotta cheese layer; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

You guessed it! Our own Peanut Buster Parfaits!


  1. Oh Lord, I love Peanut Buster Parfaits! One of those very happy memories from the past... we'd even sit in the car in the middle of a Midwest winter and eat our treats! Mom was the instigator in such trips, so glad I got to grow up in a family of ice cream lovers! The ziti looks like a keeper, you are so sweet to share.

  2. My mother loved these too Joycee. Great memories of this also! This pasta is quick and delicious for a week night...serve with a crisp green salad and dinner is served!


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