The earth may not be passing through the tail of a comet during your SELLING HOPE book club meeting, but don’t let that stop you from throwing your own Comet Party! (You can revisit the Comet Party scene on page 171.)
Cream puffs will be a must! If you have a large book club group, it may be easiest to purchase frozen cream puffs from your local grocery store. The ones I have tried have been excellent. But, if you have the time, making cream puffs from scratch with your kids is easy and fun. It surprises me every time how the simple dough bakes to form the perfect hollow space for the filling. I use the recipe in my oldest cookbook, but I am sure any cream puff recipe will have the same great results.
(Here’s a short explanation if you want to discuss the science of how the cream puffs “puff” with your kids while you patiently wait for them to bake!)
Since no descriptions or ingredients were listed in the book for the special drinks, such as the “Comet Cocktail” or the ”Cyanogen Flip”, you have the freedom to make them however you like. Your special drink can be as simple as pink lemonade or your favorite punch recipe. If you’re feeling more adventurous, have the kids come up with a name for a new comet-themed drink, along with a suggested recipe!
No Comet Party is complete without some fancy comet pins. Starting in the 1800s, this unique style of jewelry was made to celebrate passing comets. These pins or broaches varied a lot, but all had a large head for the comet, usually consisting of a single, large gem, with a long tail portion. Check out these vintage pieces, then make a simple version yourself!
Use cardboard, stiff felt or craft foam for the basic shape, then attach plastic beads, jewels, or glitter; add a pin on the back like the one below. (Or, you could decorate your comet and glue it to the top of a strip of foam or cardstock to make a bookmark instead!)
And while you work on your comet pins or bookmarks, enjoy the song “Shine”–it’s the song that was playing at the party in the book. Originally titled, “That’s Why They Call Me Shine”, it was first published in 1910 and later recorded many times over, in many styles. This version is by jazz legend, Ella Fitzgerald. Enjoy!