Book/Food Club: Theresa Shea’s “The Unfinished Child”

26 Apr

Book/Food Club read Edmonton author Theresa Shea’s “The Unfinished Child”, for our get-together that I hosted at my house on April 16th.


Photo by Marlena Wyman

Shea sets the story in our home town of Edmonton, Alberta, and we recognized the places and restaurants that she mentions. I put together a table full of tastes from the book, supplied by Edmonton markets, and prepared in my Edmonton kitchen.


Photo by Marlena Wyman

The author mentions that Marie made a special tuna salad for her friend Elizabeth’s visit, so I made a Canned Tuna “Ceviche” from an on-line recipe that I found at the Skinny Taste website. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, since canned tuna can be rather undistinguished, but it was very nice, especially with the freshness that the lime and cilantro provided. This would be lovely to eat on the deck in the summer.


Photo by Marlena Wyman

Marie also made grilled cheese sandwiches for her children, so I created a gourmet grown-up version using camembert, pear slices and fresh basil leaves on sour dough rye. The bread was from my local and favourite bakery Buns and Rose, who make all kinds of fantastic breads and baked goods. They are just a block from my house which could be interpreted as either good or bad.


Photo by Marlena Wyman

The author had Marie eating saltines when she suffered from morning sickness. I fancied them up a bit with some locally made jams.


Photo by Marlena Wyman

Dessert was fashioned after Elizabeth’s hosting of an afternoon tea for Marie: banana bread and lemon tarts with cheeses and fruit. I also baked walnut chocolate chip cookies that were baked for Elizabeth by Marie’s children.


Photo by Marlena Wyman

I decorated the table with a vase of roses. When Margaret went to visit her Down Syndrome daughter Carolyn at the Poplar Grove institution, she always brought her a rose.


Photo by Marlena Wyman

I will leave you with this gorgeous painting by Down Syndrome artist Michael Wasserman.

Michael Wasserman

Painting by Michael Wasserman

Now everyone, go read a book and eat something!

Posted by Marlena Wyman


2 Responses to “Book/Food Club: Theresa Shea’s “The Unfinished Child””

  1. llbarkat April 28, 2015 at 5:29 am #

    Thanks so much for sharing Michael’s painting and linking to the post that explores more about his beautiful work! 🙂 You might also enjoy “Sun Shine Down,” called a “jewel which rises to the top” of the Down syndrome memoir genre.

    • Marlena Wyman April 28, 2015 at 8:44 am #

      I am glad to have discovered Michael Wasserman’s beautiful work. I will check out Gillian Marchenko’s “Sun Shine Down”. Theresa Shea’s “The Unfinished Child” did not deal with the actuality of raising a Down Syndrome child, so it would be interesting to read about this experience from another angle.

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