In honor of the approaching holidays, I would like to share some of my Christmas cookbook reviews and Christmas related articles with you.
OLD FASHIONED COUNTRY CHRISTMAS by Vickie and JoAnn of Gooseberry Patch
From the ladies at Gooseberry Patch, comes a wonderful Christmas cookbook that you are definitely going to want to add to your collection. Over the years, Gooseberry Patch has produced numerous Christmas-themed cookbooks. OLD FASHIONED COUNTRY CHRISTMAS is just one of many Gooseberry Patch books but I checked with Amazon before I began typing, to see if you could find copies. It was published in 1992. And it is available.
OLD FASHIONED COUNTRY CHRISTMAS, to quote authors Vickie and Joann, “is a holiday keepsake of recipes, traditions, homemade gifts, decorating ideas and favorite childhood memories…”
What the authors did…being the owners of the Gooseberry Patch, was to invite subscribers to contribute their favorite recipes and memories. It’s a tried and true format that Gooseberry Patch has used repeatedly with their books, with great success. If a recipe or memory of yours is selected for publication in one of their books, you will receive a free copy of the book when it is published. I have maybe half a dozen of their cookbooks that I have gotten, free, this way. And it’s fun to give one of their cookbooks – containing one of your recipes – to friends or family for Christmas. For many years, Gooseberry Patch published a catalog and offered many great gifts and decorative items, calendars and day planners and other specially selected items. A few years ago, the merchandise was discontinued with the exception of the calendars and day planners, which I buy for myself, my daughter in law, Keara, and my sister. But back in the day – starting in 1984 – Gooseberry Patch was sending cookie cutters, Santas,
Christmas trees and ornaments, country gift baskets and all sorts of other things all over the country.
OLD FASHIONED COUNTRY CHRISTMAS, in the words of Vickie and JoAnn, is “a collection of recipes handed down from generations, well-loved family traditions, favorite holiday tips and homespun gifts to make straight from the heart…”
OLD FASHIONED COUNTRY CHRISTMAS is spiral bound, with these wonderful captivating illustrations that I adore. And, as many of you already know, I am some kind of Christmas fool—this is definitely my kind of cookbook. Over the years I discovered that many of you also love Christmas and take pride in your collection of Christmas cookbooks.
So, what can you expect from OLD FASHIONED COUNTRY CHRISTMAS and what sets this particular Christmas cookbook apart from so many others?
Well, for one thing, you’re going to love the recipes! This is a very 90s kind of cookbook with up to date holiday recipes and tips. There are loads of quick and easy holiday recipes, ranging from a nice variety of cookies and candies, such as Buckeye Balls (an Ohio tradition), cinnamon Graham Crackers, to some new and different gift giving treats such as pumpkin fruitcake. There are some more elaborate recipes, too, covering everything from brunch on Christmas morning to your elegant Christmas dinner. There is a recipe for the Juiciest-ever roast turkey that I am planning to try.
There are also lots of simple craft ideas—nice for those of us who have good intentions but are ‘all thumbs’. Even moi can handle the craft idea for Christmas pomegranates (I even had my own pomegranate trees in Arleta. This year, my son and I collected 50 pounds of pomegranates from the tree of his friend, Angelo.) I HAVE made the spicy gingerbread ornaments (see page 39) and I’ve also made graham cracker houses (this has been a Christmas cookie and craft project with my grandchildren and nephews and niece more than once) – once it ended disastrously, in Florida, when I thought I could get the melted sugar glue to dry faster in my electric oven and set the oven on fire. (WHAT WAS I THINKING?) – follow the recipe in OLD FASHIONED COUNTRY CHRISTMAS and use powdered sugar frosting. Now, the kids and I make royal frosting to hold little gingerbread or graham cracker houses together.
As you may have guessed, I love Christmas. I collect ornaments and Santas; it often took us two weeks to get everything up…in our Arleta house, we had 8 Christmas trees throughout the house. Now I am in a much smaller house and have to restrict myself to one big tree but can put up three or four of the small kitchen-theme trees. I have loved baking Christmas cookies since my first Christmas as a young wife in 1958—and it became a tradition to share cookies and candy with everyone we know. I’ve shared some of my traditions with you; you may want to adopt some of the ones in OLD FASHIONED COUNTRY CHRISTMAS, This is a cookbook you will enjoy and treasure forever after.
OLD FASHIONED COUNTRY CHRISTMAS is available on Amazon.com for $6.00, new, or starting at one cent for a pre-owned copy. Alibris.com has copies starting at 99c.
Review by Sandra Lee Smith