Look at the beautiful autumn colours in this bowl of late summer fruit! I can't really do it justice, I'm afraid, with the webcam on the laptop (we don't own a camera, as it is not the custom of our culture to take, or own photographs, and Papa Bear desires that we do not have one) but hopefully I have still managed to capture some of the gorgeous golden glow of those fruits, which as well as looking so beautiful, smell delicious too!
Papa Bear gave me a wonderful gift! A whole heap of new cookbooks! And two new paperbacks to read besides. You might be forgiven for thinking it is my birthday - but it isn't! I have a very generous husband, who loves to surprise me with presents, and recently we were watching a movie ("The Age Of Innocence", which is a dramatisation of a novel by Edith Wharton) in which there was a scene where the main character, Newland Archer, is opening a box of books that he has had delivered to him - his "monthly delivery from London" according to the narrator - and I commented that I thought it would lovely to recieve a monthly delivery of new books like that, to enjoy - and Papa Bear thought I was being serious! He said he thought it was a great idea, especially if some of the books were cookbooks, so without me knowing, he actually bought me some! I don't think my books came from London, but it was very exciting all the same when a big box arrived at our door addressed to him, and when he got home from work and opened it, he said that he thought there might be "one or two things" inside for me!
Here are the books that my precious husband gave me ... they may be purchased directly from Gooseberry Patch, and the main link for that website is in the sidebar of our blog.
Click here to read more about this book, and look inside it!
Read about this book here.
Then finally this book - which is a new addition to my growing collection of Taste of Home cookbooks - I cook a great many recipes from Taste of Home, and have never yet had one fail on me. This one, he said, he thought would be really useful for when we have Church socials and family gatherings ...
Read more about this book here.
Papa Bear also bought me two paperbacks, "The Heart Of A Woman Who Prays" by Elizabeth George (a wonderful Christian woman writer whose books are greatly inspiring, and "Open Heart, Open Home" by Karen Mains, which is another book written by a Christian woman, all about the ministry of hospitality in the home. I am very much looking forwards to reading both of these!
But the Gooseberry Patch books are so wonderful! Just so lovely! They are beautifully produced hardbacked books bound with a plastic comb which holds them open at the page you want whilse you are using them, which is so useful when you are following a recipe - and should you be wondering if all the recipes are different, in all those lovely books, well, so far, I haven't found a single duplication! The pages are decorated abundantly with gorgeous ilustrations, although there aren't any photographs of the dishes, but this doesn't matter becuase the presentation is so beautiful, you feel insipred even without them. Here and there are sweet suggestions and hints, and seasonal memories, sent in by the contributors (as with Taste of Home all the recipes are sent in by real home cooks, not chefs). The paper is of lovely quality, making the books a pleasure to handle and read, and the font is very pleasant to look at too.
The design of them is just so homespun and pretty I can't stop looking at them, and I think they are really gorgeous keepsakes as well as being a wonderful recipe resource. Looking through them, I can see that the recipes are just my sort of thing - not too complicated, with no fancy ingredients, just good, plain, tasty home cooking. I honestly don't know how Papa Bear ever found out about them, but I'm so pleased that he did! It may seem like a big indulgence, and of course it is, but these books will bring me so much pleasure - and our family too, because I know they shall be getting lots of use! I am such a lucky mama to have such a generous husband! And do you know what - he says I will be getting some more books next month! Goodness gracious Papa Bear - I think we will need a bigger bookshelf to keep them all on!
Thank you so much for my beautiful surprise gift Papa Bear - and thank you, Father God, for letting me be married to such a wonderful man!
PS - I think my new Gooseberry Patch cookery books have inspired me to make a few changes to the blog! I had been planning to anyway, and I hope to do a few more tweaks, to make it easier to navigate and read. I hope you find it a little quicker to download, too.
Now I really must go - I have football snacks to prepare again! Such a change from when we were watching the game last week after our beautiful day out - today we have had grey skies, thunder and pouring rain. Typical English weather! Especially for a bank holiday - we have one on Monday!