"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~ Charles W. Eliot
"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!" ~ Julia Child
"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." ~ Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is not only a book of historical fiction but of romantic love and love between a mother and their child. It is a story of how love can turn to tragedy and be healed again through that same love.

Tom is a WWI veteran who comes to the Australian town of Partageuse to take up his newly appointed position as lightkeeper on Janus Rock. The first person he meets upon arrival is a pretty young woman feeding the seagulls. Isabel is full of life and yet Tom loves his dear Izzy and asks her to marry him. This means a secluded life on the island where Tom guards the lighthouse. This duty is one that Tom takes very seriously. He is meticulous in his following of the rules of duty just as his flowing hand writing is as meticulous.

Izzy has had her third loss of a child. When a boat drifts on to Janus Rock, she thinks she is hearing the distant crying of her just buried son but a baby is found in the boat wrapped in a lady's cardigan laying alongside a dead man's body. Tom must do his duty and report the find in his log book immediately then signal for help. Izzy tends to the little helpless life of a distressed baby who is hungry. Her gift from God? At that instant a decision is made that will alter the lives of many people forever.

This book compels you to feel compassion in your heart to all those touched by a decision made whether right or wrong. It shows a face and heart behind all sides of a story. It shows you there is not only black and white to things but also grey where love resides. M.L. Stedman has given us a beautifully descriptive story of a beautiful landscape. A must read for 2013!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Broccoli-Leek-Mozzarella Quiche

We love quiche as a light and simple meal. I played with a new combination for dinner Sunday evening.

Broccoli-Leek-Mozzarella Quiche
This recipe is for a small sized quiche. My quiche dish is 6-1/2 inch. If making a larger quiche double the ingredients and increase the baking time.

3/4 to 1 cup broccoli rosettes
1 small sliced leek
1 ball of mozzarella
2 pinches mixed Italian herbs
2 eggs
freshly ground salt and pepper
puff pastry - 4 squares

Thaw the frozen puff pastry sheets and press in a buttered quiche dish. I used 4 squares which I left standing higher out of the dish to give the dough a rustic look.

Blanche the broccoli to take the bite out of the vegetable but not allowing it to get soft. Drain and place in the dish. Drain the mozzarella and dice. Place the cheese over the broccoli and then sprinkle with mixed herbs. Fry the leek in a pan until just turning glassy. Place over the broccoli-cheese.

Break two eggs in a glass measuring jug. Beat well. Add enough milk to bring it up to one cup. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the vegetable-cheese and place in a 180C/350F oven for 30 minutes.

This quiche seems wet when you slice it due to the mozzarella but just be sure the egg is baked through.

Eet smakelijk!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club


Does Wanda E. Brunstetter write a bad book? I don't think so. My mother and I fell under the charm of her books when she brought out the Daughters of Lancaster County series.

This book was enormously fun. Now I have to admit that I had to put it in my Audible basket because of the title alone...The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club. It just had to be part of this year's books list for me as a quilter. I was not disappointed...well...maybe I was when the book ended and I had to leave the story.

Emma Yoder decides to advertise for a beginner's quilting class. She is a widow and doesn't want to be a burden on her family. Her class fills up with participants and she awaits to meet them. What shows up on her doorstep are an amusing group of people that don't really fit well together. Pam and Stuart are a married couple going through marriage problems who were advised to do things together, Paul is a widower raising a baby girl on his own after loosing his wife in a tragic accident and wanting to finish the quilt she started, Star is an aspiring singer/songwriter who grew up with a rocky relationship with her mother and no dad, Ruby Lee is a preacher's wife who is questioning her faith as her husband faces problems in his church community and Jan who is a Harley biker who wants to find his creative side.

It was fun to picture these colorful characters in my mind as the story developed. They got the name Half-Stitched as they all seemed to be going through their own emotional problems. It also fits as they piece together their very first patchwork wallhanging during the class.

If you like Amish or quilt fiction, this is a fun book and will keep you amused and wanting to read more.

Happy reading!

Monday, November 11, 2013

At Home on Ladybug Farm


I picked this book up to read as I thought it would be fun while we were having a new and special wood floor put in our house. I was not disappointed. I loved the first book in this series called A Year on Ladybug Farm but this book was even better!

We are back on Ladybug Farm one year after the life changing decision was made to make this move. Cici, Bridget and Lindsay are still restoring the 100 year old house and farm. But this household is growing. Cici's daughter has left college and moved in. She wants to make a contribution to the farm and continue life there instead of going back to college. Lindsay has taken on fostering Noah who was camping out in the folly on the farm. He is now a part of the household and living in the house. Noah is not used to sticking around and family life. Throw in a pet deer, a flock of sheep with a possessed sheepdog and the hilarious housekeeper Ida Mae to make life on this farm always surprising and fun to read about.

This time we are able to glimpse into the story of the past on Blackwell Farm which was the original name of the farm. This past is becoming slowly visible during renovations. The discoveries are becoming better as they go along. And yes...I am being a little cryptic as I do not want to give anything away. If you love books about homes, history and family-village life, you will not be disappointed by this book. Be sure to read the first book before starting on this one though.

I am going to be ordering the third book now and am looking forward to my next visit to the farm!

Happy reading!