Thursday, 14 January 2016

Pieces of the Past - Book Review

I was chatting with an old friend recently who suggested I write some of the old recipes that we grew up with here in the Barossa and it has been on my mind. Then, out of the blue I was sent an eBook from USA resident, Mrs Non-Typical containing lots of old recipes and many new ones from the other side of the world.
I've never owned an eBook before. I love real books that I can put my sticky notes on the pages that I use regularly, can flick through them when having a cuppa, feel and smell the pages. 
Vicki (a.k.a. Mrs. Non-Typical) describes herself and the book she has compiled.
"I’m a wife and homeschooling mother of five from the Deep South (U.S.A.). While we don’t technically have a farm, we do live on acreage in the country and raise chickens and horses.
We hunt, garden, and make our own natural remedies. I recognize that many families like ours are somewhere on the homesteading spectrum, meaning that they fall between urban dwellers with a patio garden to being fully off-grid.
Being a homesteader doesn’t mean you make everything from scratch and do everything yourself, just maybe that you wish you could.
I’ve found that the one common thread among homesteaders is that they have to eat, therefore food is the tie that binds."
 Mrs. Non-Typical is an administrator for a faith-based homesteading website called Homestead Community Post  which covers many topics such as gardening, butchering livestock, sewing, dairy, natural health, and recipes.  
These subjects certainly piqued my interest, maybe not so much the sewing bit.

 Pieces of the Past - Cookbook is 417 pages packed full of recipes from Appetizers to Commercial Substitutes (to packaged items found in the supermarket) to Herbal Body Lotions and Shampoos and lots of other delicious looking main meals, salads, breads, cakes etc.
I can see plenty of things in there that I am eager to try when this heat passes and I can cook in my kitchen again. There is even a recipe for Colby Cheese.
I often avoid books from the USA with their Customary System Imperial weights, measurements and temperatures, but this one has a very handy conversion chart that is easy to find and follow.
There are some unusual ingredients (Chokecherry Juice?) but generally all of the ingredients are readily available in the supermarket or Health food store.
Scattered randomly are little tips and hints with quaint little drawings and sublime black and white photographs.
The index at the back is of great assistance in an eBook where I am probably not going to get quite as sidetracked as when I'm thumbing through a real book with pages.
You know the feeling? "Hmm... where's that curry recipe? Oh look at that recipe for cheesecake here..... and this remedy for calf scours .." An hour later and the curry is still just a pile of ingredients.

I would definitely choose the written copy of the book to own in my kitchen, but the postage makes it prohibitively expensive, so I hope we get the opportunity to borrow it through our library system here in South Australia.  I'm going to chat to our local library and request they purchase a hard copy of this lovely book.


Occasionally I'm sent books and asked to write a review. I always read them but will only ever write a review if it corresponds with my values and if I think that other people might find enjoyment and value in the book. If I don't enjoy it, or if the subject matter doesn't interest me I would rather say nothing at all. I receive no monetary compensation for the reviews that I write.


  1. Yes I too struggle with ebooks for cooking. Ebooks in general. I bought a kindle and have the app on my phone but alas it often ends up collecting dust. It is handy at times but I recently ordered some books off the book depository and I was SO excited to get them! Nourishing traditions was one. I actually bought it as an ebook but I just could not come at it in that form. I wanted to flick and highlight stuff in it, make notes and so forth.

    Then the other two are more parenting books. I bought them to pass them on to good friends that I thought would enjoy them once I finished, I thought they might make good traveling books! :)


    1. Oh yes, my copy of Nourishing Traditions is well thumbed and spattered with blobs. Could not live without that book now. :) But Emma, you're of the generation that loves all things E! ??!! Comforting to hear you also prefer the tactile quality of a book.

  2. Sounds interesting! I find the imperial weights frustrating, so its nice to see a table included :) So when are you going to write your SA version?


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