Articles

Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table, Book One (Champagne, Alsace, Lorraine, and Paris regions) (The Savoring the Olde Ways Series) by Carole Bumpus

 

 

NEW RELEASE TODAY

 

A wonderful insight into French family life and traditions.

Carole Bumpus a retired family therapist and the author of this absorbing book has within its pages shared her abundance of experiences which she and her husband Winston enjoyed whilst travelling from Paris in the Île-de-France, through the Champagne, Alsatian and Lorraine regions, and then returning to Paris. Her travels through these eastern regions of France enjoying the food, and experiences of their local inhabitants were enhanced immeasurably by the presence of her French Californian friend and translator Josiane Selvage.

From the first page, this book is packed to bursting point with information, details of the villages they visited, the history of the regions, and the lives of the families they were welcomed into. Reading through it, the impact WWI and WWII had on family life and circumstances is clearly apparent. However throughout the centuries, ‘family favourites’ have, for the most part been conceived through necessity of one kind or another, either because of food shortages (whether it be conflict or caused through natural events,) or quite simply the necessity to create good, tasty, family food using the vegetable and fruit produce and the animals which are abundant where they live. As the years have passed these dishes may have been embellished by food companies and sold for the masses frozen, bottled or canned, but it is in the family kitchen that the best versions are made, with love, and with fondness because of the memories they evoke. For those readers who are keen cooks traditional recipes from each of the regions can be found at the end.

Living in France and enjoying sharing the last 16 years with our neighbours has taught my husband and I about the closeness of French families, and the importance of food and ‘family time.’   These values are wonderfully apparent in this book, and I am looking forward to book two in the series which is due to be released in August 2020. In it the author completes her journey, beginning again in Paris, and then heading north into Pas-de-Calais, Normandy, Brittany, to the Loire, my chosen region, and then completing the tour in the Auvergne.

Highly recommended: This book is compelling reading, its pages overflow with memorable moments, family secrets, and delicious recipes, and it will hold a prized place on the bookshelf of readers who love France, its food, people and history.

About the Book:

Part culinary memoir and part travelogue, Carole Bumpus gathered this compilation of intimate interviews, conversations, stories, and traditional family recipes (cuisine pauvre) in the kitchens of French families as she traveled throughout the countryside. Travel with her through Champagne caves/wineries and historic cathedrals, local farmers’ markets, ancient potters’ guilds, and restaurant kitchens with wood-fire ovens. Learn how to make homemade Spinach-stuffed Tortellini with Bolognaise Sauce from the Champagne region, Crêpes and Watercress-stuffed Ravioli from the Lorraine, and Baekeofe and Kugelhopf from the Alsace. “Go blind” from the family stock of Eau de Vie liqueur and be treated to tales of foraging for snails for the infamous and now extinct Escargots Festival. And, on a somber note, listen to accounts of families forced from their communities during the German occupation of WWII in the Alsace and Lorraine, only to continue to struggle for survival after finally making their way home.

This book is a compilation of stories about making ends meet; about people being grateful for all they had, even when they had almost nothing; about the sharing of family jokes and laughter; and about family trials and triumphs. This book is about people savoring the life they have been given.

Available in Paperback and eBook format

from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Searching-Traditions-Champagne-Lorraine-Savoring/dp/1631525492/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Searching+for+Family+and+Traditions+at+the+French+Table%2C+Book+One+%28Champagne%2C+Alsace%2C+Lorraine%2C+and+Paris+regions%29+%28The+Savoring+the+Olde+Ways+Series%29&qid=1566894183&s=gateway&sr=8-1

and

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/searching-for-family-and-traditions-at-the-french-table-book-one-carole-bumpus/1129474979?ean=9781631525490

The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter written and illustrated by Randa Handler

NEW RELEASE

The true meaning of Thanksgiving.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving has just been announced as a holiday in the US and eight-year-old little American-Japanese girl Takari is very excited. Her father is still in Japan however, all her other relatives in America are coming over and Takari wants to help her mother with the preparations. 

They have in America her Grandma Toshi’s very special platter, which is traditionally used for the celebration. Takari’s  mom explains to her all about the Japanese Thanksgiving day which has a different name Kinro Kansha no Hi. Little Takari wants to help, and her mother reluctantly agrees, however, an accident happens and her mother is very angry so she goes to play with her friend Little Sparrow.

When Takari, and Ruffles her dog arrive at his house they find him making cornmeal, which he tells her he is making in the traditional Wampanoag Indian way, with a wooden pestle and mortar, just as it was made it at time of first Thanksgiving. Sadly, she tells him all about her accident and his father offers to help her.

The children make cornbread together discussing their different ways of celebrating Thanksgiving, and then Takari discovers that Little Sparrow is taking the cornbread to the Veterans Hospital. Thanksgiving is about helping others as well as giving thanks for what you have, he explains to her, and so she joins him and discovers for herself the pleasure which can be gained by helping others.

This is a lovely multi cultural story with bright illustrations. The author has managed to gently open children’s eyes to the wider world, teaching them not only about the history behind American Thanksgiving Day but also explaining that many countries around the world celebrate their own kind of Thanksgiving days, perhaps with different names, but they all have nearly the same meaning.

Available at Amazon here http://www.amazon.com/The-Thanksgiving-Dinner-Platter-ebook/dp/B00F8IMBKG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379947096&sr=8-1&keywords=the+thanksgiving+dinner+platter

and Barnes & Noble here http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-thanksgiving-dinner-platter-randa-handler/1116961561?ean=2940148754091

Janie and the Magic Box Christmas

A wonderful new Christmas story by Julia Dweck.

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0091YHEGE/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

Available in Kindle format.

 

With Christmas a day away, and temperatures of 100 degrees, what will happen to Christmas? Janie wonders. Will Santa come this year?

Then the magic box opens, and inside is a surprise, which changes everything – but you’ll have to read the book to see how.

I’m sure any child would love to own this lovely new rhyming Christmas story, colourfully illustrated by Terry Sirrell.

The Magical Tale of Santa Dust – A Christmas Tradition by Patricia Cardello

A magical, enchanting story for Christmas in hardcover with a pouch of Santa Dust included.

www.amazon.com/The-Magical-Tale-Santa-Dust/dp/0983366209/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352375577&sr=8-1&keywords=the+magical+tale+of+santa+dust

How does Santa find all the children on christmas Eve?

This is what two very good children wonder. If the family are poor and the house is dark, how will he know they are there?

When their little dog Jack goes out late on Christmas Eve, he finds something beautiful. The children don’t know that it’s magical, until the magic of Santa Dust is worked, giving them the best Christmas ever.

This is a wonderful new Christmas story about the magic of Santa Dust. Patricia Cardello, a talented author has teamed with Manuela Soriani, the illustrator to produce a beautiful book which any child would love.