Bookshelf Review~ A Table in the Orchard- My Delicious Life by Michelle Crawford

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When I walked past this book I just had to pick it up and with the title, A Table in the Orchard- My Delicious Life by Michelle Crawford I could not resist. Then when I flicked through it the gorgeous pictures caught my eye and captured my imagination, I had to take this book home.

This book is full of stories and photo’s of Michelle’s life changing move from Sydney to Tasmania, and her life looks and sounds delicious. Michelle left Sydney to live in Tasmania with her husband and two children. They now live in a Georgian Farmhouse on a small farm in the Tasmanian Country side.

The book is full of gorgeous photos of food, and life in picturesque Tasmania. Michelle has mouth watering recipes accompanying all her stories. It’s theme of home grown, locally bought, being resourceful whilst cooking from scratch and passion for food permeate this book.

Take- aways from this book:

Take time and hard work to grow your own vegetables and fruit, it not only results in a tasty crop of food, but a greater appreciation of that food. There is joy in the experience of growing your own food. For myself, this means getting out into my backyard vegetable patch.

Be resourceful, grow your own food, barter for foods, use good locally grown ingredients, and cook from scratch using what you have. Good quality food, home grown and home cooked result in delicious good quality meals.

Enjoy the experiences of your environment, and community, and make food part of that experience, discover the yumminess around you. For myself, as a suburbanite, this could mean visiting a Farmers Market, Local Markets or going for a drive in the country side on the weekend and discovering new foods.

It was quite clear that Michelle did not have a lot of money to spend. That she was patient and saved up for the important things they valued for their home like her wood stove and renovating her kitchen. She was resourceful using what she had to create amazing recipes. Her family enjoyed the simple things in life and the experiences of farm life and exploring their local community.

Richness in life also came from being connected with family and friends, and the way that food connected them, that celebration of gathering and food. Yes, I am thinking more family gatherings, friends over for dinner, BBQ’s, picnics and camping weekends.

Finally, understanding that richness comes through our simple daily experiences, the way we interact with family, food, home, and nature. It doesn’t take a lot of money to live a rich life, it takes a passion for life, appreciation of the moment, and current circumstance. It takes a dream of that delicious life we desire, and a slow moving towards it, enjoying the journey as we go.

More details about this book go to  Michelle Crawford’s website  Hugo and Elsa 

This book is a must read for all those Happy Suburban Chicks out in the world. A frugal tip, try borrowing it from your local library.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

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Bookshelf Review~The Spy by Paulo Coelho

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Historical fiction I love. This author’s work I love. This book brought to life the historical story of Mata Hari (Margaretha Zella) who became famous as an exotic dancer and high-end prostitute to powerful and rich men. The character is painted as a strong and independent woman whose ” only crime was to be an independent woman.” She was betrayed, executed, and used as a Scapegoat to distract the publics attention from the brutal loss of young men’s lives due to the war at that time.

Immediately the book grabbed my attention from the very beginning starting boldly with the execution. It was engaging, easy to follow and told in the first person by Mata Hari and the Lawyer through letters they wrote.

It creates Mata Hari as a very strong character who had come from difficult circumstances. She was raped at 16, then found herself in a physically and sexually abusive marriage, she suffered the death of a son, whilst her abusive husband had custody of her daughter. I felt her desperation to survive and thrive. I felt her courage and strength to reinvent herself and do what she needed to do to survive. I don’t know that she had many choices however she chose a daring and controversial path.

It was a great read, although I feel it glamorized her position as a dancer and prostitute. I really wonder how much choice she really had, how much pain she suffered, and how difficult it must have been for her at the time. The book makes it sound like her time as an exotic dancer and prostitute were easy.

However, I liked that I could admire her for being strong, taking control of her life, and daring to think out of the box, use her smarts, looks and talents to survive and thrive. Whilst from the beginning to end she was treated unjustly, especially the final betrayal by men and her country France, and yet she never acted like the victim, rather with pride.

Overal it was an interesting and engaging read, I think I would like it more had it been a little grittier.

Wishing you all a wonderful day

.FRAN DISHON

 

 

Wednesday Bookshelf Review.

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I sat on the train, with the noise of the clattering train track sounds, people talking on phones, and music that could not be contained by headphones. It can be hard to get into a book with so much distraction. I like to read a lot of different types of books, fiction, and nonfiction. For a train trip full of distracting noises I chose the book “Life” by the author Paulo Coelho which is a selection of quotes. I loved this book because many times it took me back into his books that I had previously read. Whilst it was filled with beautiful colourful artistic pictures which I loved. I will share with you a couple of the quotes I enjoyed best.

The first quote is: ” No one day is like another, each tomorrow has its special miracle, its magic moment in which old universes are destroyed and new stars are created.” Paulo Coelho originally from By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.
A reminder to live life in the now, to appreciate each moment of life now. It is time to stop reliving the past so much, and wishing my days away in hope of the great things that might come in the future. What is important is for me to  focus  on thinking and being in the present, and be part of the magic of life that is happening now. Each day is uniquely new and magical if lived in the now.

The second quote is: ” Go is search of your Gift. The more you understand yourself, the more you will understand the World.” Paulo Coelho originally from the book Brida.  This reminded me to know myself, trust myself, and be myself.

There are many other quotes in this book that speak so much wisdom. I think it is a book full of wisdom. I just love reading it, and every time I read this book different quotes speak to me.

I love reading and have been reading a book a week, one of my goals this year is to read 52 books. I am thinking I will make Wednesday’s my Bookshelf review day. As for the book “Life”, well I highly recommend reading this book.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

( The month of July I am doing a blog post a day as part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It is my way of bring this blog back to life and getting back into blogging again.)