Last night I read The Quilter's Kitchen, Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek series novel with recipes. The reviews I read were poor, so I was not anticipating much enjoyment from the book.
I was so wrong.
Yes, the book is lacking in substance. There isn't much of a story. Yes, it's loaded with recipes and I got the impression that the author had to rush to meet a deadline and threw in whatever recipes she could find to fill the pages. I did not even look at most of the recipes. When I got to Chapter 8, entitled, "Christmas", I was hoping to read about Gerda's apple strudel and find a recipe. I was happy to find it on page 162.
At first I wasn't too impressed as it called for purchased phyll0 dough. We all know Gerda didn't use purchased dough. While reading the recipe I noted that I had everything I needed to make the 21st century version of the strudel, then put the book down and went to bed.
All alone in my kitchen at 6:30 this morning, I decided to give it a try. I went around and turned on all the Christmas lights, then began peeling the Gala apples I had on the counter.
As I spread melted butter over each piece of the paper-thin phyllo sheets, bits and pieces of the previous novels popped into my thoughts. Before long I was deep into Bergstrom reverie. I felt like one of the Bergstrom women making Gerda's legendary apple strudels to take to friends during the Christmas season.
I even wrapped one up, jumped into my car, and took off down snow-filled, slippery country roads to deliver a strudel to my Mother while it was still warm. If only I had a horse and buggy as Gerda would have used to deliver hers....
Was the strudel worth making? Yes, it was delicious and very easy to make. I did omit the raisins and the walnuts because unlike the Bergstrom men, my 21st-century man does not like raisins or nuts.
My enjoyment of this book was not so much in the reading, as it was in the strudle making that followed. It ended up giving me a very enjoyable experience that I would not have otherwise had.
I hope that seeing my projects will inspire you to begin or work on a project of your own.
When Life Gives You Scraps--Make a Quilt
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