The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen Kindle Edition
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Julia and her husband buy a property that is in the middle of the moors in the midlands of England. The rectory is in need of major restoration and they debate on whether they are up for it and can afford it but ultimately they know that this is the place for them. As the restorations are going forward they begin to learn that the rectory has a very rich history and this fascinates them even more. However as with all things they most definitely have their struggles in getting the rectory to where they want it and many times they are very frustrated but they keep on and eventually it all pays off. With beautiful gardens and an abundance of fresh veggies and herbs, the rectory has become the home they always wanted.
In reading any memoir it always helps when the main person is one that you can see yourself sitting at the kitchen table having a coffee or an English tea with and Julia is just that sort of person. She had worked hard all of her life and really wanted to get away from the craziness of the world and do something meaningful to her and her family. She is also someone who loves to cook and views it as a way of showing her love for her family and friends. It brings her joy to see them enjoy the bounty she prepares and I can’t tell you how many times I wished I was a part of her family and able to enjoy what is obviously a close knit and happy family.
While I enjoyed the sections of the book dealing with the restoration of the rectory I have to say that I really loved the mouth watering recipes that Julia included in the book that reflect the four seasons. As she said in her book “food seems to reflect the moods of life; it follows the seasons and creates your memories”. Most of us can relate to that as many of our fondest memories are related to sharing or cooking food with a loved one. There are so many recipes I plan on trying but I’ll just name a few here: Hot Oranges in Vanilla Caramel Syrup, Potato Dauphinoise de Loire which is a creamy cheesy dish -yum!, Traditional Lemon Syllabub, and Potato Pete Soup. This is just to name a few as there are many others that sound so scrumptious.
The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen was a comforting read for me. Between the restoration, the recipes, and the obvious love that the author has for her family I found that the novel warmed my heart. The only thing missing was that I would have liked to see photos of the before and after of the restoration. The author did include pencil sketches at the beginning of each chapter though that were done by her daughter and they really added a touch of charm. This is a memoir that falls into a few categories so if you like books about restorations and you’re a foodie then The Old Rectory is certainly a book you’ll enjoy!
The Old Rectory details the Ibbotson's acquisition and renovation of their dream house. As one might expect, the house had significant flaws that had to be fixed; dampness and mold as well as antiquated wiring. The couple wanted to not only modernize the house, but restore it to its original Georgian style. They also wanted to restore the grounds to their former glory.
Julia is a woman who adores cooking, and each chapter details various traditional English dishes appropriate to the season in which the chapter is written. The reader will learn how to make such dishes as the traditional English roast, lamb with mint jelly, lots of various fruit puddings, and other wonderful meals.
As the couple worked on the house, they also became part of village life. Soon they were involved in various village functions such as choirs, craft classes, a walking group and a group that went on outings. They made new friends who shared their love of English culture and thought it worth fighting for.
Ibbotson has written a charming account of how life can be changed as one moves into the later stages of one's life. The renovation and research into the house's history are interesting, and the recipes are enticing. American readers need to take extra care with details such as oven temperature and measurements and be sure they have correctly translated the measurements into their American equivalents. This book is recommended for readers who enjoy cooking as well as those interested in history or how to enrich one's life after the work of raising children is over.
THE OLD RECTORY: Escape to a Country Kitchen chronicles author Julia Helene Ibbotson and her husband, Clive, as they search for their dream home, purchase it and begin restoring it back to its original grandeur. Their discovery was an old Victorian rectory in the midst of the English moorlands just outside a charming village.
Ibbotson has broken the story into seasons describing the events of the family's life, as well as the progress of the renovation. In addition, she has included a menu suited to the season complete with recipes. While these are English inspired recipes, the author includes American conversions for the measurements.
Pencil sketches by the author's daughter, Mel Adams, highlights the beginning of each chapter. The drawings enhance the charm of this delightful book.
THE OLD RECTORY is a quick read that flows smoothly. The trials and triumphs of the renovation, as well as the family, pull you in making you feel a part of the process.
Ibbotson's detailed descriptions of the setting and landscape adds depth to the story. Her love of cooking, family and friends comes through her writing. She also includes bits of history about the rectory and the surrounding community to give a sense of her fondness for the place.
THE OLD RECTORY will make you long for a picnic lunch with Lord Woolten Pie in the garden to enjoy the summer breeze and a cup of Spiced Mulled Wine by the fireplace on a cold afternoon in the fall.
FTC Full Disclosure - A digital copy of this book was sent to me by the tour promoter as part of the author's virtual blog tour in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
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This book is not only the story of how a couple realize their dream but a wonderful cookbook.Read more