Nov 132015


An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home by Ellen Stimson

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Countryman Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1581573286
ISBN-13: 978-1581573282

With its trademark snow, piney forests, sleigh rides and woodsmoke curling out of village chimneys, New England was practically invented for the Christmas postcard. It’s got your Christmas goose and the maple syrup with which to glaze it. It’s most of the reason author Ellen Stimson made Vermont her home. Here she shares recipes that have been in her family for generations, mixes up a cocktail or two, and invites readers to make their own traditions.

I love this book! I love the cover, the stories, the recipes and the photos.

This is one of the few Christmas-y books I absolutely love. It has a lot of great stories, some touching, some funny, and lots of yummy sounding recipes.

I grew up in Ohio where there was usually a lot of snow during the winter, and this book made me more homesick than I already was. I loved reading the stories and didn’t want the book to end.

One of my favorite stories was when one of the family members had been misbehaving and they all were feeling bad with colds and a little bit of fever. John got the book SantaLand Diaries by David Sedaris and they all took turns reading while eating cold fried chicken. What could have been a very bad day turned into a day filled with laughs and good memories.

This is the first book by Stimson that I’ve read, but I’d like to read her other two books. I like her writing style and her wit, and think I’ll probably enjoy them too.

This is a book filled with good memories, good food, and gives you a good feeling. Even if you aren’t a fan of Christmas books, I think you’d enjoy this book for it’s great sounding recipes.

I’ve never liked the taste of beets, but I’m willing to give them another try. Here is a recipe from the book:
Electric Beets
1 large bunch of beets
1 bunch of green onions
olive oil
1 tablespoon sour cream
sea salt

Fill a pot with enough water to cover the beets at a high boil
Rinse beets, cut off the top and roots
Place beets in boiling water and boil until fork tender
Drain beets and peel them with your hands under running cold water
Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices
Dice bulbs & tops of green onions, gently saute’ in olive oil for 3-4 min.
Add beets to the pan, toss, and saute’ until they are heated through
Add sour cream and mix until the entire dish is bright pink
Plate and finish with sea salt


6988633Ellen Stimson is a bread and butter homecook … possibly more butter than bread. Her house and table are usually full to overflowing with friends, family, and a whole bunch of folks who have come to Vermont just to eat at her table and listen to her stories. During one particularly misguided period, she churned out her justifiably famous mac and cheese from the kitchen of what was possibly the oldest country store in America. That tale was told in the hilarious bestselling Mud Season. She cooks and writes about the whole divine and delicious catastrophe from a farmhouse in Vermont.

For More Info:
Amazon | Goodreads | Author’s Webi | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway: I have one copy of the book to giveaway (US/Canada)
To Enter:
Leave a comment with your favorite family Christmas tradition.
US/Canada Only
Don’t forget to leave your email info
Ends November 19


Tour Stops:

Monday, November 9th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, November 10th: (Never) Homemaker
Wednesday, November 11th: Bibliotica
Thursday, November 12th: Under My Apple Tree
Friday, November 13thI’d Rather Be at the Beach
Monday, November 16thI Wish I Lived in a Library
Wednesday, November 18thMajorly Delicious
Wednesday, November 18thOpen Book Society
Thursday, November 19thThe Things We Read
Monday, November 23rdSharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, November 24thTime 2 Read
Wednesday, November 25thSatisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, November 27thJoyfully Retired
Monday, November 30thBroken Teepee
Wednesday, December 2ndgirlichef
Friday, December 4thA Chick Who Reads


tlc tour host (5)
wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

  14 Responses to “An Old-Fashioned Christmas
Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home by Ellen Stimson”

  1. My wife and I have collected a lot of cookbooks as well as books written around food that also incorporate traditions and culture.

    This one looks to be something to add to our collection.

    I love the holiday season and I think that I would enjoy the recipes and stories here.

  2. This sounds like the perfect book to start the holidays.

  3. What a delightful giveaway which is perfect for the holidays. My favorite holiday tradition is having the entire family over for Christmas Eve Feast which is warm, unforgettable, and wonderful.

  4. Perfect timing for this book and it looks like a good read.

  5. That cover is so lovely, what a beautiful book for the holidays.

  6. I’ve gotten this book for the tour as well and feel much the same as you do! It’s such a lovely book. I have a feeling it will be a coffee table book this Christmas!

  7. I know some people LOVE beets…to be fair I’ve only had them pickled and only because my grandma paid me a dollar to eat one (as a dare…not at dinner or anything). LOL! I was predisposed to hate it. 😉 But the book does sound like a really lovely one!

  8. This sounds like a wonderful book. We don’t do it anymore, but stringing popcorn & cranberries was a fun tradition when I was young. Vicki, please enter me in the giveaway contest: Thanks.

  9. I like the beet recipe. Where I live Christmas is in high summer which means that we eat quite differently than where you are! Cheers

  10. I’m not a big fan of beets, but this book the book looks wonderful!

  11. I love beets. Favourite tradition is just baking. My mum always made fruit cake so I now make it every Christmas. I hope I win the book sounds delightful. thank you.

  12. I absolutely love that story about reading together and eating cold chicken – I always ALWAYS try to take a bad day and make it special, so that story really resonates for me.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  13. I love fun holiday reading and this looks like a good one. I love beets, so I’ll have to give the recipe a try.

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