Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Here's another "review" of a Christmas book I enjoy. Over the years, I've acquired many Gooseberry Patch books. Some, I've bought through their catalog or website; some, I've bought locally in a shop I enjoy; some, I've bought in various Cracker Barrel locations while traveling. Most fun of all, I've received several of the books for free when recipes or craft ideas of mine have been published in them.

Welcome Home for the Holidays, published in 1994, is the very first Gooseberry Patch book I purchased, and it's a very good one. In general, I think the older books may be a better value, because they seem to have more recipes and ideas per page. However, let me quickly add that this would not keep me from buying the newer books! They are all good -- full of helpful ideas for decorating, gifts, and crafts and yummy recipes too.

Welcome Home for the Holidays is an especially practical volume because it covers holidays from harvest time right through Christmas. It's divided into two basic sections: Celebration of Harvest and Celebration of Christmas.

The Harvest section has two parts: The Homecoming: Tips, Traditions, & Seasonal Gifts to Make; and Grand Harvest Buffet, which consists of recipes for Main Dishes to Warm the Soul, Bountiful Sides, Chowders, Soups, Stews & Breads, and Old-Fashioned Sweets. One of our traditional Thanksgiving desserts comes from this latter category -- Pumpkin Layered Dessert. It's truly delicious!

The Christmas section has four parts: A Cozy Country Christmas: Making Magic all Through the House; Easy Holiday How-To's: Homemade Gifts from the Heart; 'Tis the Season: Favorite Memories and Traditions; and Festive Food & Drinks, which includes recipes in the categories of Holiday Gathering, Yuletide Breakfast, Main Feast, Sensational Sides, Visions of Sugarplums, and Gifts from the Kitchen.

There are lovely decorating ideas -- I've made a number of the Homespun Rag Garlands. The recipes are super -- I've tried many -- and the memories/traditions section contains some wonderful ideas for festive get-togethers.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves holidays and country-style decorating!

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