Let us create a 3D eBook for you!
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com

Book Review: Christmas in Dairyland


Author/Publisher
Christmas in Dairyland
by LeAnn R. Ralph
Published by LeAnn R. Ralph
E6689 970th Ave. Colfax, WI 54730
Printed by Booklocker.com
ISBN 1-59113-366-1
$13.95, 2003, 153 pages

Reviewer
Boyd Sutton
Siren, Wisconsin
maxdude@centurytel.net

Description of the Book

Christmas in Dairyland is a collection of short, true stories about a little girl growing up on a small dairy farm in Wisconsin in the early 1960s. The book tells of life for a young girl and her family-her father, who did the farming; her mother who, despite being disabled by polio, took care of the house and cooking; and a much older brother and sister, both of whom worked and contributed their incomes to the family.

The stories recall preparations for Christmas at home, school, and church, how LeAnn learned about her Norwegian heritage and, most important, the love that pervaded this close-knit mid-20th century American family. As a bonus, Christmas in Dairyland includes tried and true recipes for many of the Norwegian heritage foods featured in the stories, including lefse (wafer-thin potato bread), Julekake (a rich Christmas bread), fattigman (a deep-fried sweet cookie), and a variety of traditional Christmas cookies. For the more adventurous, there is a recipe for lutefisk (cod that has been preserved in lye). Finally, the book includes instructions for making colorful candles using old crayons, paraffin, ice cubes, and milk cartons.

About the Book

This is a heartwarming book about a vanishing way of life. Small dairy farms, with around 30 milking cows, were plentiful when the author was growing up and they provided a warm and loving home for hundreds of thousands of families back then. There are few left today, as small farms have been abandoned, sold for development, or gobbled up by industrial-scale farming operations. Small dairy farms can no longer provide for a family's financial needs. Even then it was a real struggle. But, though such families were often well below the poverty level in strictly financial terms, they were usually wealthy in love and family relationships, as these stories show.

One or more members of the family-the wife, a son, or daughter-usually had an outside job that contributed to the family income. And the farm usually provided sustenance-milk, beef, pork, chicken, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and other produce, while mothers and daughters sewed and knitted to supplement clothing needs.. Most important, farm life developed close-knit, loving families that were strong on self-reliance, responsibility, and respect for hard work. My own wife grew up on such a farm and I have often heard her stories about the joys and difficulties-mostly joys-of growing up that way.

LeAnn R. Ralph's stories tell of the excitement of making ornaments and decorating the Christmas tree in her school room each year (another bygone era) and at home. The annual expedition with her father to select the "just right" tree from the stand of red pine on their farm was one of many experiences that built a strong bond between father and daughter. Then there was the year that she and her older sister climbed a large pine to cut off the very top for their tree because all the other pines had grown so much.

LeAnn learned to make lefse from her mother and tells of the mouth-watering aroma of the freshly made, thin Norwegian bread as she came home from school. "By itself, lefse didn't really taste like much, but once it was spread with butter, sprinkled with sugar and rolled into a log, I would have happily eaten nothing but lefse for breakfast, dinner and supper." It made my mouth water just to read about it and I was happy to find LeAnn's recipe for lefse (and other goodies) at the end of the book.

This is a good book for all ages, from pre-teens through octogenarian. The writing is clear, simple, and direct, easily read by young children, but not so simple as to put off adult readers. Children will connect with

LeAnn's description of a young girl's life on the farm, helping Dad with the chores, helping Mom wrap Christmas presents, yearning for a toboggan, and being surprised by her brother's purchase of a saddle for her pony, Dusty. They'll understand her attempts to get out of wearing boots, heavy coats, and mittens on warm winter days, "just because it might get cold." And some will relate to LeAnn's stark fear of having to stand up in front of all the people at church to sing a solo-memorized in Norwegian-of an old-country Christmas carol. Older folks will feast on the nostalgia, and may get tears in their eyes as they learn how that Norwegian carol affected one old woman in the congregation. People from all generations will enjoy the depiction of a close, loving family as it prepares for and enjoys Christmas in Dairyland.

About the reviewer: Boyd Sutton is president of Northwest Regional Writers and a member of the Yarnspinners critique group. He served for 11 years in the U.S. Army Infantry and Intelligence and wrote professionally as an analyst and manager with CIA for 27 years. He enjoys writing essays, fiction, and humor and has been published in local papers and magazines. Boyd won the Wisconsin Regional Writers' Assoc. Florence Lindemann Humor Contest in 2003. He is working on a spy novel and a nonfiction book addressing how Christian denominational doctrine ("Churchianity") sometimes interferes with Christianity.

About The Author

LeAnn R. Ralph is the author of the books: "Christmas in Dairyland (True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm) and "Give Me a Home Where the Dairy Cows Roam." For more information, visit: http://ruralroute2.com; bigpines@ruralroute2.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Book Reveiws - Google News

This RSS feed URL is deprecated

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Book Review: A Rediscovery of Tribalism - Freepress Online


Freepress Online

Book Review: A Rediscovery of Tribalism
Freepress Online
The single most important intellectual trend of our time is the popular rediscovery of human tribalism. We thought we had it licked. For roughly 200,000 years, humans ran around in small, clannish groups, hunting and mating together while variously ...

Hillary Clinton Writes Rave Review for Cecile Richards Book: 'Inspiration for Aspiring Leaders Everywhere' - Townhall


Townhall

Hillary Clinton Writes Rave Review for Cecile Richards Book: 'Inspiration for Aspiring Leaders Everywhere'
Townhall
Cecile Richards, the outgoing president of the nation's largest abortion provider, has a new book coming out in April: “Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead--My Life Story.” Her book already has some reviews from big ...

and more »

George RR Martin hints at delayed 2019 Winds of Winter release date - TrustedReviews


TrustedReviews

George RR Martin hints at delayed 2019 Winds of Winter release date
TrustedReviews
Since then, he's published five full novels from the series and even helped create the hugely popular and award-winning Game of Thrones TV series. But despite the fifth book – A Dance With Dragons – having launched back as far as July 2011, we're still ...

and more »

Guttman Reviews Book of Essays - Hamilton College News


Hamilton College News

Guttman Reviews Book of Essays
Hamilton College News
A review by Professor of Literature and Creative Writing Naomi Guttman was recently published on Canadian Writers Abroad, a website that promotes, shares, and records the work of Canadian writers who are working or have worked outside of Canada. In her ...

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, book review: A brilliant, shattering work of art - The Independent


The Independent

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, book review: A brilliant, shattering work of art
The Independent
I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, book review: A brilliant, shattering work of art. The late McNamara dedicated many years trying to solve the case of California serial killer and rapist she'd dubbed 'The Golden State Killer'. Her ...

Lauren Russell's new poetry collection What's Hanging on the Hush - PGH City Paper


PGH City Paper

Lauren Russell's new poetry collection What's Hanging on the Hush
PGH City Paper
Every time I lay down, I had to get out of bed to recheck the locks.” Here, the speaker's obsessiveness is illuminated in ways more personal than at other times in the book. What's Hanging… is ultimately playful when it adds musicality to what Russell ...

Book review: 'Madness is Better Than Defeat;' by Ned Beauman ... - Washington Post


Washington Post

Book review: 'Madness is Better Than Defeat;' by Ned Beauman ...
Washington Post
Ned Beauman's new novel, “Madness Is Better Than Defeat,” begins with a wrestling match between a man and an octopus, which offers a fair warning of what it feels like to get wrapped up in this tentacled book. Just when you think you've got a handle on ...

and more »

Lisa Halliday on 'Asymmetry' - New York Times


New York Times

Lisa Halliday on 'Asymmetry'
New York Times
In The New York Times Book Review, Alice Gregory reviews Lisa Halliday's debut novel, “Asymmetry.” Gregory writes: Photo. Halliday's novel is so strange and startlingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction. One ...

Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy, book review: Inventions with unexpected connections - ZDNet


ZDNet

Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy, book review: Inventions with unexpected connections
ZDNet
Everyone who reads this book probably has a different list of things they wish had been included. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a nod to the textile arts -- particularly knitting and weaving. In science and technology, however, there are ...

LargeFriends.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!
SuccessfulMatchCentral.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!

PreLaunchX

PrimeNews Domain Is For Sale - $5,000 For Enquiries eMail Us

© www.PrimeNews.biz - 2012

home | site map | links