A book list inspired by spring

From globetrotting to gardening, sensible advice is at hand.

Canadian author Judy Eberspaecher now lists a Gourmand International Cookbook Award for ‘Totally Scallops’ among her many successes.

“We used to plan our trips in to Cloverdale for groceries,” the late Bea Heppell told me on a Cloverdale Baptist home visit for the church Cradle Roll in 1978.

“None of this back and forth wasting gas all the time,” she recalled.

“We’d make a list for the farm and drive in once a week.”

As my Sentra slurped up another fifty bucks worth of gas on Tuesday, I thought of Bea – and smiled.

Bea and her husband were much respected

Cloverdale farmers three generations ago on 184 Street, south of Highway 10. Their grandson Wes, and his wife Lauren, still proudly farm that land now known as Heppell’s Potato Corp.

Heaven knows what Bea would say now, but I’ve decided she was right. It’s time to take a leaf out of Bea’s book. Make lists. Drive less.

My favourite list has always been a book list.

Trekking the Globe with Mostly Gentle Footsteps by Vancouver writer Irene Butler is a mouthful, but aptly describes a 12-month round-the-world trip by two retirees.

Irene, and her husband Rick, hardly hesitated when someone offered to buy their dry cleaning business.

No sooner was the deal inked when Rick presented his wife with a 12-month, $100-a-day budget and a global itinerary.

“Let’s do it!” he said. And, they did. I enjoyed the journey with them, via the book… and added an around the world trip to my (already marathon) travel list. Published by Granville Island Publishing.

Before You Say Yes… by Manitoba author Doreen Pendgracs brought a different kind of list to mind.

How often have you been talked into volunteering on a committee for which you were either unsuited, or for which you quite simply hadn’t enough hours in the day?

We’ve all done it. Doreen’s done it. Being a writer she wrote about it, aptly subtitling it “A Guide to the Pleasures and Pitfalls of Volunteer Boards”.

This slim volume is practical, direct, and a sensible reference for those either considering a paid position, or a volunteer board position.

Discussing what ‘red lights’ you should watch for, the importance of Directors and Officers insurance, and what an organization requires from you as well as what you require from it are clearly listed to assist your decisions.

“Will it indulge your passions?” Doreen asks.

“Will this board challenge you and enable you to grow?” Published by Dundurn Press, this book may help with your list of tough volunteer decisions.

Gardening lists germinate in spring. From the balcony to the back forty, how are you going to handle all those blossoms and veggies you love?

Take a look at A Year on the Garden Path, by Carolyn Herriot.

This 52-week organic gardening guide clearly lists what to do in the garden and when to do it.

It’s a sensibly compiled book offering advice on data on everything from dealing with aphids to gifts for gardens.

Mix in great recipes (I dare you to resist the Almond Biscotti!), and I’m sure you find this handy volume fun and inspiring. Published by Earthfuture Publications.

Last year I recommended Totally Scallops, a combination of interesting scallop recipes, charming travel photography and wine tips by Ontario author Judy Eberspaecher.

After being named Best Fish and Seafood Cookbook in Canada, the book was awarded Best Fish and Seafood Cookbook in English in the World and then 4th in the world overall at the Gourmand International Cookbook Awards in Madrid recently.

“It was a wonderful, but surprising, experience,” says Judy.

Well done!

Now…if I could only find that grocery list…

– Ursula Maxwell-Lewis lists travel, books, photography and great food among her passions. She can be contacted at utravel@shaw.ca

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