March 8, 2016

the new england butt'ry shelf cookbook

I have a magical surprise for you today, one I think you'll really really like. I hope you love it as much as I do!

I received this copy of  'The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook' from Andrew this past holiday season - it was at the top of my wish list, and I was bowled over that he actually went and got it for me. I was sooooooo happy with it, and it delights me every time I pick it up, and good job husband! Written in the sweetest prose by Mary Mason Campbell, who manages to convey warmth and nostalgia and charm with every sentence she writes.  And someone else is involved with this book - did you see way down at the bottom of the cover shot, did you see the illustrator? TASHA TUDOR.

Did you all ever catch the post I did about 'The New England Butt'ry Shelf Almanac'? Here it is, go see, if it passed you by the first time around. The cookbook is even better, in my opinion, because it has only the stuff I was mostly interested in with the almanac - the FOOD.

Oh and for those of you not up on your old fashioned New Englandian housekeeping terms - a "butt'ry" apparently was a type of food store room or pantry near the kitchen.

The art is the best best best, OF COURSE, because duh, TASHA. Look carefully at the photo above - do you see the Easter Tree?? Do you see the hot cross buns?? That's what slays my boots the most about her (is that a phrase? or did I just invent that?) - all those little details.

There are menus and recipes and stories of old timey life. I'm over the moon taken away with the chapter 'Breakfast Under the Apple Tree' (see below). In the chapter about tea parties, there are several menus given for different types of tea parties, including a Spring Tea Party - I'm going to make that into its own post very soon and show it to you! It's a simple little menu and so cute and I'll show and tell it as soon as I make the main attraction for it. (it has an item I wouldn't normally associate with spring, I'll leave you with that.)

If you look below and check out the photo on something with a decent screen size, you can see a recipe in its entirety, for a treat called coconut squares, that I'm going to make for my coconut loving child and husband.

The book is seasonally put together and includes chapters that touch on major holidays like New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, Halloween, the Fourth of July, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as a chapter devoted to birthdays, and outings such as the aforementioned Breakfast Under the Apple Tree, May Basket Day, a Picnic by the River and a Mountain Cookout, to name a few.

There are so many darling recipes I can't wait to try! Gingerbread animal cookies. Corn Pudding, Orange Twists. Lemon sponge cake. Marmalade muffins. A huge assortment of Christmas cookie recipes. Maple graham bread. On and on it goes, one country dessert or meal after another. Jellies, relishes, soups, and breads. It's such a treasure trove of a little book, there's a ton of material crammed in it.

Every so often, I look at my cookbook collection and think, um this is a problem. It's time to purge the hordes. And I cull, and donate, and stand back and marvel that I still have an entire bookcase devoted to cookbooks. But this one will never ever get sorted into a donate pile. It's an amazing book that I'm keeping forever! If you're into vintage, or Tasha, or treats, you have to see this beauty to believe it. It's only available used, but mine came in absolutely perfect condition! A TREASURE.


  1. Replies
    1. It's really super fun and charming and darling :)

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  3. Melissa,

    I love the way you take us on your journey and show us a magical experience, i.e. "do you see the Easter Tree??" I'll never miss anything when I'm reading you and I LOVE IT. And the book. And Tasha. Yay!


    1. thank you doll, sorry for the late response, I've been down with bronchitis this week, boo. ha ha ha, i'm a details girl! you are the best and so supportive and i THANK you! xoxoxo