A Summer Natural Reading Collection & a Giveaway

I love the concept of a hope chest.  It’s old-fashioned but also anticipatory and optimistic.  Store up some well-loved, handmade goods and wait until the time is right to set off on a new (married) life. I have my own married-lady version of a hope chest–a natural reading collection that I use to inspire fun and useful projects!  

A Summer Natural Reading Collection

A Summer Natural Reading Collection

My eyes are always bigger than my stomach when it comes to learning new things.  But I always say “you don’t dream, you don’t get…”  Photoshop (which I use almost daily now) was on my list for years!  

Recently I got review copies of three new books which will make great additions to my “project library” (aka “reading hope chest”).  And one of these is available to a lucky readerl (see below).   summer books002

The Complete Art & Science of Sausage Making by Tonia Reinhard, MS, RD, Brendan Reinhard and Brent Mitchell is a detailed guide for making sausage of all types.  It’s especially timely now because charcuterie (sausage) plates are seriously trendy–and perfect for a classy appetizer or a special light dinner!

But there is that old saying about not wanting to know what goes into sausage making—and as a natural food advocate, this has always concerned me.  So has the seriously expensive price of a lot of finer sausages.

The Complete Art & Science of Sausage Making can help provide a solution with 150 Healthy Homemade Recipes and a whole lot more.  Full of information from the science of sausage… to sausage making equipment/ingredients … to a comprehensive collection of recipes (vegan sausage?!), this book is a great resource for anyone interested in trying their hand at homemade sausage.  summer books001

The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book by Sue Becker covers another area that I’ve been mulling for years.  Can you believe I’ve owned a flour mill for ages (it came super discounted with my stand mixer) and never tried it! Did you know that ground flour has a (significantly) shorter shelf life than whole grain?  That you can make flour from dried chickpeas (which I always have on hand) or other legumes?   If not, then this is just the book to expand your baking horizons.

The book covers (many) different types of flours, milling instruction, essential baking ingredients and whole-grain nutrition.  It also has a large collection of recipes including Homemade Graham Crackers, Cream of Wheat and Sweet Rice Bread.  With the wide range of flours covered, it would be an asset for those on a gluten free diet—or anyone who wants to get out of a plain flour baking rut! summer books003

The final book is Heirloom Plants: A Complete Compendium of Heritage Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs & Flower by Thomas Etty & Lorraine Harrison. Heirloom plants are historical, open-pollinated varieties that are often neglected by commercial growers but can provide an amazing bounty of flavor and variety to home gardeners.  They are increasing in popularity with the growing interest in natural gardening and biodiversity.   

Heirloom Plants is not only informative but attractive with illustrations based on British heritage seed merchant Thomas Etty’s catalogs. Besides providing information on a lot of heirloom varieties, there is an herb guide, companion planting information, tool information and much more.  If you are ready to take your gardening beyond grabbing a handy package of seeds as you pass through Home Depot, this may be your ticket!  Heirloom-Interior

And now for the giveaway for a copy of Heirloom Plants, a $29.99 retail value.  This is open to mailing addresses in the US and Canada and closes on Monday May 30 at midnight CST.     To enter, leave a comment below telling me about a fun project that you have on your to do list.  For a second entry, like Art of Natural Living on Facebook and leave a second comment letting me know you have done this.  The winner will be picked randomly, contacted by email and have 24 hours to get back to me with mailing information or a new winner will be chosen.

43 thoughts on “A Summer Natural Reading Collection & a Giveaway

  1. Birdiebee

    A project I have on my list to do is to “move”. Whether this be fun or not, it is a must as I have lived in a rented bedroom for 3 yrs 8 mos and time to get a place of my own.

  2. Darlene Owen

    My fun project is to make a large raised garden and plant strawberries, tomatoes, cukes and corn.

  3. Anne Perry

    We are growing fruit and vegetables in our greenhouse. Raising chickens, turkeys, sheep and goats.

  4. Melinda Atwell

    We are planning our pollination garden! I also have a long to do list of projects that I will eventually get to!

  5. Renee G

    I am going to transplant the strawberries into a section of the garden with better soil and water conditions.

  6. Theresa N

    A fun thing to do on my list is waiting for the vegetables in my garden to be ready so I can can them.

  7. renee

    My 9 year old daughter asked me to teach her to cook today, so that is my next project. Wish me luck! I have already lectured her about burning herself or the house down.

  8. Laura R.

    A fun project on my to-list… Hmm.. Well, I’ve owned a sewing machine for a little over 5 months now, and have yet to remove it from the box. Yikes! I keep meaning to start and try some sewing projects, but honestly, I keep talking myself out of it. Since I hodge podge so many projects together for Dragon Con, actually knowing a few basic sewing skills would be such a huge advantage. I need to get on this!

  9. Laura

    I want to repaint our bedrooms upstairs. I’m thinking maybe a teal or something. So exciting! 🙂

  10. Dominique

    I love to cook and I have a small herb garden to keep my recipes as fresh aspossible! This would be a great book!

  11. Laurie Nykaza

    I’m working on making a butterfly garden with milkweed for the Monarch butterflies

  12. Barbara

    My project is to crochet a layette for my new great nephew is due in July, l haven’t crocheted since making his father ‘s layette, My mom had passed six months before he was born. I knew mom was planning on making one. She had taught me how. So I made one not as good as hers would have been. But I have more time now than I did then. So hopefully, this will look better.

  13. Victoria S

    My fun project is coming up with a plan to redecorate my daughter’s room-I love freshening up rooms!

  14. Norma

    I have more projects than time planned! LOL The two main ones right now are getting my herb garden planted and refabbing our kitchen porch. Both are contingent on our weather, which happens to be rain for the next 15 days 🙁

  15. Edye

    A fun project on my list is get a new bird feeder! I love watching the birds fly near my home. Such a cool activity 🙂

  16. Louise

    Hi Inger:)
    It’s been so long since I’ve “heard” another person speak of hope chests:) I think they are a lovely tradition worthy of revival. My granddaughter has one which was constructed by her grandfather in Idaho. Oh the trinkets she has collected and those we have shared:)

    I love the notion of your reading collection. They look like some mighty fine choices. Thank you so much for sharing, Inger. You are more than welcome to link to Cookbook Wednesday if you like for this week that past or for upcoming Wednesday or both!!!

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