An Old-Fashioned Christmas // Review

>> Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Christmas is coming. I’ve even started decorating early this year. I usually wait until after Thanksgiving, but I’m just in the spirit. Maybe it has something to do with reviewing Ellen Stimson’s new book titled An Old-Fashioned Christmas. The setting is Vermont, the snow is plentiful, and there’s certainly no shortage of amazing food in this book.

Take a look:

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for giving me a copy of this book to review. I enthusiastically said YES because I have a special connection with Vermont and Christmas. Now, I’m from Pennsylvania . . . but almost every year I can remember from my childhood, my parents would pack us up the morning after Christmas. We’d drive a good five to six hours to Vermont on snowy back roads stopping at rogue antique shops along the way. Each time we’d get out of the car, my fingers and toes would freeze.

We’d snake our way through Bennington, Rutland, Killington, and Woodstock, staying a night or two. Then we’d advance to Burlington and usually make it to our final destination in Stowe at the base of Mount Mansfield. The memories I have of Christmas are unreal. Cross-country skiing through a mountain village as the snow spits down all around. Horse-drawn carriage rides with hot cocoa and wool blankets. Countless cozy fires and ice sculptures lining the walkways at the Inn at Essex.

(Stowe, VT)

I mean, seriously. Vermont IS the definition Christmas. So, this book speaks to me on many levels. It’s full of those hearty and wholesome recipes you just want to splurge on for the holidays. In fact, everything in this book exudes warmth and coziness. The minute I opened the cover, I started hearing holiday tunes in my head.

And bells!

Throughout the text, Ellen shares bits and pieces from her own holiday home. We even get descriptions and memories tied to different ornaments and some treats to give our four-legged friends. There’s also a wealth of human food to feast your eyes on.

I already have a few of the recipes on my to-make list, including:

  • Aunt Loraine’s Brady Bunch Cheese Ball
  • Cheddar Chive Biscuits
  • Mock Cheese Soufflé
  • Pea Garlic Mascarpone Galette 
  • Salted Caramel Turtles 
  • Spicy Hot Cocoa

So, if you’re looking for a way to get into the spirit, consider picking up a copy of An Old-Fashioned Christmas. I think it would even make a great gift (I’m probably getting a copy to give to my parents because I know they’ll appreciate it). I don’t know. There’s just something about getting a physical cookbook for Christmas that is like a tradition every year. This one has been on shelves since November 2nd, but the best price I can find is on

Ellen Stimson is the author of best-selling memoir Mud Season. She’s a self-proclaimed bread-and-butter home cook who lives and writes from her farmhouse in rural Vermont. 


Now is your chance to take a peek! I am giving away a copy of An Old-Fashioned Christmas to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment with your favorite holiday dish and some way to contact you. Entries from the U.S. and Canada only, please.

I’ll announce the winner in two weeks. (And, yes, I will soon announce the winner of the Barefoot Books giveaway -- sorry for the delay!)

You can check out the whole schedule to see more great reviews on this book.

Also visit Ellen on Facebook and Twitter.

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