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ON THE BOOKSHELF – The Grounds Café: Seasonal Dishes from Murray’s Central Farm


The Grounds Café: Seasonal Dishes from Murray’s Central Farm featuring Recipes by Nick Van Mele is published by Boulder Books.

When I first looked at this book, the front cover made me believe that it was just another recipe book, but to my surprise it opened up to a really great story! This well written, engaging, and delightful book shares the family’s history from the time they first landed in the province in the 1800s up until the present day. The only part of that I didn’t like was that they didn’t say where they moved from, but it was a really excellent story and I really got into it. There are photos of the farm where they grow the ingredients they use in their recipes, and it’s a fascinating tale. I don’t want to spoil it too much but I really loved seeing how they have learned to live off the land. In the winter time the café slows down, and the cycle starts over again in March because they have greenhouses to grow their food. It’s a nice story about sustainable living, and I think people with gardens would love to see how they do this and have made a success of it all. Of course there are plenty of beautiful, mouth-watering photos and seasonal recipes that are suitable for a nice, light lunch, and I do intend to try some of them, especially the ones that really capture the flavours of Newfoundland and Labrador like Fireweed Jelly. I know some people will look at these recipes and see ingredients like beans and quinoa and say “I don’t like the look of that”, but trust me, because I was one of them, and I know I would eat a lot of these meals! It’s mostly salad recipes in this book and I love salads, so if you do too there’s lots of new ones to try in this book. Those who favour vegan and vegetarian diets will enjoy these recipes too. If you’re looking for a good family history story and a different spin on the typical Newfoundland recipes, I’d really recommend that you buy this book. My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thelma Dominey is a homecare worker and retired office administrator who once worked for Wreckhouse Press Inc. She enjoys most genres, but in particular she tends to gravitate to Newfoundland fiction and non-fiction, romance and historical fiction.

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