Monday, November 05, 2007

Hospitality with Graciousness

Tea and Cake with the Saints: A Catholic Young Lady’s Introduction to Hospitality and the Home Arts by Alice Cantrell
2007, Little Way Press, 108 pages, spiral bound softcover , Catholic

Catholic Heritage Curricula has done it again, delivering a beautiful resource that uplifts and instructs in their “gentle but thorough” tradition. This exquisitely designed and illustrated book is a perfect introduction to hospitality for girls aged 8-12 years old.

The book is divided by the seasons and includes tea party recipes and craft instructions for suggested feast days in each season. Tucked within those pages are lovely illustrations as well as instruction on little things that come up when you are puttering around the kitchen with your daughter, such as the difference between baking soda and baking powder, or the proper way to set the table. It includes special projects as well, such planting a Mary garden and making a gardening apron. Poetry and snippets from fine literature are placed graciously throughout the text.

Near the beginning is an explanation of how to make and keep a homemaking notebook. I am so delighted to see that. I remember thumbing through my Grandmother’s notebook and always wishing my mother kept one. What a great tradition for mother and daughter to work on together!

Even though I kept thinking of doing these things with my daughter as I read the book, it is really a book for the daughter. It is written and designed for her, from the handy smaller size of the book (7" X 10") to the larger-sized text font and the inviting illustrations. And the whole book—from its genteel ideas to its genteel presentation—is an invitation to graciousness that young girls will have a hard time resisting.

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