A Food Lover’s Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

9781921383557

‘A constant on my camino was the powerful sensation of a message across time, a guiding hand reaching out to me from those who had passed this way before.’

A thousand-year-old pilgrimage route and food traditions stretching back hundreds of years. These are what Dee Nolan set out to experience on her pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela – through the rich farming lands of southern France and northern Spain.  The monks who came here in the Middle Ages to look after the first pilgrims planted grapevines from their homelands far away. Now food lovers come seeking the magnificent wines made using grapes grown in those same ancient vineyards, along with sublime cooking and fresh, luscious produce.

Dee’s own emotional journey along the Way of St James – el camino de Santiago – took her back to the very heart of things: why we should care about what we eat and how it is produced, why we need escape valves like the pilgrimage in our busy modern lives, and why she found herself, after a long career in publishing, back on her grandfather’s farm and connecting with the soil.

This joyful book tells the story of Dee’s camino, of the pilgrimage itself and of the food traditions that sustain us all. Following the route of those first pilgrims, Dee met wise cooks and farmers who are finding that the future lies in the past. And she realised why, in our secular age, we are so captivated by this medieval Christian pilgrimage.

A Food Lovers Pilgrimage to France

9781921382918

Time and again I’d heard that the Santiago pilgrim paths in France were exceptionally beautiful.  But no one warned me how powerful the connection to the pilgrims of the past would be.’
Dee Nolan’s award-winning book, A Food Lover’s Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, took us across Spain on a heartwarming journey along The Way of Saint James, also called the camino, revealing how this famous medieval pilgrimage is drawing us back, tugging at our modern hearts and minds in a way nobody could have foretold.
Most of the early pilgrims were French and now Dee retraces their steps, seeking out the ancient paths through France.  She discovers a golden thread that connected the saint’s relics in Spain to the once-powerful French monks at Cluny – without whom there may well have been no pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela at all.
Dee’s French pilgrimage winds through magnificent and changing landscapes: from Burgundy’s vine-covered slopes to the gastronomic capital of Lyon; up onto the vast windswept meadows of the Aubrac plateau; along the dramatic Lot river; through the gentle hills of Gascony and, finally, to the trout-filled rivers of the Pyrenees.
She meets the monks whose medieval predecessors planted the vineyards we see today, visits local markets with some of France’s greatest chefs, cooks traditional recipes in home kitchens and walks with farmers taking cattle to the high pasture.
Having returned, after decades, to her own family farm, Dee tells the stories of others for whom a sense of place brings immeasurable meaning to their life and to the food they grow and cook, honouring, as well, those who have gone before.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Probabilityloveatfirstsight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is based on Hadley, a girl who misses the flight to get her to her father and her step-mum’s wedding by four minutes, and because of it, bumps into a sweet English boy named Oliver. Set over a 24 hour period, this story is about fate, love and acceptance. I adored reading this book. I was flew through it because of how interested and invested I was in the plot and the characters. The dialogue is extremely sweet and was another reason why I read it so quickly. It is beautifully written. Jennifer E. Smith does a brilliant job of painting a beautiful picture with her words, more so than I’ve read in a long time.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

Amy & Rodger's Epic Detour

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is about two teenagers travelling from California to Connecticut, who, along the way, encounter new people, new experiences and end up falling for each other. I loved this book. One of the many things that I loved about it was that it was both an emotional and physical journey, including the experiences of grief, anxiety, pain and love. Morgan Matson’s writing is spectacular. I extremely enjoyed the plot, characters and writing style that I got to experience while reading this book. It was all extremely well developed and well thought out. I definitely recommend!