Book Review by Kit Wertz, Flower Duet
There is so much to love in this book full of warm-hearted essays, delicious and comforting food recipes, and touching photography. This book is part escapism, part nostalgia, part hope, part joy, and lots of comfort. On practically every page of “Furrow & Flour” is a thought or scene that I could relate to. I am also a child of the 1970s, a mother, a sister, and a professional florist. But you don’t have to have any of that in common with these sister authors, Beth Syphers and Sarah Kuenzi, who have assembled a beautiful collection of words to inspire.
Puts You Right Into each Scene
Every description in the sisters’ alternating essays places you right into the scene. Whether it’s at home next to a crackling fire or enjoying the “butterflies dancing over the lavender” in late summer flower fields, you feel like you are there. I especially like Beth’s vignette about finding a seat at a wedding (where she has provided the floral designs). She notes the “misty eyes” of the groom’s mother as she watched the wedding party dance during the reception. And every essay about food leaves my mouth watering and gives me a longing to get up and make something yummy in my kitchen.
Less Ethel and More Lucy
Sarah’s essay about being “Less Ethel and More Lucy” hit home with me also. Before I had my twins, I entertained friends and family with the efficiency of a Cornell School graduate. Now I have learned to relax more and enjoy my company and be less fussy about the presentation of food and drink. I think it’s reassuring to read about how someone my own age entertains casually but with gusto in her own home and admits to changing over the years, for the better.
Beth’s musings about flower farming and floristry also resonate. Her essays about her work mesh seamlessly with her loving essays about her family. It’s clear she treats everyone in her life with charity and kindness.
Emma May Dixon’s photography of flower fields, floral designs, homey tableaus, and scrumptious food is warm and inviting. The photos blend effortlessly with each essay by Beth and Sarah and evoke an old-fashioned feeling with modern-day vibes.
I read this book over a few weeks while recuperating from knee surgery and found the sisters’ words a perfect companion. Since this book is divided into four seasons starting with Spring, I can see myself picking it up at the start of each season to get excited for new beginnings and old traditions that each untouched day promises.
The words and photos from “Furrow & Flour” remind us that life goes on and there is always a lot to enjoy – from special holidays to each and every normal day that each dawn brings.
I made Farmer John’s Pumpkin Bread. It was spicy delicious-ness indeed. For one of the loaves, I added the recommended raisins, and for the other just walnuts. Also, I used a Gluten Free flour (1:1) substitute and it still came out lovely (but purists should use all-purpose flour). Warm and comforting…just like all the pages of this book.
From my copy of the book Furrow and Flour — the title of the Pumpkin Bread Recipe — Photo by Kit Wertz
Here were my results of making the pumpkin bread from Furrow & Flour. They tasted wonderful! — Photo by Kit Wertz
From the Publisher:
“Flower farmer Beth Syphers is rooted in the garden and her sister Sarah Kuenzi is a baker and chef. In the pages of their beautifully illustrated book, Furrow & Flour, the women have collected stories about the small joys they discover in a life that feels good on the inside, not just one that looks good on the outside.”
About Bloom Imprint — the Publisher
Flower Duet is proud to be featured in a Bloom Imprint book called “Where We Bloom” and there are a plethora of books related to farming and flowers by this wonderful new publisher. I was able to secure an early copy of this book because I won it! I attended the virtual book launch for Furrow & Flour and was fortunate to have my name picked for a FREE book! You can sign up on Bloom Imprint’s website to be alerted to their virtual book launches and get in on the wonderful conversations and maybe even receive a prize!