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Tasha Tudor Day August 28, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. On this day, August 28th, the beloved children’s book author and illustrator Tasha Tudor was born in 1915. She’d be 95 today. Her fans and friends have designated August 28th as Tasha Tudor Day in her honor.

I wasn’t brought up with Tasha Tudor’s childrens’ classics, Pumpkin Moonshine,  the Corgiville stories, and all the rest. In fact, I’d probably never have been aware of Tasha at all had it not been for the books about her extraordinary life, including The Private Life of Tasha Tudor and Tasha Tudor’s Garden, by Tovah Martin and Richard Brown.

As you can guess, our friend Ben and I love the idea of time-travel back to Colonial and Federalist times. Apparently, Tasha Tudor did too, back to a specific era, 1830s America. And unlike us, she succeeded in recreating that era in her home and lifestyle and mastering all the skills, including weaving, sewing, and hearth cooking, that her 1830s counterparts would have needed to survive and thrive.

With a few exceptions—Margaret Mead, Helen Nearing—I’m not sure I know of any woman more self-aware and self-determining than Tasha Tudor. Whether you’re enamored of a given historical era or grew up with Tasha’s children’s books or enjoy personable, historic cookbooks (The Tasha Tudor Cookbook is simply delightful) or love detailed paintings drawn from nature, it’s worth entering Tasha’s world and taking a good, long look, and what more appropriate time than on her birthday?

A great starting point is the Tudor family website, http://www.tashatudorandfamily.com/.  I can think of no finer celebration than trying Jen Tudor Wyman’s wonderful Raspberry Coconut Cakes with, of course, traditional tea. You’ll find the recipe on the Receipts section of the website (“receipts” being the old-time English spelling of “recipes”).  

Thanks, Tasha, for showing us what the combination of imagination, passion, talent, and determination can achieve. Happy birthday! I love you.

               ‘Til next time,