Beyond the Farm Gate
University of Regina Press / 27 August 2014

Beyond the Farm Gate: The Story of a Farm Boy Who Helped Make the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool a World-Class Business by E.K. (Ted) Turner Published by University of Regina Press Review by Keith Foster $29.95 ISBN 978-0-88977-334-9 You can see a lot from the farm gate. Ted Turner does just that, peering into the past of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. More importantly perhaps, the reader can also peer into the past of the farm boy who helped transform the Pool into the world-class business that it became. Beyond the Farm Gate serves a dual purpose – it’s both Turner’s autobiography and a history of that prairie icon, the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. The two are so entwined that it’s hard to think of one without the other. The son of one of the original Barr Colonists, Turner was born in a farmhouse near Maymont, SK, and raised in the Dust Bowl of the Dirty Thirties. He tells how he “rescued” his wife from her 9 to 3 job as a bank teller so she could work on the farm, “where she had the privilege to work from dawn to dusk.” The book explores Turner’s own learning process, how he developed an…

113 Boathouse Hill

113 Boathouse Hill by Joyce Olesen Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Regine Haensel $17.95 ISBN 978-1-927756-26-3 “The land breathes life – of the ancient times when the first tipis stood over those stone rings, of the days when five children romped over the hills and fields, and of a time when those children, now grown to middle and older age, came home again.” So writes Joyce Olesen in the last chapter of her memoir. It is a wonderful journey she takes us on, with evocative writing that brings the 1950’s of a farm family to life for the reader. Olesen was born and grew up in southwest Saskatchewan, and has lived in various parts of Canada, including British Columbia, New Brunswick and Alberta. For the last forty-two years Swift Current has been her home. She is a member of the Prairie Quills writers’ group. The book takes us all the way back to Norway in the late 1800’s, where Olesen’s paternal grandfather and grandmother were born. “…I touched the big rock near her old home and thought about her as a young woman …” We follow the young people to the United States, and in 1915, to…

Settling Saskatchewan
University of Regina Press / 21 August 2014

Settling Saskatchewan by Alan B. Anderson Published by University of Regina Press Review by Keith Foster $39.95 ISBN 978-0-88977-284-7 Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover? The evocative cover of Settling Saskatchewan – a photo of newly arrived immigrants crowding together on a railway siding – effectively conveys the theme of this book. Author Alan Anderson covers the full gamut of ethnic settlement – starting with First Nations people and Métis, to English, French, German, Scandinavian, Polish, Ukrainian, and Asian – from early days to the present. Some immigrant communities are well known, such as the English settlers of Cannington Manor and the Barr Colonists. Others, like the Patagonian Welsh from Argentina, are either unknown or forgotten. Pity. Their stories are worth telling. Many ethnic minorities, such as the Scottish crofters at Saltcoats, Oklahoma Blacks near Maidstone, and Old Colony Mennonites, settled in blocs for security or ethnic cohesiveness. These pockets formed a patchwork pattern throughout the province. Drawing on his research spanning four decades, Anderson packs a lot of very detailed data into his 485-page book. In addition to a list of sources at the end of each chapter, Settling Saskatchewan has endnotes, a bibliography, and…

Recipes I Stole From My Mum
Lisa Lambert / 20 August 2014

Recipes I Stole from My Mum by Lisa Lambert Published by Lisa Lambert Review by Regine Haensel $19.95 ISBN 978-0-9917434-0-7 Recently my book club discussed favourite cookbooks that we used regularly. If I’d had this one at the time, I’d have taken it along. Lisa Lambert is a trustee with the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Board of Education. She grew up in Saskatoon, cooking and baking with her mother. Lambert has also collected inspirational quotes over many years, and combined this with recipes that have endured in her family, to create Recipes I Stole from My Mum. The author has updated her book with a new introduction that honours her mother, Marilyn Wilchuck, and her two grandmothers. The book definitely has a family feel, with the sorts of recipes that get handed down through the years. The book is divided into sections: Appetizers & Beverages, Breads & Muffins, Cakes & Cookies, Desserts, Main Courses, Salads and Soups, Squares, and Vegetables. From a soup made with fresh mushrooms, to Shrimp Scampi, and Macaroni and Cheese Casserole ,these recipes run the gamut from elegant to hearty comfort foods. Ethnic delights such as Spaghetti Bolognese, Greek Ribs, and Doche rub shoulders with old…

Metis Soldiers of Saskatchewan
Gabriel Dumont Institute / 19 August 2014

Métis Soldiers of Saskatchewan: 1914-1953 by Cathy Littlejohn Published by Gabriel Dumont Institute Review by Keith Foster $25.00 ISBN 978-1-926795-10-2 They were there – at Vimy Ridge, Dieppe, Ortona in Italy, and Juno Beach on D-Day. In every major campaign of the First and Second World Wars and in a hundred skirmishes in Korea, Saskatchewan Métis soldiers were there, fighting for Canada. Their exploits are chronicled in Cathy Littlejohn’s Métis Soldiers of Saskatchewan: 1914-1953. Métis were readily accepted into the military because they already knew how to handle firearms and often brought certain skills useful in warfare. Littlejohn tells many of the stories in the soldiers’ own words, gleaned from transcripts in the Gabriel Dumont Institute. “My officer asked where I got the jug,” one Métis said, after crawling across no man’s land in the First World War. “I told him that I got it off the Germans in the frontline. He said that I had risked my life and they gave me a medal.” During the Second World War, Métis troops were among those captured when Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese on Christmas Day, 1941. As prisoners of war, they endured near-starvation. One soldier was so hungry he…

What Did You Draw?

What Did You Draw by Ruth Chorney Illustrated by Nicolas Chorney Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Jessica Bickford $14.95 978-1-894431-91-0 The mother-son team of Ruth Chorney and Nicolas Chorney have created a charming little story about a boy and his big sister having an imaginative art session in What Did You Draw?.  Ruth’s story is fun and shows a brother and sister pair who actually get along in a way that is both realistic and adorable while they draw together.  The sister’s drawings are realistic animals, while Danny, her younger brother, depicts his own fantastical, hybrid creations.  Even Danny and Sister themselves are depicted in their own art styles, which is really interesting and gives the whole story the feel that the kids are the ones telling it. The story itself is simple and follows Danny and his sister as they draw various things.  Danny’s sister draws different animals for him, and tells him what they are, and then Danny draws his own versions, asking his sister to guess what he has drawn.  Almost all of these are silly hybrids of what his sister has just drawn, including a hippopotamoose.  Danny and his sister keep drawing until,…

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