I don’t know what Tasha Tudor was like in real life if she was snippety or impatient or such (who isn’t, occasionally?), or if we agree on everything (who does? ), and she did get divorced twice decades ago, so there’s that fallible mark. But in her books and in books about her lifestyle – at least, now that she’s older and wiser in her 80s and 90s – she lives such a lovely, simple life full of gardens and animals and one of bypassing modern conveniences for the old standbys.
As a young wife (in the days before the internet was helpful), searching for beauty and learning all I could about homemaking and homesteading, it was through books about Tasha Tudor that I was first introduced to the startling idea that even in a modern world, it is possible to wear dresses all the time, walk through the snow to feed the goats, and cook from a wood stove.
I do none of those things (there is no snow where I live, I like my blue jeans, and I don’t have a wood stove), but I did learn from Tasha to slow down a bit, enjoy playing alongside children (Tasha floated a birthday cake down the river and put on marionette shows), begin new traditions, craft guilt-free, because it adds beauty to life (she’d weave the cloth for sewing her dresses), enjoy painting and drawing (she’s an illustrator for children’s books), garden, animal-keeping (she kept her dairy goats in a barn that was conveniently attached to her house!), and generally to enjoy learning as much about everything as possible, no matter my age, no matter the excuses.
I also learned, through her recipe book, how to make her taffy and shortbread and biscuits. No other receipts (Tasha called “recipes” that) will do.
Tasha Tudor’s way of living as seen through photos and her books inspired me to no end as a young bride, as a young mother, and even in the years since.
p.s. I’m visiting this post much later in life, the children are grown and can say it was a beautiful life full of beautiful memories. What I needed back then was permission to play, to create, to craft, to read, and to learn. Tasha Tudor’s life, and that of others, gave me a feeling of permission to do so. Though, I know now, I did not need “permission” from a fallible source, for the Lord Himself has given me permission to do so and mentions many times in the Scriptures to seek beauty. In fact, the very mission of “just, pure, lovely ” is based on Scripture (Philippians 4:6).