Book Reviews

Here are recent reviews and comments by culinary professionals and readers about “For the Love of Apricots”. We call this Apricot Love!

I took this beautiful book to bed and as I started reading this celebration of apricots, I felt like I too was walking through the worlds’ best apricot orchards. Lisa Newman shares her passion for apricots with superb savory and sweet recipes that can be used all year long. Dreaming apricots and heading straight to the farmer’s market!”

Heidi Krahling, Owner of San Anselmo’s Insalata’s and Marinitas restaurants

Subject: I love your cookbook!

Hi Lisa, I just received For the Love of Apricots and I really love the book! I’ve made three recipes in just a few days — the Apricot Dutch Baby, the Grilled and Curried Shrimp, and the Canapes.  They were all delicious and the recipes were well-written and easy to make!
I collect cookbooks (I have over 1,300) and I think you did a great job. I want to make all the recipes and the story of the transformation of Santa Clara Valley is really compelling. I grew up in the Bay Area and it has been heartbreaking to see how the valley and San Francisco have changed. I so appreciate that you wrote this book and told the story. It is a treasure and I’m so happy to add it to my collection!
All the best,
Karen,  Seattle, WA

Subject: With Love

I am delighted and pleased to have Lisa’s Love Apricots messages arrive.  I have to remember it is a blog and there are posts!!!!! 
The latest April one included an interview with Lisa about Silicon Valley the way it was when she was young.  Oh! it was terrific nostalgia for me.  Her description was so meaningful beautifully said. I could actually see the acres and acres of fruit trees, blossom festivals (Saratoga), and harvests. 
By the way, the photos are exceptional…
I am so very grateful to know about Lisa.
With love, Bobbi

The above note was written by Rick Curry’s aunt. The Curry family’s story was the subject of my blog post titled Apricot Orchard Generations.

Subject: I love your cookbook!

I absolutely love this blog! And your cook book! Growing up in Saratoga, we had over an acre- which included many apricot trees! My dad made fruit roll ups and we always had plenty of trail mix with dried apricots. Keep up the good work and I also so enjoy and miss all the beautiful blossoms.
Sheri Rindal Nielsen

Subject: I too am an apricot lover

Hi Lisa,  I just read your book, for the love of Apricots. I love every page. I too was raised in an apricot orchard. My family owned an orchard in Mountain View Ca. I spent my childhood and teenage years there and then moved to Los Altos. I cut cots for 8 years maybe more. My Croatian family knew many of the orchard families. It was such a wonderful time. I miss it so much. Thank you for sharing your childhood and family experiences. It brought me back to a lovely time in life. Thank you.
Sincerely, Stephanie

Subject: Thank you for writing this book!

Dear Lisa,
I first want to thank you for writing this beautiful book of your recipes and memories! I grew up in Los Altos Hills in the 60’s and 70’s, surrounded by a small orchard of apricots. My mom baked every recipe imaginable for apricots and we all loved them dearly! Even our horse, Miss Clara, who had one apricot tree in her coral, ate the fruit she could reach and, believe it or not, spit out the seeds!
Thanks again!  All the best to you! 

Subject: Amazing Blog! Would love to connect

Hi Lisa,
I hope this message finds you well! I LOVE your blog & all the history of the Santa Clara Valley that you’ve woven into your love of apricots. I just read “The Valley of Hearts Delight”, the “Apricot Orchard Generations” and  a few more of your blog posts. Your writing style has such a wonderful flow & easily captivated me!

Subject: Books Inc Palo Alto

Hi Ms. Newman,
My name’s Alex – I’m the event coordinator at Books Inc in Palo Alto. Your book is shaping up to be one of the summer’s biggest sellers for us!
Congrats on a lovely book!
Alex, Books Inc Palo Alto

Subject: Signed book

To this day, 4th of July is my favorite holiday since it is the peak of Apricot season.
It is nice to see someone else loves the Blenheim’s as passionately as me.

Subject: Memories

Hi Lisa:  Enjoying the cookbook.
I lived, as a child, for several years off Saratoga Ave, back when there were strawberry fields, walnut and apricots orchards around.  In fact, my brother and I played “pirates” in the adjacent walnut orchard and left “maps of hidden treasures” in an old, hollowed out tree. I think we were in one of the first subdivisions. I attended Moorland and El Quito schools. Not sure if either of them still exists. We later moved to Monte Sereno and I graduated from Los Gatos HS in 1961. This makes me much older than you. My Mother enjoyed taking a Sunday drive and she loved going over Blossom Hill Road to look at the orchards. Blossom Hill was only a two-lane road back in the day. I am now retired and live in the oceanside community of Los Osos (next to Morro Bay) No orchards here.

Subject: “Valley of Earthly Delight”

Hello Lisa,
I was gifted your wonderful book “For the Love of Apricots” last week, by Patty. I must say I was simply delighted with the experience!!

The book is beautiful to look at, lovely to hold and feels “soft” in the hand. The photos are really beautiful (there’s that word again! But it fits) and the recipes look fabulous. I will begin trying them in the coming months.

For me the crowning glory of the whole experience was not being able to put the book down! Once I opened it and began reading, I was captivated completely. I read the whole thing cover to cover in one sitting! Your words and stories and feelings touched me deeply and took me back to that wonderful place of our childhood. It was such a profound gift and I am so very grateful. Thank you for sharing your memories, recipes, knowledge, and history, with such beautifully chosen words and photos. The tenderness and heartfelt gratitude and love you expressed was a gift of delight!
Thank you for this treasure,

Subject: Book Talk

My name is Amy and I am the new Exhibition Curator at the Los Altos History Museum. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and let you know about our upcoming exhibition, Silicon Valley Eats: A Taste for Innovation. This exhibition will explore how innovation has shaped the history of food in this region, from our agricultural heritage to today’s cutting edge sustainability efforts.
We have started thinking about related programming, and we are hoping you might be willing to do a book talk at the museum in late June. The Apricot STEM fair is on June 30 this year, and we thought it would be a huge hit with our members and the Los Altos community to have a talk on For the Love of Apricots on a weekday evening leading up to that event. Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in, or if you have any availability in late June.

Subject: Your book

I am the lucky recipient of “For the Love of Apricots” for Christmas. It is wonderful. I grew up in a prune orchard on Park Drive in Saratoga and remember those days fondly. I picked prunes (off the ground), cut lots of cots, and worked in a cannery in Campbell.

Subject: St Leo Summer Festival

I saw your website and you made my day. I grew up in Milpitas, spending my time after school and in the summer cutting apricots for a local farmer. 75 cents a crate and feeling so proud to bring home $11 at the end of the week for my child labor!

Subject: Delicious subject!

Hi Lisa – thank you for covering the subject of apricots in a single volume, rather than relegating this delicious fruit to a few scattered recipes in a general baking book.
I’ve cooked and baked with apricots since joining Traina Foods 20 years ago, and while I came to Traina as an apricot aficionado, I only discovered the variety and versatility of sun dried apricots at Traina.
You’re lucky to have been part of the early valley experience and to have grown up in Eden with California apricots falling from the trees. That’s for sharing it with others.

Subject: Cookbook

Hi Lisa,
I walked into Andy’s Orchard store today to pick up some cherries and saw your cookbook “For the Love of Apricots” on the shelf. As a docent for the Morgan Hill Historical Society I always love picking up new local books, so I took a copy home with me. Although I haven’t even cooked any of the amazing looking recipes, I just had to let you know that your book makes my heart sing. It is such a wonderful ode to the history of this Valley, and I will be gifting copies to family and friends far away so that they can finally understand why I love living next to the orchards in Morgan Hill so much.
Thank you for publishing such a treasure, and I wish you great success with it!

Subject: Your book

Hi Lisa –
I just received the copy of your cookbook that you sent, and it is so beautiful! What a labor of love and work of art! Thank you for signing it – that means a lot to me. I would love to purchase another copy for my sister-in-law, Barbara, who had a decades-long love affair with a Blenheim tree in her front yard, until it died a couple of years ago. She would have a deep appreciation for your book and the recipes you have perfected. May I ask you to personalize it for her by signing it, as well?
I so appreciate the years you spent learning about our local apricot orchards and their caretakers, and your passion to share what you have learned with us through your blog, along with all of the recipes that you have gathered and made your own. I am eager to try them and feed them to my husband, since he is also a great lover of apricots.
Take care, and congratulations on the publication of your special cookbook.

Subject: Your new book!

Hi Lisa,
Just came across your website and new book thanks to a facebook post on Everyone’s Harvest–which operates farmers markets in the Monterey area.
Apricots are my favorite fruit and I’m going to order a copy now!

Subject: Orchards

Reading your article in Metro this week was like a breath of fresh air in this now stagnant valley. I was born here in Santa Clara in 1942 and have nothing but fond memories of living and growing up in the Santa Clara Valley (I cringe at the new title Silicon Valley) among all the beautiful orchards. They were our playground as kids experiencing wonderful adventures just like Tom Sawyer. This was a truly wonderful time and place to grow up in, when my friends and I get together we almost always talk about how great it was to grow up here in the Valley of Hearts Delight so much so we sound like the proverbial broken record. Thank you for bringing back an important era in the history of the Santa Clara Valley.

Subject: For the Love of Apricots

Hi Lisa
It’s such a beautiful book…..honestly I used it yesterday at an Ag in the Classroom event and showed it to 500 3rd graders.  We’ve got a huge full bloom….but here comes the rain….we’ve sprayed 3 times and are hoping the buds will stick. Wish us luck. Got another 1000 trees sitting in cold storage….but it never gets dry enough to plant.
Patti / ApricotKing Orchards

Subject: Santa Clara Valley Fan and History buff

Hi Lisa
My family moved to Santa Clara in the 60s and lived in the Old Historic Quad of Santa Clara near the SCU. Currently I belong to SC Reclaiming our Downtown to help rebuild our historic downtown and create a destination both online and architecturally that honors the history, stories and images of the area’s evolving community before it was Silicon Valley for future generations to come. We are losing the generations that remember it well that is why we formed Reclaiming our Downtown SC. I love your blog, stories and cookbook idea—food brings everyone together especially sweets!  My Aunty Isilda had twenty fruit trees in her old Victorians back yard but apricots were my favorite. She loved to cook and bake, pickle and jar—a dedicated homemaker with a green thumb. She passed away last year at 96–I miss her and her stories.
Thank you for focusing your blog and cookbook on the Valley of Heart Desire.