Recipe included: Select Harvest Gewurztraminer Cake
Feed My Lambs, Feed My Sheep
by Nadine Begin, was an evolution of recipes from her early years on a Michigan farm, years spent in a convent, to wife of a former priest, then CEO turned winemaker. Together they own the Chateau Chantal where her culinary skills have come to life with her own gourmet style. Nadine’s daughter, Marie-Chantal Dalese, convinced her mother to write this memoir that covers all aspects of her life with food, family history and photographs. All three parts are integrated to provide a compelling story with delicious recipes.

The early years were recipes of food similar to what my grandmother prepared except her’s were Polish family traditions. She goes from perogies to babka in the convent for special occasions. the food was not all simple during those years, it also included the fancier food the nun’s would prepare for others.

When Nadine went entered the world as a teaching nun with an apartment and less rigid constraints, she wasn’t able to go make to the convent lifestyle. She discovered she was in love with a former Catholic priest who had left the priesthood and when she was finally released from her vows, they married. In 1983, they resided in Europe for nine months. They toured, studied wineries and got ideas for the winery they wanted. Plus her tastes expanded. The couple returned to Michigan and purchased a 60 acre cherry farm. Her CEO executive husband turned farmer. What a change. Now the recipes move on to ten years of bed and breakfast specialties from Chateau Chantal, to elaborate multi-course dinner parties.

For me, this books represents a history of food in America from the 1930s to the present. The recipes are clear and easy to follow. They evolve from simple to more challenging. But all aspects are delicious.

Begin, has done a lovely job combining her memoirs with recipes of the time and it’s intriguing. It is also a compelling easy and quick read.

We are including one of Nadine’s recipes:

Select Harvest Gewurztraminer Cake
18 oz yellow cake mix 1 small package vanilla pudding, instant 1/2cup water 1 cup Chateau Chantal Select Harvest Gewürztraminer 1/2 cup vegetable oil 4 eggs 1/2 cup pecans, chopped 1/4 pound butter 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup water Line bottom of greased 10′ tube pan with chopped pecans. Blend boxed cake mix, pudding, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup Select Harvest Gewürztraminer, 1/2cup vegetable oil, and 4 eggs with mixer and pour into pecan-lined tube pan. Bake at 325F. for 50-60 minutes. Mix and boil for 3 minutes the following: butter, sugar, and ¼ cup water. Remove from heat and then add remaining ½ cup Select Harvest Gewürztraminer. Pour this mixture over hot cake and leave in pan until completely cool before turning out. Serves 16.

I encourage you to read the book and check out the Chateau Chantal website.
Chateau Chantal
231 223-4110
Contact Marie-Chantal Dalese for more information at

Maralyn D. Hill, President
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success Log Global Log

“Success” was Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards