This book is a very attractive and appealing thing to look through. The writer seems to live this peaceful, abundant life and do all the most wonderful things we wish we could do. I can see how it could be "inspiring", as others have said. But if you're a real cook who actually wants to try making some of this stuff, STEER CLEAR.
I am a seasoned DIY cook; I regularly make my own yogurt, pasta, fresh cheese, and bread from scratch. I was excited to expand my repertoire. The first recipe I tried from this book was for Flour Tortillas. It was the darnedest thing-- the recipe called for way too much water! I salvaged it by adding a lot more flour, and they came out good, but I was really taken aback by how off the recipe was. It made me very hesitant to try another. But over time I decided that that must have been a fluke, maybe a typo, and I tried the Whole Wheat Sesame Crackers recipe.
Well, now I am officially convinced: these recipes weren't tested by anyone before they were published in this book. I should have known better than to trust it when it said to process the flour + liquids in a food processor until a dough ball forms-- 2-3 minutes. Two to three MINUTES? In a food processor? Um... But I trusted. I went ahead and tried it. IT SUCKED! There was again, way too much water in the recipe, the dough became a sticky, goopy mess that seeped into the nooks and crannies of my food processor (a HUGE pain in the butt to clean later). To fix it, I had to add a ton more flour and pulse to get the mixture to come together (this is after waiting 20 minutes for the machine to cool down-- seriously they are not meant to be run that long continuously). I kept going and made the crackers...
And here's the part that really bothers me-- the book tells you to pick up your rolled out crackers with both hands and "carefully" place them on the pizza stone that has been heating up in your 400 degree oven. Um... please, no one do that. These crackers, if you manage to even make the dough, are not worth losing the use of even one of your precious fingers. Use a farking pizza peel, my God, if you have a pizza stone you most likely have a pizza peel, or if not you can use the back of a cookie sheet. I have a lot of trouble believing that this writer makes these crackers as often as she would have you believe and uses her hands to "carefully" place the dough on a hot pizza stone.
The most intriguing thing to read about in the book is her friend Rachel Cole's Porridge Manifesto, which I would actually really love to read, but PSYCH! it's not included in the book. It turns out the author herself was not even allowed to read it, but don't worry-- just from talking to Rachel, she got "enough information to start to experiment and pass on some valuable information to you." Oh yes, please do experiment based on what your friend says! And publish your "recipes" in a book that people have to pay for! It's not like anyone's going to try to make any of these things anyway! Who has the time?!?
Well, I do, because it's important to me to make my own stuff, and it's usually really fun, so I don't care if it takes a long time. What I don't like is spending a lot of time on something that doesn't deliver a good product, and making a big mess and wasting ingredients along the way. Sorry, book, you're pretty and all, but I don't want any more to do with you.