- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 3 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416551050
- ISBN-13: 978-1416551058
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3 x 23.2 cm
- Shipping Weight: 522 g
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #224,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table Hardcover – Mar 3 2009
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About the Author
Molly Wizenberg is a freelance food writer and the creator of the award-winning blog Orangette. She is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, and her writing has been featured on NPR.org and PBS.org and has been praised in The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, and The Seattle Times. Wizenberg has degrees in human biology, French, and cultural anthropology, but in 2005, she left the world of academia to write full-time.
Top customer reviews
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The lack of photos is not a flaw in the book, per se, but it's odd. You gotta admit, it's odd. Why? Why no photos? I am determined to love the book anyway, and am a few chapters in and all is going swimmingly in the writing department. But I would be head over heels, curled up in bed grinning if it had photos. 'Stead I'm here.
However, the standout aspect of this memoir-cookbook is the writing; the transporting, incredibly cozy stories of life, love, travels, and the indelible effect of good food. Molly has a special way with words that keeps you (literally) hungering for more.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
However, the book disappointed me on one count--the literary. Although Wizenberg is an entertaining writer, funny, candid, and relatable, the short texts that precede each recipe read more like annotations than a book proper (even though this is a memoir with a clear progression of events and a sequential flow). This is not a bad thing per se, especially if what you want is something akin to the blog experience (and she really is an outstanding blogger). However, I prefer more "traditional" food literature, such as Ruth Reichl, M.F.K. Fisher and James Beard--that is, literature about food, and not annotated recipes. So I didn't find her book as gripping or evocative as those by these authors. Still, I laughed, cried, and salivated plenty, and I guess that's already a lot you can say about a cookbook.
The book A Homemade Life is an exception.
Author Molly Wizenberg pulls off writing a blog-style cookbook with aplomb. Her writing will pull you in as you want to learn about her family: Her mother who was petite and was raised in a perfectly sized house with a flagstone sidewalk; her father who made the best French Toast or her gay Uncle Jerry who once took Molly to a knick-knack store called the the Sweet Potato. You will also learn about how her family dealt with close deaths of relatives and how food played such an important part of their lives.
In between the family history you will find recipes. Lots of good sounding recipes. Recipes family-tested and the kind you would want to serve at your family table.
Some of the recipes you will find in her cookbook include:
Burg's Potato Salad
Friesse with Ham, Eggs, and Mustard Vinaigrette
Coeur a La Creme with Raspberry Puree (thank you for this recipe as I still love white chocolate)
Wizenberg relates so beautifully how food unites us as a culture through her own personal experiences: the death of her father, her decision to forego a career in academia to become a food writer and a blossoming romance with a hansome foodie. Hers is a tale of love and nurturing by way of the kitchen. With a knack for storytelling and an incredible talent for creating beautiful, homespun recipes that beg to be shared with loved ones, "A Homemade Life" (and Wizenberg's hugely successful blog, [...]), have lifted me out of my own cooking slump, a gentle reminder in increasingly complicated times that good food is worth the time to make and sharing it with friends and family is one of life's greatest pleasures. I've tried three recipes in 24 hours and it is no exaggeration to say that our little family of three feels transformed. Highly recommended.