Monday, November 05, 2012

6 Days Without Power Will Allow You To Catch Up On Your Reading


Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should (and Shouldn't!) Cook from Scratch to Save Time and Money by Jennifer Reese

Selected by the New York Times as a Notable Cookbook of 2011, by USA Today as a Best Holiday Gift “For the Foodie,” and by as one of their Best Cookbooks of the Year.

WHEN BLOGGER JENNIFER REESE LOST HER JOB, SHE BEGAN A SERIES OF FOOD-RELATED EXPERIMENTS. Economizing by making her own peanut butter, pita bread, and yogurt, she found that “doing it yourself” doesn’t always cost less or taste better. In fact, she found that the joys of making some foods from scratch— marshmallows, hot dog buns, and hummus—can be augmented by buying certain ready-made foods—butter, ketchup, and hamburger buns. Tired? Buy your mayonnaise. Inspired? Make it.

With Reese’s fresh voice and delightful humor, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter has 120 recipes with eminently practical yet deliciously fun “make or buy” recommendations. Her tales include living with a backyard full of cheerful chickens, muttering ducks, and adorable baby goats; countertops laden with lacto-fermenting pickles; and closets full of mellowing cheeses. Here’s the full picture of what is involved in a truly homemade life and how to get the most out of your time in the kitchen—with the good news that you shouldn’t try to make everything yourself.

The 411 by Maria: 
A lot of my friends have been making their own everything. I thought about jumping on the band wagon of making my own butter but after reading Make The Bread Buy The Butter by Jennifer Reese, I now know what I shouldn't even attempt. 

I love the format of the book which is broken up as a cook book would be; breads and spreads, breakfast, fruit, meats, etc., heck there is even a section on restaurant food. 

Jennifer gives you a title, lets say mustard for the sake of this here post. 

  • Next a little blurb about that food. 
  • Then the important part: Make it or Buy it where she will tell you make or buy. 
  • The next section is Hassle where she will let you know how much hassle is involved if any. 
  • A handy little cost comparison section tells you if it is fiscally responsible to even try 
  • Lastly a recipe and the steps involved.
The only thing missing are a few photos of her finished product especially the ones that were soooo not worth it.

I am totally making my own vanilla extract this year. I may even gift some.


When it happens to you, you will be surprised. That thing they say about how you knew all the time, but just weren't facing it? That might be the case, but nevertheless, there you will be.

Molly Ringwald mines the complexities of modern relationships in this gripping and nuanced collection of interlinked stories. Writing with a deep compassion for human imperfection, Ringwald follows a Los Angeles family and their friends and neighbors while they negotiate the hazardous terrain of everyday life—revealing the deceptions, heartbreak, and vulnerability familiar to us all.

In "The Harvest Moon," a stay-at-home mom grapples with age, infertility, and an increasingly distant husband. In "Ursa Minor," a former children's television star tries to rebuild his life after being hospitalized for "exhaustion." An elderly woman mourns the loss of her husband and her estranged relationship with her daughter in "The Little One." In "My Olivia," a single mother finds untapped reserves of strength to protect her flamboyant six-year-old son who wishes only to wear dresses and be addressed as Olivia. And in the devastating title story, a betrayed wife chronicles her pain and alienation, leading to an eviscerating denouement.

As the lives of these characters converge and diverge in unexpected ways, Ringwald reveals a startling eye for the universality of loss, love, and the search for connection. An unflinching yet poignant examination of the intricacies of the human heart, When It Happens to You is an auspicious literary debut.

The 411 by Maria:

Yes, it is that Molly Ringwald and she is a pretty good writer. The storyline is good and the characters are "real". I wanted to read because it was Molly and I was curious about what she would write. Thought perhaps it would be a light, airy story about 1 dimensional people with 1 dimensional lives but it was so much more than that!

I sincerely enjoyed how the short stories intertwined with each other.  Molly started out wanting to write very separate short stories but the characters suddenly connected and isn't that so like life. We are all 6 degrees of separation and connected in big or small ways. 

The first story is about Greta and Philip and their daughter Charlotte. They are facing a separation and change of location as many families do these days. We also meet single mother Miranda who is raising a little boy Oliver who insists he is a girl and wants to be called Olivia. Peter Layton is an actor who is fired from a children's show who finds himself drawn to Greta and lastly we have my favorite character the one I could completely identify with and broke my heart, Betty a lonely widow who interacts with Charlotte. Each story is heartfelt and structured beautifully. You will LOVE this book.

1 comment:

  1. Nicole8:02 PM

    Thanks for the reviews. I found them informative and useful. I will defintiely look for the recipe book.


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