Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kitchen Reader: A Homemade Life

This month's Kitchen Reader selection, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg was selected by Stone Soup's creator, Jules.  (Many, many thanks to Jules for such a wonderful read!)

Before I get to the book, though, I want you to think about the best box of chocolates you've ever eaten in your life.  Do you have it fixed in your mind?  Mine would be, hands down, a selection of Continental chocolates from Thorntons in England. 

After a year of living outside London, I was spoiled by the ability to pick up some Thorntons along with my rail ticket at the train station.  They are not available in the United States.  After I returned home, my mother began an annual tradition of having the largest box available shipped to me for Christmas (her theory in it being the largest box is this: if one was going to pay so much in transatlantic shipping, the value of chocolates purchased ought to exceed the cost of the shipping; I am a lucky girl). 

The conundrum I faced, upon receipt of these precious chocolate gems, was whether to immediately devour as many as my happy stomach could hold, or to ration and savor each one so that they would last as long as possible (once I stretched them all the way to March!).

How, you may well be asking by now, does a box of chocolates have anything to do with A Homemade Life?

Like this: Molly's book is like a box of Thorntons.  Her relatable style hooked me within the first few pages ("When I cook, there's often a lot of cursing . . .But I believe in paying attention to those meals . . . I believe in what they can show me about the place where I live, about the people around me, and about who I want to be.").  And I faced a conundrum: should I devour this book as quickly as possible, or should I limit myself to a chapter per day?  (In the end, as with the Thorntons, there was a little of both.)

Each of the chapters is based around a recipe (several of which I am dying to try) of the variety that is not too daunting to attempt in my very humble kitchen.  Ingredients and technique tips are interwoven with family stories, told with beautiful honesty and irresistible innocence.   A Homemade Life is quite simply witty, easy to read, philosophical, inspirational, and delicious. I cannot recommend it enough!

And the best part is, based on Molly's blog post earlier this month about finishing a manuscript, it sounds like we're in for another installment soon! I'm licking my lips already!

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.


  1. Wow, I can see how much you loved it! I also found her style very easy to read - I think that was partly because the chapters were so manageable. And I love Thorntons, too. :)

  2. I also enjoyed this book. And did you read that she's pregnant, too?! So many exciting things happening for her this year. !!!


  3. I love the comparison! Luckily, I could easily pace myself because I read this on my commute, which only lasts about 20 minutes. 4 stories and I was at work. 4 more stories in the evening, and I was at home and needed to make dinner. It was a lovely book!

  4. I also love the comparison! And like you, I sometimes read a chapter a day and sometimes sped through them. I really enjoyed her style and am also looking forward to another book.

  5. Oh my, that sounds like a very good book!

  6. So glad you enjoyed it Victoria!