A few caveats before we get started, Reese writes in the introduction. First, although, like most people, I think about money, I’ve always been able to clothe my children and pay the mortgage and if I couldn’t whether I bought or made creme fraiche–or bread, to use a less absurd example–would make no difference. It is frivolous and deluded to think it would. I just wanted to address and answer some middle-class home economics questions that nagged my Michael Pollan-reading, price-checking, overthinking self. This is not a book about how to scrape by on a budget and it is not a book about how to go off the grid.
Well, thank god for that. As faithful followers of my Goodreads reviews well know, I, too, read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and when I finished it I said out loud, “Well, what the hell can I eat then?”
Here instead is an examination of the art of the possible in the kitchen, with recipes graded by three scales: Make it or buy it?, Hassle, and Cost comparison. She starts with peanut butter (Make it or buy it?: Make it.) and goes on to truffles (Hassle: Actually, yes. These are a hassle.) to mozzarella (Cost comparison: If you have a good source for the proper milk (like a couple of goats) this is a bargain…).
Smart and funny, and worth reading for the chapter on raising chickens alone. I’m going to try her bread recipe.