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Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading with 125 Recipes Paperback – February 9, 2011
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About the Author
Janice Cole is a food editor, recipe developer, and author. She lives with her family and her chickens in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Alex Farnum is a food and lifestyle photographer based in San Francisco.
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1. I would like to have my own chicken coop (very soon).
2. Cookbooks are always a plus.
I will say that I wish she had written more memoir-ish stuff, hence the 4 stars instead of 5. It seems that the actual focus of the book is on recipes, rather than memoirs, and that's too bad. I love animals and hearing about farm life (if you agree you simply HAVE to read James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small series books). When I was a child, I visited my father's farm every summer and I hated it at the time. As a 6-year-old I saw it as a symbol of the divorce of my parents and I resented watching him with his new wife (who incidentally divorced him a number of years later). I surely wish now that I'd had a more open mind about the farm (not necessarily her), but I digress.
Janice Cole's stories are sweet, amusing and highly informative. For example she sends a gentle, but strong, message that chickens need protein and should not be vegetarian. Yay for her, for not succumbing to what society wants to hear. I love that!
The recipes are organized by what is in season. That is pure genius, in my opinion! It is always best to capitalize on what is plentiful. It's not only cheaper, but also healthier, because they're fresh. It's funny because I always categorized my recipes by name, or by type, or whatever (I use Living Cookbook 2013), but categorizing by season is simply brilliant! I may have to re-think my entire system.
I own the Kindle edition, and I have to admit that I haven't noticed any formatting issues, which is a blessing in and of itself. Cookbooks are frequently victimized by Kindle formatting, but as far as I can tell this one has remarkably escaped from the evil-formatting curse.
All in all I have to highly recommend this to anyone, if for no other reason than just simple fun and great food!
Don't get me wrong, this was great with regard to the process the author went through going from thinking about the chickens and then her steps to making them into her backyard pets who are gracious enough to provide her with delicious eggs. I felt more like I was reading some blog entries, in a good sort of way. This is not an exhaustive tome on how to start raising chickens, rather it is her documentation of the steps she took to become a backyard chicken keeper, and it was told in a very enjoyable and interesting fashion.
The entries about the chickens are interspersed among the recipes which are arranged by season. Everything from salads and soups to main courses and desserts. Styles from pure American to Japanese yakitori. I am not much of a cook and I have not even begun to start trying the recipes (check the other reviews, they are very favorable in that regard), but I do like the variety provided. Also, the recipes are for both egg dishes and chicken dishes, so though the author does not have any intention of 'processing' any of her own birds (pets more than anything), she does utilize and address the whole bird.
My usual recommendation is good here--check the Kindle sample or do the quick look to check and decide if the recipes are to your needs.
Also, I happened to read this as a Kindle version--on my phone app. For Kindle formatting it did seem quite fine...but for reading and working with a recipe I would strongly recommend using something with more screen real estate--either a tablet or a computer. I'm sure one could manage on a phone, but I like looking at more words on a page when following directions. Also, the book has some nice pictures that I don't think would render as well on an eInk Kindle -- I didn't open this on mine to check-- though the pictures are not 'necessary' they are quite lovely.
Dare I say I might even go old school on this one and think about the paper book--that would make for the best rendition considering this really is more a cookbook with entertaining blog entries rather than a memoir in the usual sense.
In spite of the fact I expected something a bit different given the inclusion of the words 'memoir' and 'suburban homesteading' I did find this to be a welcome addition to both my 'chicken stuff' and 'maybe I'll cook this' shelves.
1 star: I hated it
2 star: I don't like it
3 star: It's OK
4 star: I liked it
4.5 star: Non-existant Amazon grade <-------------- My opinion, a 4.5 star as the title was somewhat suggestive of other content--use the sample/quick look!
5 star: I loved it