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The Hands-On Home: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking, Preserving & Natural Homekeeping Hardcover – September 29, 2015
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"A lifestyle guide for eco-conscious consumers."
"This title enables an easy start down the path to a homemade, fun, environmentally responsible lifestyle. Home cooks will discover fresh recipes and adopt techniques the author shared from her professional kitchen experience."
"The definitive homekeeping guide for the 21st century. Like a modern Mrs. Beeton’s, it’s the perfect book for anyone wanting to reduce their consumption, eat better, and live more sustainably and seasonably."
—Marisa McClellan, author of Food in Jars
"Seattleite Strauss offers tips for sustainability-minded modern homemaking. With recipes and instructions for 'urban homesteading,' this book explores reducing consumption and living healthfully."
—Alaska Beyond, Alaska Airlines magazine
"Strauss chronicles her homemade life in The Hands-On Home. The beginner-friendly book features 77 food recipes (think green herb lamb chops with preserved lemon oil) and 38 home and body-care recipes."
"Perfect for: People who love to make their own ingredients / Friends who are new to canning, preserving and homesteading / DIYers / Those passionate about nontoxic home and personal care, reducing consumerism and trying something new in the kitchen."
"Buy this book! Far beyond the realm of mere pickles and jam, Erica Strauss provides expert insight into everything we should have learned from our wise great-grandmothers. I am edified to learn that the sweat equity and creativity behind body soap, laundry soap, and a whole panoply of personal and home care products is just as important as the food we grow and eat. Season by season, room by room, Strauss is your skilled guide to a more holistic and healthy way to celebrate domestic bliss."
—Karen Solomon, author of Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It and Asian Pickles
"[Erica Strauss is] something like a one-woman Sunset magazine for home cooks and gardeners in the Seattle region. In this "seasonal guide to cooking, preserving, and natural home keeping" she relays recipes and advice for making your kitchen and home as DIY as you like, from making your own tortillas to making your own toothpaste. It’s an attractively photographed, empowering doorstop of a book, whether readers want to learn canning or want to change their lives."
—The Seattle Times
"Strauss offers a kitchen-smart and eco-conscious guide for economical and creative home care that anyone will love. A great gift for just-married's, new home owners, or the DIY enthusiast in your life."
—Amy Pennington, author of Urban Pantry and Apartment Gardening
"The book is separated by season, offering simple tips and tricks for the quiet, cozy activism of taking back your home, from seasonal recipes and preserving tips to guides to making your own Bronners-style Castile soap, DIY oven cleaner, and lip balm."
"Hands-On Home is the book that every household needs! It contains incredibly valuable wisdom that can help us minimize our consumerism and produce more of what we need, right in our own homes. Well-organized with simple tips and recipes, Erica's engaging and witty tone will surely make the experience fun for anyone who wants to have a healthier and more abundant life!"
—Jessi Bloom, author of Free-Range Chicken Gardens
"Get your hands on this detailed guide to turning your home into a center of production. Erica Strauss is one of the foremost practitioners of the new home economics."
—Erik Knutzen, co author with Kelly Coyne, of The Urban Homestead
"Reading Strauss’ handbook of modern homemaking is like having a very wise and funny friend at your elbow guiding the way towards a cleaner house, a healthier table, and a tastier pantry. With recipes for making everything from beeswax candles to divine homemade yogurt and tips on cleaning everything from soil stained gardener hands to a greasy stove, Strauss proves that the road to a happy life is paved by taking pleasure in making and using simple things."
—Willi Galloway, author of Grow Cook Eat
"Strauss makes a great argument against artificially colored, lavishly scented, and disturbingly toxic commercial lotions and potions. She advocates instead for some basic housekeeping tools and effective homemade cleaners. She also gives a thoughtful presentation on how to customize your daily housekeeping routines, your regular weekly maintenance, and your seasonal deep cleaning in a way that is workable for you. The Hands-On Home encourages DIY wannabes to give this stuff a try, and provides justification and good instructions for doing so."
"Erica Strauss will help you graduate from macaroni picture frames, and create natural lip balm, bath bombs, and body scrub."
"The Hands-On Home by Erica Strauss is a practical primer for modern, natural homesteading with advice on cooking, preserving, cleaning, and personal care. Organized by season, it offers a years’ worth of do-able projects for DIY living, plus enticing recipes like Swiss Chard Gratin and Short Ribs in Red Wine."
"Erica Strauss acts as your seasonal guide to cooking, cleaning and caring for yourself and your family in a more active way, and making your house truly feel like a home."
"This book tells you how to live a more beautiful, delicious, and clean life with items you probably already have...It's fun and approachable."
"[The] bath bombs are fun to make and the reward for your efforts is a long soak in a heavenly scented bath. Kids love them and if you can bear to give them away, they make great gifts."
—The Simple Things
"[The Hands-On Home] includes creative, money-saving tips covering just about every aspect of homekeeping."
"Pinterest-perfect craft[s] that are as useful as they are cute."
—Mother Earth News
“Chock-full of inspirational ideas for keeping a cozy, cheery home.”
—New Jersey Monthly
About the Author
Erica Strauss is the founder of Northwest Edible Life, one of the most popular and well-respected urban-homesteading and gardening blogs in the country. A professionally trained chef, she shares her fun and punchy perspective on garden-to-table eating and living a slower life though her writings. Erica was featured in Best Food Writing 2013 and regularly writes for national cooking and gardening magazines.
Top Customer Reviews
Her introduction to the book reads like a manifesto for urban homesteading, and brings a bit of balance and reason to what might otherwise be dismissed as "crunchy". I think that is the thing. Many today feel a disconnect and perhaps even emptiness when it comes to their style of life, with prepackaged meals, and jobs that take the home almost completely out of the equation of life, but then they don't quite want to, or perhaps can't even afford to give up their jobs, live off the grid, and off the land. This book is about not necessarily living simpler, but living fuller. It's about learning to do simple things that return a little pride to your home life, to help save you a little money here and there, and enjoy your life, while not giving up everything that drew you to live where you live now.
Instead of dousing our bathrooms in chemicals, Erica gives step-by-step instructions for making “potty powder” and “acidic bathroom cleaner.” Instead of buying sugary jam from the grocery store, she teachers readers to can their own preserves without using pectin.
Well, Erica would have to pry the pectin box away from my cold, dead hands, but I’m willing to give her other ideas a try. So are her legions of fans who adore her well-known site: Northwest Edible Life.
Sasquatch Books in Seattle sent me a free, advanced copy of The Hands-On Home this summer in exchange for my honest opinions and review. For me as a homemaker, it was love at first sight. The construction of the book is everything I expect from Sasquatch: fine quality pages, beautiful illustrations, and a style that walks the fine line between folksy and hip. The Hands-On Home is also enormous. It’s almost 400 pages long and feels like Joy of Cooking’s younger, prettier sister.
But don’t let the girth put you off, because The Hands-On Home is divided into easy-to-manage sections by season. It’s really like five books in one. First comes the part about basic, year-round instructions. Next comes spring, summer, fall and winter. In each of the seasonal sections there are edible recipes as well as ideas for home and personal care.
Northwest Edible Life fans might be asking themselves, “Do I really need to buy this book? Can’t I find these recipes on Erica’s website?Read more ›
When she announced she was going to be writing a book I was super excited. I knew she would include some of the recipes from her blog, and she did, but there are a ton more in this book that are new, and sound amazing. Erica knows what she is doing and what she is talking about when it comes to cooking and preserving. As a former kitchen professional myself, I can spot a newb a mile away. Erica is for REAL. I have personally made her easy mayo three times in the last three weeks, (divine) I have made the Green Herb and Peanut Pork Meatballs (SO GOOD), and the Grilled Strip Steak with Chimichurri. Wow, chimichurri, why has it taken so long for you to come into my life?! I have also made the Lacto-Fermented Pico de Gallo, also very good, and very easy recipe.
But this book is about more than cooking, it has a ton of information and recipes for personal and home care products. I recently got "into" essential oils, and have always hated using harsh chemical cleaners. I love how Erica explained the science behind what type of cleaner you want for what mess you are cleaning, getting into the ph and acid qualities. LOVED IT. I love how it just all makes sense. I am going to be making up bottles of my own cleaners, as well as shampoo, etc. Next up will be Preserved Lemons so I can make the Moroccan Lamb dish. Heck yeah.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You really have to be a Hands on Person to appreciate this book, and I am so no regrets. Hopefully others will enjoy making their homes a most wonderful place to be. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Phyllis
Bought this book as a gift for a friend, and almost kept it for me instead! So I haven't read through the whole thing, but it's so beautifully and simply organized, that is makes... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I really enjoy this book and have found it incredibly helpful. All of the recipes I've made so far have worked out great. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lissa
The numerous spelling and grammatical errors in this book detract from whatever useful information it may contain. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Karee