- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (March 23, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416551069
- ISBN-13: 978-1416551065
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 253 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.24 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table Paperback – March 23, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
When Molly Wizenberg's father died of cancer, everyone told her to go easy on herself, to hold off on making any major decisions for a while. But when she tried going back to her apartment in Seattle and returning to graduate school, she knew it wasn't possible to resume life as though nothing had happened. So she went to Paris, a city that held vivid memories of a childhood trip with her father, of early morning walks on the cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter and the taste of her first pain au chocolat. She was supposed to be doing research for her dissertation, but more often, she found herself peering through the windows of chocolate shops, trekking across town to try a new pâtisserie, or tasting cheeses at outdoor markets, until one evening when she sat in the Luxembourg Gardens reading cookbooks until it was too dark to see, she realized that her heart was not in her studies but in the kitchen.
At first, it wasn't clear where this epiphany might lead. Like her long letters home describing the details of every meal and market, Molly's blog Orangette started out merely as a pleasant pastime. But it wasn't long before her writing and recipes developed an international following. Every week, devoted readers logged on to find out what Molly was cooking, eating, reading, and thinking, and it seemed she had finally found her passion. But the story wasn't over: one reader in particular, a curly-haired, food-loving composer from New York, found himself enchanted by the redhead in Seattle, and their email correspondence blossomed into a long-distance romance.
In A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, Molly Wizenberg recounts a life with the kitchen at its center. From her mother's pound cake, a staple of summer picnics during her childhood in Oklahoma, to the eggs she cooked for her father during the weeks before his death, food and memories are intimately entwined. You won't be able to decide whether to curl up and sink into the story or to head straight to the market to fill your basket with ingredients for Cider-Glazed Salmon and Pistachio Cake with Honeyed Apricots.
Explore the reading group guide for A Homemade Life.
A Conversation with Author Molly Wizenberg
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your life since publishing A Homemade Life? Have there been any special projects, meals, or recipes? Does Seattle still feel like home for both you and Brandon?
A: It's been busy around here, to say the least! In August of 2009, Brandon and I opened a restaurant. It's called Delancey, and it's in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. It's a Brooklynstyle wood-fired pizzeria, inspired by all the great pies that Brandon grew up eating in New York and New Jersey. A restaurant is probably the last thing that anyone expected of us, given that Brandon is a musician by training, and that I've written quite a bit about how much I dislike (!) working in a restaurant kitchen, but what can you do? He makes a killer pizza. I'm so proud of him.
Q: Do you still enjoy writing your blog, Orangette? Has it changed since you began it in 2004?
A: I love writing for the blog. Probably more than ever, actually. The blog is where I can be the most spontaneous in my writing, where I can really play. It's also an incredible community. I'm continually blown away by the conversations that crop up in comments, by the people that I've met, by the way it has completely reshaped my life over the past six years. It sounds cheesy, but I mean every word.
Q: At your book events or through your blog, do readers ever share their own food stories with you? Does one of these stand out in particular?
A: Absolutely. Talking with readers and hearing their stories has been my favorite part of book events. When I write, I feel as though I'm having a conversation with my readers--only, the thing is, I never actually get to see their faces or hear their voices. Book events give me that chance, and I'm so grateful for it. The fact that food gives us a common ground to meet on, that it gives us something to share--that's what it's all about. Now I'm really sounding cheesy.
Q: Does Paris continue to be a special place for you? Have you been back since the publication of your book?
A: Paris will always be a special place for me. I haven't been back since the book came out--this year was so busy!--but Brandon and I are hoping to steal away for a trip sometime in 2010. I miss it.
Q: List three items that are in your refrigerator right now, and what significance they have for you.
A: Peanut butter--it's not glamorous, but I could eat it every day. I'm pretty sure my body is at least 75 percent peanut butter.
Maple syrup--this particular jug of syrup was given to me by one of my readers. It came from her trees in upstate New York, and it's fantastic. I don't think there could possibly be a better present than maple syrup from your very own trees.
Apples from the farmers' market--one of the best parts of living in Washington! There's one stand in particular that has lots of heirloom apples, and they have the best names. Right now, I've got a couple of Black Twigs, one Gold Rush, and a couple of Waltanas.
Q: In A Homemade Life you write about both of your parents, but there seem to be more stories about your father and his outsized personality. Is there a reason for this?
A: I needed to write about my father. There were so many details and moments and stories that made up who he was to me, and I didn't want to forget. I needed to write about him to assure myself that I would remember. But I also needed to write about him so that I could start to let go of some of the harder moments of his illness and his death. In putting them down on paper, I got to take them out of my head and store them somewhere else. I didn't know it until I was deep into the book, but I still had a lot of grieving to do, and writing helped me to do it.
Q: Has your relationship with your mother changed in the years since the death of your father?
A: We were always close, and we still are. But we've become more intentional about spending time together. It's not easy, since we live far apart, but every year, the two of us go away together, just for a few days, and do lots of eating and drinking and catching up.
Q: From potato salad to Christmas cookies to Hoosier Pie, in the book you describe many recipes that are traditions in your family. Have you and Brandon created any new traditional recipes?
A: We 're still pretty fixated on Hoosier Pie, to tell you the truth! Old traditions die hard--or however the saying goes. But we're making new ones, too. Slowly but surely I've taken to making the same chocolate layer cake for our birthdays every year, and I get irrationally excited about it. I'm still working on the frosting, though. Maybe this will be my lucky year.
Q: What is your opinion of the slow food movement in this country? Do you believe it is on the rise? How do you think the current economy has or will affect it?
A: Anything that encourages people to eat more real food and less processed food, to find pleasure in cooking and sharing food, is a great thing.
Q: What are you working on now? Do you have plans to write another book?
A: Well, I'm into my third year of writing a monthly column for Bon Appétit and my sixth year at Orangette, both of which keep me busy! I'm also the de facto manager / wineglass polisher / baseboard scrubber / errand runner / CFO of Delancey, and that keeps me even busier. (Or crazier, depending on your point of view.) But I do want to write another book, and getting a start on that is my goal for 2010. Fingers crossed.
About the Author
Molly Wizenberg, winner of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award, is the voice behind Orangette, named the best food blog in the world by the London Times. Her first book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, was a New York Times bestseller, and her work has appeared in Bon Appétit, The Washington Post, The Art of Eating, and The Guardian, and on Saveur.com and Gourmet.com. She also cohosts the hit podcast Spilled Milk. She lives in Seattle with her husband Brandon Pettit, their daughter June, and two dogs named Jack and Alice. She and Brandon own and run the restaurants Delancey and Essex.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
However, the book disappointed me on one count--the literary. Although Wizenberg is an entertaining writer, funny, candid, and relatable, the short texts that precede each recipe read more like annotations than a book proper (even though this is a memoir with a clear progression of events and a sequential flow). This is not a bad thing per se, especially if what you want is something akin to the blog experience (and she really is an outstanding blogger). However, I prefer more "traditional" food literature, such as Ruth Reichl, M.F.K. Fisher and James Beard--that is, literature about food, and not annotated recipes. So I didn't find her book as gripping or evocative as those by these authors. Still, I laughed, cried, and salivated plenty, and I guess that's already a lot you can say about a cookbook.
The book A Homemade Life is an exception.
Author Molly Wizenberg pulls off writing a blog-style cookbook with aplomb. Her writing will pull you in as you want to learn about her family: Her mother who was petite and was raised in a perfectly sized house with a flagstone sidewalk; her father who made the best French Toast or her gay Uncle Jerry who once took Molly to a knick-knack store called the the Sweet Potato. You will also learn about how her family dealt with close deaths of relatives and how food played such an important part of their lives.
In between the family history you will find recipes. Lots of good sounding recipes. Recipes family-tested and the kind you would want to serve at your family table.
Some of the recipes you will find in her cookbook include:
Burg's Potato Salad
Friesse with Ham, Eggs, and Mustard Vinaigrette
Coeur a La Creme with Raspberry Puree (thank you for this recipe as I still love white chocolate)
Wizenberg relates so beautifully how food unites us as a culture through her own personal experiences: the death of her father, her decision to forego a career in academia to become a food writer and a blossoming romance with a hansome foodie. Hers is a tale of love and nurturing by way of the kitchen. With a knack for storytelling and an incredible talent for creating beautiful, homespun recipes that beg to be shared with loved ones, "A Homemade Life" (and Wizenberg's hugely successful blog, [...]), have lifted me out of my own cooking slump, a gentle reminder in increasingly complicated times that good food is worth the time to make and sharing it with friends and family is one of life's greatest pleasures. I've tried three recipes in 24 hours and it is no exaggeration to say that our little family of three feels transformed. Highly recommended.
If you are looking for an actual cookbook, keep looking. This is not it. You will be disappointed. However, this is a fun collection of family stories with some favorite recipes thrown in.
One big improvement that I would like to see, is have the recipes listed in the table of contents. I'm writing them in as I go along.