Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should (and Shouldn’t!) Cook from Scratch to Save Time and Money was offered to me for review as it has just recently been released in paperback. I couldn’t say “YES!” to accepting this book fast enough. I’d seen it on bookstore bookshelves but didn’t quite know what to make of it. Then several friends recommended it to me and I was growing curiouser and curiouser. When it arrived in my mailbox, I devoured it. (Pardon the bad pun!)
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter is more than just a practical how-to guide when it comes to deciding what you should create in your own kitchen verses what you should buy. Jennifer Reese is a hilarious author and I chuckled my way through the read as she described her enthusiasm over becoming a beekeeper or obsession with her chickens. She pokes fun at herself – as well as other consumers – as she talks about making her own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I loved her wit which is sprinkled merrily about the book.
What Reese decided to do was to compare costs between homemade and store bought items. She kept track of her experiment and this book gives the readers a rough idea of whether it is in their best interest to learn how to make any variety of things – from bagels and hot dogs! For each item she documents the hassle involved in making any given item, to the cost difference between homemade and store bought. She also provides the recipes that she found most successful in her endeavors. And in between recipes we are treated to her commentary on country life in the suburbs or a tale of how her chickens were attacked by neighborhood dogs. All in all, I was fascinated and entertained by this “documentary”, if you will, of Reese’s experiments in the kitchen.
As Christmas is coming up, I want to make mention of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter being a great gift for the foodie on your list. I have someone in particular that I intend to gift with a copy of this book. It’s more than your average cookbook but a look back in time to see what life was like for people who had to make anything they desired to eat. Fun book, fun thoughts and I’m highly recommending this one.
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Thanks to Free Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) for sending a copy of this book my direction in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Carrie occasionally blogs about food and gardening adventures along with the books she reads to learn about both over at Reading to Know.