A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg

My friend Lindsey lent me this book ages ago, insisting that I would love it.  I have to say that I was not initially very excited about the prospect of reading A Homemade Life.  The cover looks fairly boring – a bit old-fashioned – and I thought for sure that it would be a memoir of a grandmother and the cookies she made, socks she darned, and curtains she made over the years.  So I was not falling over myself to read it, however Lindsey was insistent that I do.  I have never been more wrong about a book and have perhaps learned a wee lesson about judging books by their covers (which I shamelessly do, all the time).  As it turns out, Molly is about my age and was struggling to be inspired by her PhD when she decided to quit it all and instead combine her two loves – writing and food – and start a food blog (check it out and you can see all the food writing awards she’s won).  A Homemade Life actually emerged after the success of her blog and she is now working on finishing a  manuscript for her second book.  In the meantime she met her now husband through her blog – he moved from NYC to Seattle to be with her and now owns and operates his own craft pizza restaurant. Obviously Lindsey and I are planning a trip there as soon as possible.  So not exactly being 100% thrilled with my PhD I was immediately drawn to Molly’s story  – I wasted a good two days reading the past 6 years of her blog archive.  Both in her book and on her blog, she writes about food as if the ingredients were protagonists in a story.  Whether it’s fennel, prunes, pistachios, chocolate….they all relate to some part of her life and a story emerges when she describes what inspired the recipe or where she first ate the dish.  I laughed and I sobbed – when she describes her dad’s death from aggressive cancer I felt like I knew him personally because of how prominently he featured in Molly’s life throughout the book and how his love of food was clearly an inspiration to her. Also, did I mention that Molly loves desserts as much as I do?  I’d say about 2/3 of a Homemade Life is dessert recipes and stories.  If the book mainly featured pancetta recipes I am fairly sure I would not have become so obsessed with it.  Before giving the book back to Lindsey I photocopied about 15 of my favourite recipes from it, thinking I could probably find the others on her blog.  Here are two that I’ve tried so far and are both fabulous and easy:

Fennel Salad with Asian Pear and Parmesan

French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon

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4 thoughts on “A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg

  1. […] another one from Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life.  I suspect I will be eating this salad a lot throughout the summer – it’s crisp, […]

  2. […] is a recipe that comes directly from Molly Wizenberg’s wonderful book A Homemade Life.  She loves lemon and dessert just about as much as I do and I am extremely grateful for it.  I […]

  3. Alana says:

    I loved this book when I read it a few years ago! When I get back home for good, we need to start a cooking club (with a main focus on desserts). Best idea ever, right? (Oh, and Lindsey MUST join since she and I need to become foodie friends!)

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