Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

By Jennifer Reese

  • Release Date: 2011-10-18
  • Genre: Methods
Score: 3.5
From 38 Ratings
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When Jennifer Reese lost her job, she was overcome by an impulse common among the recently unemployed: to economize by doing for herself what she had previously paid for. She had never before considered making her own peanut butter and pita bread, let alone curing her own prosciutto or raising turkeys. And though it sounded logical that “doing it yourself” would cost less, she had her doubts. So Reese began a series of kitchen-related experiments, taking into account the competing demands of everyday contemporary American family life as she answers some timely questions: When is homemade better? Cheaper? Are backyard eggs a more ethical choice than store-bought? Will grinding and stuffing your own sausage ruin your week? Is it possible to make an edible maraschino cherry? Some of Reese’s discoveries will surprise you: Although you should make your hot dog buns, guacamole, and yogurt, you should probably buy your hamburger buns, potato chips, and rice pudding. Tired? Buy your mayonnaise. Inspired? Make it.

With its fresh voice and delightful humor, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter gives 120 recipes with eminently practical yet deliciously fun “Make or buy” recommendations. Reese is relentlessly entertaining as she relates her food and animal husbandry adventures, which amuse and perplex as well as nourish and sustain her family. Her tales include living with a backyard full of cheerful chickens, muttering ducks, and adorable baby goats; countertops laden with lacto-fermenting pickles; and closets full of mellowing cheeses. Here’s the full picture of what is involved in a truly homemade life—with the good news that you shouldn’t try to make everything yourself—and how to get the most out of your time in the kitchen.


  • Enjoyable and entertaining read

    By Me_in_Ca
    While I will flip thru cookbooks all day to the annoyance of my husband, I don't often read a book like this from start to finish. And never finish it in about 24 hours. I like to cook and make things from scratch and have been making my own bread for about 2 months so the title intrigued me. I downloaded the sample and then had to buy the book. Love her story-telling...makes for an easy read. Bookmarked a bunch of pages for recipes I can't wait to try myself. Definitely worth the read. I'll have to check out the blog next. :)
  • Real recipes, fun to read

    By Cgjfhvxhnjvcv
    Highly recommended if you have ever wondered about homemade vs store bought (price, hassle, taste). My Greek yogurt and the ginger ale turned out great! Loved the backyard chicken story.
  • Enjoyably educational

    By RoadWarriorPrincess
    I really enjoyed this chronicle of one woman's efforts to balance responsible consumerism, back-to-the-land ethics with practically and Northern California yuppy tastes. And she shares her story with a balanced recipe of self-deprecating insights on her successes, failures, and compromises told with gentle humor and an intelligent, readable style. If you enjoyed Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolvers' food adventures, this is right up your row (or aisle, depending if you're gardening or shopping). I've never bought a cookbook electronically - I'm curious to see if I adapt from paper to iPad when cooking. But really, this is so much more than a cookbook; it's a food adventure and a journey of exploration, from raising livestock to homemade yogurt, canadian bacon, bagels and more? And since it inspires adventure, I'll take my cues and give a new cookbook form, and some of the recipes, a try. But I do wish the editors would be a bit more careful - found at least one misspelling ("grocery" in the Bahn Me recipe) - small point, I know. But for the cost of an ebook I'd like it to be correct.