A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

Author: Molly Wizenberg

Publisher: Simon and Schuster, 2009

Genre: Non-Fiction / Food Writing

Last Spring I discovered a great blog written by a young woman who talks about her life and the food she likes to prepare. In particular, I like the way she talks about her family, friends, and everyday life. In addition to very good writing, her recipes and photographs are excellent.

The blog is Orangette and the blogger is Molly Wisenberg. In addition to her blog and cooking, Molly has opened a restaurant in Seattle and written a book. Delancey is her restaurant and A Homemade Life is her book. I couldn’t get to the restaurant, but at least I could read her book.

The book is a memoir centered around food and the recipes she loves. In each chapter Molly shares memories of the people and events in her life and how all of that relates to food. Then she shares the recipe and how it is made.

Her style of writing is what captured me. In both the recipes and her memories she’s casual, as if she’s talking to a friend. It reminded me of the writings of Laurie Colwin. I especially like this style when it comes to her recipes. It makes following the preparation of the dish very easy.

The memories Molly shares of her father, who was obviously a tremendous influence in her life, will endear her to you. She tells of the various special dishes he made such as his potato salad and french toast. Molly shares the making of eggs for him as he was dying. She also includes some of her mom’s spectacular desserts.

As the book progresses, Molly shares her own experiences both in and out of the kitchen. I enjoyed her trip to Paris and hearing about the romance between she and her husband. (She met him through her blog.)

Each of Molly’s experiences in the book ย is linked to food, including the chocolate cake she served at her wedding. None of the recipes are complicated or beyond the ability of the average cook. As I read each chapter, I wanted to try out each recipe. You will probably want to do the same.

There are many layers to this book. It’s deep. It was one of the first books I downloaded on my Kindle when I bought it last summer. I’ve been reading a few chapters every week. It’s pure enjoyment for a foodie like me. I hope you’ll give it a try. If you’ve already read A Homemade Life, tell me your impression.

For more information:

Molly’s blog: Orangette

Book Club guide and questions: here.

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table is available at Amazon.

Talking about food is a regular feature on my blog. I love to talk about food almost as much as I love to eat it. Other bloggers like to talk about food too. You can read their food posts by clicking over to Beth Fish Reads and her Weekend Cooking feature.

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23 Responses to A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

  1. JoAnn says:

    This was our summer book club selection and we all loved it. The meeting was a potluck dinner – everyone brought a recipe from the book…. delicious! So glad you enjoyed it, too.

  2. I won this book not too long ago and I’ve been anxious to read it. It sounds like just the kind of book I love. I’m impressed that she met her husband through her blog.

  3. I love these kinds of books! Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  4. Wow, doesn’t JoAnn’s book group meeting w/potluck from the book’s recipes sound fun?!? Margot, I haven’t read this memoir, but I’ll seek it out; so many of our stories do revolve around food, don’t they!?

  5. Patti Smith says:

    I’m adding this one to my TBR list…sounds right up my alley. Another selection similar to this one is My Life from Scratch by Gesine Bullock-Prado. Gesine gave up the hoopla of Hollywood movie making when her mother died. She now blogs and bakes from a small town bakery in Vermont. The story of her family, their German descent, her mother and a life of baking is a comfortable read full of family, food and peace and quiet. (She is Sandra’s sister but this book is not about Sandra nor is she mentioned that I can remember; I think the sisters are actually pretty protective of each other).

  6. kaye says:

    I’ve seen this book on several book blogs and tagged it for reading last year. Your review was very well done and reminds me to move it up on the reading schedule. This one might even qualify for your foodie challenge . . . does it?

  7. This book is new to me and I’m going to add it to my bookshelf. I’m curious to take a peek at the book Patti suggested as well. Thanks book lovers!

  8. Beth F says:

    I love the cover of this book and I have a copy. Oh why, oh why haven’t I read it? You make me want to dive right in.

  9. This sounds great! Thanks! I’ve requested it from the library. And Life from Scratch sounds wonderful, too!

  10. Nan says:

    How very wonderful this sounds. I’m going to buy it. Thanks, Margot. I’ve heard of the blog but haven’t ever read it. And to Patti S. thanks for the mention of that title. I want to read it as well.

  11. caite says:

    I have to agree that it sounds wonderful.
    have to check out her blog too…

  12. Amy says:

    I loved this book! I had discovered her blog and found her book one day at a bookstore and just had to buy it. I’m so glad I did!

  13. candice says:

    Great review, you talk about it beautifully and do the book justice. I love how she writes too. It is honest, fresh, kind, funny, sentimental without ever being sappy and a real pleasure to read for a lover of food, family and words. I think I need to find a used copy to call my own…

  14. Esme says:

    I just recommended this book to a friend-I do not remember the Paris part-I have the book on my shelf-maybe I need to re-read it.

  15. Chinoiseries says:

    I’ve been on Orangette’s blog before, not sure why I stopped visiting. Her blog posts really are wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for featuring this book, it will go on my tbr list.

  16. Staci says:

    I read and totally loved it. Made me want to get on a plane and eat at her new restaurant!!!!

  17. jehara says:

    This sounds like something I would enjoy. I have a soft spot for foodie memoirs.

  18. Martha says:

    I love Orangette and can’t wait to read this. Besides I just love about a good food memoir. I hope to make it to Seattle sometime to go to Delancey.

  19. Belle says:

    I’m adding this one to my to-buy list right now, Margot. It sounds wonderful, exactly the kind of foodie book I love.

  20. boliyou says:

    I’ve added this to my TBR list. Thanks for the tip!

  21. stacybuckeye says:

    It’s very cool that she met her husband through the blog. I blame the romantic in me for that being the most intriguing part ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. hip chick says:

    This sounds like a wonderful book. I think I may pick it up.

  23. leslie says:

    the book has a beautiful cover, and you sell me on the personality therein. I know a few people who would love this read, and I look forward to borrowing it from there collection.

    thanks for the review and the links.


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