Saturday, April 20, 2013


The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week) by Robin Mather has given me a lot to think about.
Mather who had lost her job and was going through a divorce all at the same time moves to a cabin she and her husband bought in rural Michigan. Not only must she watch her expenditures out of necessity, she is also trying to eat locally for a year, still creating meals she enjoys. Mather was used to good food, having access to a wide variety of things in her big city life. Now certain items are hard to find and Mather creatively finds ways to cook meals without sacrificing the quality she is used to.

Mather often turns to the recipes of her childhood, noting how many people no longer know how to use rare cuts of meat- we are more used to buying a package of ground beef from the supermarket than to get an entire side of beef from a butcher.  Canning food, appreciating those items she can grow, and also ones she is able to obtain from friends and local vendors allows Mather to eat well.

There were a few tips I felt I could use for my own cooking and plenty I could try in the future (did you know you can freeze egg whites in ice cube trays?). This spring (if the weather ever cooperates and it warms up) my sister-in-law and I will be planting our first garden at my parents' farm.  I haven't ever gardened and am not particularly good at growing things, but am looking forward to having some fresh vegetables this summer. My girls think this will be fun (they haven't weeded yet) as well, and are planning out what they want to see us grow.

Mather's book is full of recipes and I may have to check this book out again from the library since I read it while running on my treadmill - it was not ideal for perusing recipes at all.  My good friend Peaceful Reader  would love this book - I can imagine she and Mather would become  good friends.

1 comment:

Anne Bennett said...

I've often thought I'd like to go simpler in terms of my life including food. This sounds like a good one to help me along but it doesn't sound like a good treadmill book.