A Homemade Life —MAV


The first time I met Molly Wizenberg we shared donuts in Seattle, Washington in 2005; the second time, wood-fired pizza in Portland, Maine in 2008. The third time (which has yet to actually happen, mind you), she will cook for me.

In my head I can see Molly gabbing and opening a bottle of wine while Brandon, her husband, whom I have never actually met, does the prep-work. They are making me the recipes on pages 232 and 246 with page 44 for dessert. If you have Molly’s book A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Table then you can check my recipe choices and see what I have in mind and if you don’t have the book you should go out and find a copy just as soon as you can. This new book is just right for anyone who loves family and loves food.

Molly is a born raconteur and while I enjoyed so many aspects of her book (side-note: the book had me laughing out loud many times), I really appreciated how she narrates her stories and recipes straight to my generation of foodies and cooks. So many of the cookbooks and food magazines I have on hand seem to be geared toward a more seasoned cook. I can’t explain exactly what I mean but it’s there… I can feel it. They somehow make me think I don’t quite have enough experience in the world to be baking that fancy so-and-so cake or such-and-so soufflé. But A Homemade Life is full of recipes and insights that encourage me to feel inspired and curious instead of intimidated. Reading Molly’s stories and ideas about food make me want to dash to the kitchen and play!

So that is just what I did. I’ve already soiled pages 88-89 with egg white while making that cake this past Sunday evening. I made a wonderful dinner of page 246 on Wednesday evening and can’t wait to revisit that recipe for a dinner party. And yesterday I dove head-first into the recipe on page 49.

Okay. I’ll tell you what it is:

Stewed Prunes With Citrus And Cinnamon

It’s a gorgeous dish! And so so simple. I am enjoying it, as Molly suggests, with my Greek yogurt right now.

And of course while I was waiting for the Prunes to finish I had to whip up a batch of Lisa’s scones (page 174) which, even though I made up my own slight variation in terms of contents (Molly, unlike you I have such a hard time following a recipe exactly!), came out perfectly and deliciously.

A Homemade Life is a treasure-trove peppered with inspiration on every page you turn. It’s a book I will remember fondly for its bright storytelling and reference often for its simple and distinctive recipes. Cheers to Molly!

—MAV