This Spring sees the fruition of a project very close to my own heart: the launch of the Homemade Living series. Two years ago, a morsel of an idea for a book series sprung forth, fed by the growing interest in back-to-basics living and the popularity of the slow food / locavore movement, community engagement and self-reliance. Paired with Ashley English, a holistic nutritionist and skilled writer and bibliophile who was serendipitously leaving her office job to full embrace a homesteading lifestyle, the idea immediately took off. As an Editor I can say it’s one of the things I am proudest of in my long history in publishing.
Finally, here’s a series of books for those of us who have wanted to try our hand at back-to-basics skills but have been too intimidated by the massive tomes on the market and disappointed by the others that lack the practical, necessary hold-your-hand basics.
Haven’t you heard? Just look at the flood of media coverage from outlets including The New York Times, NPR, Epicurious, and BoingBoing, and you’ll soon discover that chickens are making themselves at home in neighborhoods all across the country, embraced and lauded as good pets and a source for sustainable, nutritious food.
Learn how to select the right breed for your situation and how to acquire chicks or chickens. Find out everything you need to know about housing, feeding, and caring for your flock. Learn how to hatch eggs yourself and raise the resulting chicks to adulthood. Get the lowdown on eggs, from laying and handling to storing and eating them. Get nine tested egg-centric recipes (with variations) that run from breakfast through dinner, all captured in beautiful, mouth-watering photographs.
Two step-by-step housing projects are included (a simple nesting box and wildly creative mobile chicken ‘tractor’, complete with run, ladder, nesting box and roost) with full illustrations and numerous photos. Helpful reference charts on breed selection, daily/weekly/monthly/annual care, many beautiful photos, and so much more make this THE helpful, I’m-right-there-with-you book on the subject.
Yes, you can can! This book guides you through all of the fundamentals while also explaining to you the why’s and how’s involved. Learn the tools of the trade, so you can have your kitchen stocked and ready. Get the nitty-gritty on important safety tips. Follow carefully researched Basics on hot water bath processing and pressure canning, complete with step-by-step photos. Find out the Science of Salt and Sugar and why they’re so crucial. Get tips for how to select the best possible ingredients, favoring seasonal, organic and local options when possible.
Learn the essentials of three topic-specific primers: Pickles, Relishes & Chutneys; Jams, Jellies, Butters & Curds; Whole Fruits & Veggies. Each primer offers need-to-know information, troubleshooting tips and at least two “Canning Classic” recipes with variation ideas. Then explore the author’s unique spin on canning and preserving with her own roster of kitchen-tested seasonal recipes. Each season offers recipes for a curd or butter, chutney, jam or jelly, sauce, and a pickle or relish.