Chow Bella Book Club Review and Online Discussion: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

Jennifer Woods
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Welcome to the second meeting of the Chow Bella Book Club! How nice to have you here.

I told you I was going to make orangettes for our visit tonight. I made good on my promise. I have them right here (I would have posted a pic but they don't look nearly as delightful as they taste). I wish I could share mine with you through the computer.

First, a little housekeeping. If you missed any early posts on this - like the bio of Molly Wizenberg or the recipe for orangettes, or if you are still reading the book, go ahead and jump in wherever you are. If you still need the book, head on over to the Changing Hands Bookstore/Chow Bella Book Club site for a link to a 20% off discount.

We'll get the meeting started after the jump. Spoiler alert!

I just finished A Homemade Life this weekend. I have had the book since we announced it a month ago and while it's a quick read, I knew I could take my time taking a nibble hear and there or sit down to a long meal and really lean in to listen to Wizenberg's easy but interesting and carefully chosen words. To get our conversation going, here's a bit of what I thought about the book.

I loved getting to know more about how Wizenberg (or Molly as I call her, since I feel like we're friends, now) views life, love and loss all through food. She loves food in such a way that she cannot separate it from her everyday life - no matter how grand or ordinary her day might be. I know how that is.

What's more, her recipes aren't long lists of difficult to find ingredients with complicated rules to follow - though she does have a hard time in her own kitchen veering from the recipes as written. Her recipes walk on the sweet side (and there's nothing wrong with that) with special tricks that make the dishes unique and so good they make you forget your words.

I loved reading how she instructs us not just to heat up but to warm the olive oil in a hot pan. She's a gentle soul who takes the time to carefully clean and place the dry basil leaves into a baggie to bruise them with a rolling pin before chucking it and all the rest of the ingredients into a food processor for pesto. What a fantastic trick that will surely elevate my pestos.

I cried hard when her father passed away and my head bounced in agreement that your wedding day shouldn't be the best day of your life.

I have already made the Ed Fretwell Italian Vegetable Soup, Custard-Filled Corn Bread and plan to make The Winning Hearts and Minds Chocolate Cake. (She sort of requires it of the readers, don't you think?)

What I want to know is...What do you think of the book?

Below you'll see a spot for comments. That's what we'll use to have our book club "meeting" tonight.

Who'll be the first to chime in?

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter.

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