The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home: The Happy Luddite’s Guide to Domestic Self-Sufficiency

Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger Henderson. Perigee, $23 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-53777-6
Albala and Henderson follow up their The Lost Art of Real Cooking with an utterly charming collection of recipes and how-tos for the 21st-century hipster homemaker. Like postmodern Elizabeth Davids, they augment their own recipes with obscure, intriguing ones from earlier centuries, such as Apicius’s fourth-century Apricot Minutal, which stews up the fruit with spices and garum, an ancient fish sauce. The book consists mostly of recipes—albeit for unusual, slow-food, and occasionally bizarre dishes such as injera (Ethiopian sourdough pancakes), liverwurst, thousand-year-old eggs (“among the scariest things I have ever tried at home”), kombucha, and butter sauce with ambergris (yes, the “waxy glob that forms in the intestines of sperm whales, which they barf up”)—but, like a quirky updated 1896 Fannie Farmer cookbook, it also includes eccentric but usable household hints and instructions, from soap-making to pounding a ring out of an old silver quarter (using an expedited method invented by Henderson’s father). A fun gift for any curious reader, the book is a must-have for makers and urban homesteaders. (Oct. 2)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 10/02/2012
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Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-101-61183-8
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