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A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
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A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  16,038 ratings  ·  1,881 reviews
• An irresistible story of cooking that goes beyond the kitchen: Molly Wizenberg shares stories of an everyday life and a way of eating that is inspiring, playful, and mindful. From her father’s French toast to her husband Brandon’s pickles to her chocolate wedding cakes, A Homemade Life is a story about the lessons we can learn in the kitchen: who we are, who we love, and ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Simon Schuster (first published March 3rd 2009)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  16,038 ratings  ·  1,881 reviews


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Heidi
Mar 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while I come across someone who makes me wonder. What I was doing when God was handing out talent? No, really. WHAT was I doing? Begging some mid-level angel to send me to a pastry-making family in Paris while rocket-science intellect and supermodel looks were being passed out like Halloween candy two lines down?

One thing’s certain: I was not in line with author Molly Wizenberg. Actually, I’m not sure anyone was in line with her that fateful pre-mortal day. She reminds me of th
...more
Rebecca
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: Em
(4.5) Foodoir extraordinaire! Along with Ruth Reichl’s Comfort Me with Apples, this tops my foodie reading of the year. I liked it even better than Delancey, which is a terrific book about opening a pizza restaurant in Seattle with her husband. Here we get the prequel: the death of her father Burg from cancer, time spent living in Paris, building a new life in Seattle, starting her now-famous food blog (Orangette), and meeting her husband Brandon through it. Each brief autobiographical essay is ...more
Anne
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm sincerely baffled by the glowing reviews and book jacket blurbs from talented, capable writers and chefs like David Leibovitz. This book is AWFUL. The writing is trite and painfully unedited; Molly Wizenburg writes as if she's 60 and writing a touching memoir, when she in fact is oversharing about her twenties only a couple years later. The whole thing was overly precious and read like the diary of a 14-year-old who thinks she is a special unicorn because her parents love her and she met a b ...more
Julie Ehlers
A Homemade Life was an impulse read: I'd been seeing Wizenberg's forthcoming memoir being promoted around the interwebs, got curious about her stuff, noticed my library branch had a copy of her first book, checked it out, and read it pretty much right away. I knew it was based on Wizenberg's food blog Orangette (which I'd never visited), so I was expecting it to be episodic in nature, which it was. What I hadn't expected was that it would be so charming. The writing is wonderful, some of the sub ...more
Cate
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this immediately after It Sucked and Then I Cried, and that was probably one too many books-based-on-blogs in a row. I don't read her blog, Orangette, but I'm guessing this material works much better in blog format. It was very lightweight.

Also, while I'm glad the author and her husband are happy, she's really gushy about their relationship. She sounds very young. It's like Twilight, but with cooking instead of vampires.

None of the recipes jumped out at me as anything I want to make.
...more
Jaclyn
Feb 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I laughed, I cried, I put bouchons au thon on my weekly menu.

Molly Wizenberg is basically my generation's M.F.K. Fisher. Her recipes are fantastic, her descriptions are apt... but that all pales in comparison with the simple fact that her writing is full of life and joy. I've been a follower of her blog, Orangette, for some time now and I find I can always rely on Molly for a great recipe, wonderful story and stunning photography. But the book transcends that - it's something more. It's a glimps
...more
Nute
I picked up this book because I really wanted to know how someone has a blog one day and a decent selling book the next. Yes, I understand that it probably didn't go down quite that simple, but you know what I mean.
That's what I wanted to find out from reading this book. But before I started reading it, I checked out Molly's blog site, Orangette.

After visiting Orangette, I just wanted to get to know Molly and try cooking her recipes. I knew that I had a real love for food as deep as hers, and if
...more
Ciara
Jun 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: francophiles, salad devotees, people who need motivation to cook, fans of blog love stories
i would have given this book four stars, because i have tried a few of the recipes & they are pretty delicious, & the book definitely inspired me to cook more & experiment in the kitchen, which is awesome. but halfway through the book, which seems to a be a loosely chronological cooking-related autobiography, the author marries some dude she met through her blog & the qaulity of both the writing & the recipes went way downhill. the dude she married is vegetarian (maybe even vegan?). i can vouch ...more
Beth
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I heard of this book from a couple of sources and decided to pick it up. I now feel that Molly Wizenberg and I are best friends, and I have not yet even visited her blog, called Orangette. Great bedtime reading, as the "chapters" are quite short, each ending with usually one but maybe two recipes---and then I'd tell myself, "what would one more hurt?" so I'd read more. Her recipes are written as prose, leading you through each step. Along the way, she writes about her childhood, (and since she i ...more
Laurie
Mar 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laurie by: http://orangette.blogspot.com/
Shelves: food, nonfiction
Molly Wizenberg has a wonderfully flattering way of writing about food and people. She makes both sound delightful. While readers of A Homemade Life will wish they could sit down with Molly over salad and cheese, they will especially wish they could know all these charming people: her father, mother, husband, and various friends in Oklahoma, Paris, and Seattle. Molly describes each in a vivid way that says, "I love this person! I want to share him with you." And with each person comes a recipe. ...more
Lynn Cahoon
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a cookbook with a story. Molly brings to life her food and her world as we cook our way through her Homemade Life.
Gina
Mar 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book encompasses two pet peeves of mine: the blog-to-book craze and the cookbook-book combination. Blogs fodder is not always great book fodder. I enjoy a well-written blog, but I am less forgiving of a book that is not so well-written. I am not saying this book is not well-written, but I do think that the flow of the stories feel more like blog posts than short stories to me.

As for the cookbook/book issue, it's a personal matter of wondering where to house a book like this. Is it a proper
...more
Anne Bogel
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet story, excellent food writing, and solid recipes. Plus, the blogger in me loved how the internet introduced the author to new, life-changing relationships.
jess
Nov 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jess by: olympia public library
Shelves: 2009, blogger, food
While I am skeptical of blogs-to-books, and have spent considerable hours of my life dissecting the genre in recent months, I really wanted to love this book. First, the author lives in the PNW. Me too! (Only 60 miles north of me, Molly Wizenberg has a restaurant.) She's from Oklahoma, but left the minute she could. Hey, me too! She had a long-distance sweetheart who became her spouse. Wow! Me too! So, imagine my surprise when I, self-identified emotional sap and carbohydrate connoisseur, became ...more
Allison Floyd
The problem with criticizing memoirs is that it always feels like a personal attack on their authors, particularly when the author is your age, you both have dead fathers, and maybe just maybe there’s a little green-eyed monster sitting on your shoulder hissing “Hey! I can write at least as well as this! Where are MY book deal, freelance column with Bon Appetit, travel writing assignments, and True Love?” Which is of course unseemly.

Maybe if I were a regular follower of the blog, I’d get it, bu
...more
Julie
I'm a fan of the Spilled Milk podcast, which Molly Wizenberg does with Matthew Amster-Burton, so I was pretty sure I would like this book, and I did. I especially loved how she told the story of her romance with her husband through recipes. The descriptions of Paris made me want to get on the next plane. All in all, an engaging book. Highly recommended. ...more
Les
Years ago, when I was first got into blogging, I stumbled upon some non-book related blogs filled with beautiful photographs of home interiors and delicious-looking meals that satisfied my desire to live (and appreciate) a more simple life. Shauna Ahern's blog Gluten-Free Girl was one of the first sites that caught my eye and I looked forward to each new post about her life in Seattle with her husband, who at the time was a chef at a local restaurant. It wasn't just stories about their lives, bu ...more
She-Readers Book Club
I have long loved Molly’s Spilled Milk Podcast with Matthew AB and knew that I would eat up her book as well but even going in with that mindset, I was still pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed and whizzed through this book! I couldn’t find it for the longest time (I know, the internet). I insist on being thrifty when it comes to books. I like it to feel more like a treasure hunt and a major win when you find one that you’ve been pining for. Thank you, library used book sale for this wond ...more
Ron
Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, cookbooks
Based on Wizenberg's "Orangette" blog, this memoir trades off anecdotes of her family and the blossoming relationship with a fan of her website (reader, she married him) with recipes keyed to certain memories. There's a lot of desserts, but also some pretty nifty-sounding salads, and a simple formula for pickled grapes I can't wait to try. I might even take a crack at the tomato soup with fennels if I ever have a spare afternoon to myself...

Wizenberg's an engaging raconteur, keeping the grand ar
...more
Kerri
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pleasant but not overly deep book. Well, it's basically reading a blog. Sometimes the posts work. Sometimes they don't. The married for 18 year part of me found the romance portions eye rolling worthy but the part of me with aging parents found the middle section deeply moving. ...more
Tina Culbertson
Molly really spoke to me. I read this book and I felt I was having a conversation with her. Some bits were like reading a letter from someone I knew well, someone who poured out their heart and feelings. She is so much younger than I am but I sure could relate to so many things she wrote about. From the unresolved feelings regarding her father’s death to the cautious delight of falling in love with her soul mate. The calm and focus that creeps in when you are immersed in preparing food for peopl ...more
Laura
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book. I expected food writing (Molly Wizenberg is the author of Orangette, the number one food blog in the world, according to the London Times) and it is food writing, but it is way more than that. I guess the title 'A Homemade Life' should have been a clue.
I like to cook and have been doing it for a long time. I own more cookbooks than the law allows, so you'd think I'd like to read foodwriters' memoirs. I'd think so! But I find MFK Fisher so bleak and her writing so flat a
...more
Raela
Finally finished this beauty of a book. I loved it, and felt a little choked up at the end! Lovely to read her story and see how each of her recipes is meaningful to each stage of her life. And now I’m hungry!
***
There’s something for everyone in this sweet and lovely memoir about the ways food and cooking are interwoven into the big and little moments of author Wizenberg’s life. Every chapter is a short essay on how the included recipe was impactful at a certain time in her life, and all of the
...more
Katherine P
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Food writing frequently is overdone with pretentiousness and superiority and while this book had been highly recommended I was a little nervous. Instead what I found was an extremely likable and genuine woman who loved food, Paris, her father and family and her husband. Wizenberg also has the gift of explaining things so you see them through her eyes without overdoing it. When I got the book I initially flipped through the recipes and honestly didn't see much that interested me. After reading th ...more
Jenna
Mar 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: melody
File this under, I ordered a copy to own before I finished reading my copy from the library.
I love Molly's outlook on life and I love her writing style. I will try my hand at the recipes in this book, starting with the chocolate cake!
...more
E.L.
I read somewhere recently that no one should write a memoir until they are in their seventies - and possibly not even then. I have also recently been reminded that CS Lewis believed journaling at all to be a deadly form of self-indulgence and hubris.

The thing is, though, I like memoirs. Even when they are written about a life that only happened a few years earlier, or that is still ongoing. I also like cookbooks with stories woven into and around the recipes. And I like blogs. And I really, real
...more
Luke
Jun 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More than a few times, my darling wife has expressed bemused (but perhaps genuine) alarm at my obsession with the food blog Orangette and, more to the point, with the charming red-headed blogger--Molly Wizenberg--herself. It's no big secret that the path to my heart tends to go through my (ever-expanding) tummy, and many of the recipes on Orangette are now among the tastiest in my repertoire: her slow-roasted tomatoes served with aged goat cheese on toasted baguette slices, her decadently fudgy ...more
Caiti S
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
As someone who loves food, and stories involving food but not necessarily about food, I adored this book. Food is about living and loving, and Molly's brief stories illustrate this point, with a recipe to follow each one. My favorite parts were the stories that were less about the food specifically, such as Molly's time in France and the death of her father. It is the kind of cookbook/memoir I'd want to write for my own family someday. I checked it out from the library to read, but I will likely ...more
Bronwyn
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first came across Orangette, I was charmed by Molly, by her optimism and casual intimacy and a life focused on friends and simple pleasures. And then, exposing some rather ugly aspect of my personality, I became rather jealous of her. Even knowing that writing a blog such as that allows quite a bit of self-editing, I was jealous of how lovely her life was, how clear her spirit, how well she put words together. I've cycled back to being charmed by her, and this book only reinforced her cha ...more
Hillary
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was fully prepared to skim this book. I am not a big fan of food or cooking, so when my friends recommended a book that included a passionate love for both, well suffice it to say I was a little apprehensive. That said, however, I loved this book. Not only can this woman eat, she can write. I have never heard anyone ascribe healing powers to cake and I have never seen writing that used “people adjectives” for food and “food adjectives” for people. She once explained that a friend of hers, duri ...more
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I started out as a food writer focused on home cooking, using food as a lens for peering into everyday life and relationships. I was interested in people, in how we find and make meaning for ourselves. I still am. My latest book, The Fixed Stars, is a memoir about sexuality, divorce, and motherhood. I wrote it because, in my mid-thirties, nearly a decade into marriage and newly a mother, I lost tr ...more

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