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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

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  14,149 Ratings  ·  1,699 Reviews
When Molly Wizenberg's father died of cancer, everyone told her to go easy on herself, to hold off on making any major decisions for a while. But when she tried going back to her apartment in Seattle and returning to graduate school, she knew it wasn't possible to resume life as though nothing had happened. So she went to Paris, a city that held vivid memories of a childho ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Simon Schuster
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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 the
...more
Rebecca Foster
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: Emily
(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
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.
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
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
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 v ...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
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
Laurie
Mar 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laurie by: http://orangette.blogspot.com/
Shelves: nonfiction, food
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
jess
Nov 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jess by: olympia public library
Shelves: 2009, food, blogger
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
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
Tina
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Susan
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been interested lately in food as an inspiration for writing, especially about one's life. Molly Wizenberg has a knack both for telling a great story and making something amazing out of just a few ingredients laying around in the fridge. I truly enjoyed hearing about her life in the U.S. and her periods of time spent in Paris. I will definitely be cooking using her simple recipes in the very near future. Love that very few include meat, and most are incredibly healthy. Her way of cooking re ...more
Kasey Jueds
This is the kind of book I love, so I had high hopes. And some of the recipes are great, at least the ones I've tried (esp. the French-style yogurt cake and cabbage braised in cream... yum! I guess I like cabbage now). But the stories about the author's life were disappointing to me. Stylistically she's a fun, clever, engaging writer, but emotionally, the book doesn't go very deep. She's sad when her father dies and happy when she gets married. Yes, these are sad and joyful occasions, definitely ...more
Relyn
Jun 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love foodie books and cookbooks
Recommended to Relyn by: the blog world
Shelves: memoir
If you've ever read my blog, you know I cry easily and am never embarrassed by it. I should, however, tell you that I rarely cry at the end of a book. I don't know why - I just don't. But, Molly's writing about her wedding, her love, her father. Well, I did get misty eyed. I find myself wanting to write about my Dad. So, I did today. You can read it here: http://comesitbymyfire.blogspot.com/2...

Anyway, I really did love this book.
Barb Lawrence
Initially I rated this book four stars. Not because it wasn't awesome, but because I'm a tough critic. There are books I adore that I've only given three stars. I started out a tough critic, so I just have to keep up with it. Anyway, I changed this rating today because of four words: Blueberry Raspberry Pound Cake. OMG. I just wrote about it on my blog, and reprinted the recipe:
http://woofnanny.blogspot.com/2009/09...
Morgan Fraser
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Molly Wizenberg has become one of my new favorite writers. She folds her love of food and its description into her life the same way she nestles apricots with honey into one of her homemade cakes. Her stories don't necessarily make me hungry, they make me want to savor my food -- and my life -- in a slower, more profound, way.
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.
Francine
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Great storytelling and fantastic sounding recipes. I plan to cook my way through this book this year!
Annie Smith
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every page of this book made me want to go out and cook something! I may even try some of her recipes. I enjoyed this light-hearted memoir of someone who in most respects had a normal childhood but relayed it in a very funny way! It was a great airplane read.
Polly Zetterberg
Molly tells it like she knows it to be. She is an adept writer, and an open person. A very refreshing read. And, great recipes!
Catherine
I agree with Anne. It does read like a diary. I found my self reading just to finish. I keep thinking about what I can read next. I did like the ending.
Piepie
I only rate books 5 stars if I see myself reading it again ... and I would do so in this case. Every "chapter" is like a gorgeous, smoothly-crafted essay, and I think this memoir/cookbook/whatever it is is better than "Delancey," the story of Molly and Brandon's pizza journey, which I read not too long ago.

This book is also a sort of memorial to Molly's deceased father, and she includes memories (and recipes!) from every stage of her life: growing up, her education (leaving a PhD program with a
...more
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Molly Wizenberg is the voice behind Orangette, named the best food blog in the world by the London Times. Her first book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, was a New York Times bestseller. Her work has appeared in Bon Appétit and The Washington Post. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband Brandon and their daughter June.
More about Molly Wizenberg...
“To most people, I guess, turning twenty-one is all about booze. To me, turning twenty-one was all about coconut. Booze is nice, but coconut is chewable, and when push comes to shove, I will always like eating better than drinking. Everyone has their priorities.” 8 likes
“Even the Thanksgiving when her parents had just divorced, Hoosier Pie made the cut. ...They also, incidentally, made a pumpkin pie, but it fell on the floor, a classic example of survival of the fittest” 3 likes
More quotes…