Debra's Reviews > The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally

The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather
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Jul 30, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: foodie-reads

In this book of essays, Mather describes “How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on forty dollars a week).”

Mather is plain spoken and although passionate about her lifestyle, she is not preachy or judgmental. She is practical. I learned a great deal from her such as trying to purchase cheese trims from a local cheese monger, drying cherries, and making mead. I love that she also likes to have a meal of “nibbles” in the summer months. And, I applaud that she not only advocates for local farmers, but also for local purveyors and businesses like grocers, millers, and meat packers.

I have a new idol in Mather.

My new favorite chapter “On Thanksgiving and the Local Table” (186) where she lays out her new tradition of celebrating solo. A year ago, I highlighted my then favorite chapter, “On Snapping Turtles and Strawberries” (18), as Mather discusses another tradition—having strawberry shortcake for dinner to celebrate the first berry harvest. We have definitely adopted the latter tradition and am seriously thinking about taking on a solo-Thanksgiving. I can’t think of a better way to quietly reflect.

I want to make her Espresso Walnut Scones (58) and Honey-Oat Bread (168) just to name a few of her recipes.

As Mather states about her own life challenges, “We often don’t grow without a push” (187). The Feast Nearby is my push to rethink and rediscover supporting local farmers, growing what we can, and supporting local vendors and businesses. In short, we will try to live by Mather’s good and practical example.
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Quotes Debra Liked

Robin Mather
“There is fundamental importance in living well even in hard times. By “living well,” I mean finding a way to live that rings true to you and your values and that brings pleasure to your life.”
Robin Mather, The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally


Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 13, 2015 – Finished Reading
July 30, 2016 – Shelved
November 15, 2016 – Shelved as: foodie-reads

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