With a husband and 5 grown children I consider myself a seasoned cook, so when I offered to review Marcia’s book I didn’t expect to learn a lot of new things. But being an avid recipe collector and always willing to learn new things, I decided I might be able to add a few things to my repertoire that would give more variety to our meals or a couple of tips that would get me out of the kitchen faster.
I wasn’t quite ready for the suggestion of using monkey meat in her African Chop, and I don’t think I’m adventurous enough to try that yet. (She did offer alternate suggestions for meat to use in the recipe, of course.) It certainly did get my attention, though!
I came home tired and weary today from several hours of shopping with my 20-something-year-old daughters, sat at my desk, and said, “Now what can I accomplish that won’t require a lot of energy?” Immediately Marcia’s book Homemade Convenience Foods came to mind, and since it was ever so handy on my desktop I got a glass of ice water and settled back to read and relax a bit.
I got so engrossed I didn’t stop until I had read the entire book. By the end I felt like I’d just had a nice long chat with Marcia. She writes in a way that makes you feel like she is talking with you, gives instructions in a straightforward way that even the most inexperienced cook could understand, yet keeps it interesting enough for someone who has been around the kitchen a bit longer like me.
In her email to me she said, “Many readers who are veteran cooks confess to “Aha!” moments—“Why didn’t I think of that?”” I too experienced a couple of those times while reading her book, and do plan to use several of her methods of simplifying food preparation.
I must confess, I did sort of try one of her ideas last week – before I knew it was her idea. I prepared our pizza crust mix ahead of time, except for the wet ingredients and the yeast. (This is only part of her suggestion; I don’t want to give it all away.) My attempt didn’t work out so well, but not because the idea wasn’t a good one. When it came time to make the crust I popped the ingredients into my bread machine, but when I came back to check on it a few minutes later it was just clumps of dry flour because I had forgotten to put the water in. So now I leave myself a note taped to the package – just one of the things you need to get used to as you become more “experienced.” That does sound better than older, right?
This book would be the perfect shower gift for a bride-to-be, or a young woman wanting to learn how to set up housekeeping, and even an experienced cook like me can learn a few new tricks. It is available in a paper edition as well, perfect for those gift giving opportunities that are right around the corner.
Marcia has generously offered to make an e-book edition available for a giveaway to one of my readers—just leave me a comment with your email address and let me know that you would like to have your name in the drawing. I will announce the winner next week.
In addition, any of you who want to can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a free e-copy of her money-saving article, Kitchen Economics.
For those of you who don’t win the free copy she is also running a special on the e-book edition—$4.99 instead of $5.99. She will extend this offer to last at least 7-10 days after this post appears.
Finding Joy in the Journey,
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Marcia Washburn Bio
Marcia Washburn has operated several businesses including a profitable piano studio and a small publishing company. She and her husband homeschooled their five sons in rural Colorado for nineteen years. She has served in various leadership positions at the local and state level and holds advanced degrees in elementary education & music education.
A columnist for two major home education magazines, she also speaks nationally and internationally. Her books include Activity Days for Homeschool Groups and Families; Talent to Treasure: Building a Profitable Music Teaching Business; and Homemade Convenience Foods.
I received a copy of this ebook, Homemade Convenience Foods, to read and review. I am receiving no other compensation for this review.