These are two books that have been sitting on the top of my desk-side stack for a while now and I’m so happy to be sharing them with you. Both would make excellent holiday gifts and are going to be in my library for years to come. Let’s dig in.
First up is The Hands-On Home by Erica Strauss (she blogs over at Northwest Edible Life). Organized by season, this hefty, beautiful book touches on all aspects of maintaining a thoughtful home. You’ll find a wide spectrum of recipes in this book, starting with basic fermenting projects and running straight through to homemade cleaning products (my favorite “recipe” page is one entitled An Old-Fashioned Mattress Airing For a Sunny Day).
This is an all-purpose book in an age where most books have a more narrow focus, and I love that about it. It would be a great gift for a friend or sibling who is just starting a homesteading journey, or someone who’s simply looking to bringing a greener, more seasonal awareness to their days.
Amanda Feifer is a fellow Philadelphian and has long been my go-to resource for all my fermentation questions. Truth be told, I learned more about fermenting sitting through one of her demos a few years ago than I’d had in all the reading and research I’d done up to that point.
Happily, now she can be your fermentation resource as well, because her book Ferment Your Vegetables has arrived and it is spectacular. As the title suggests, it focuses on vegetable ferments and includes a wide assortment of recipes for kraut, kimchi, kvass, sauces, and pickles. She also digs into fermenting in crocks (a departure from the small batch approaches earlier in the book), ferments made without additional salt, and other ways to culture your veg.
Amanda is currently giving away five copies of her book. Get in on the action here.