I read a book! Actually I read a lot of books, but this one was the non-fiction variety which are usually very informative (the nerd side of my brain likes that part) but very dry (the fun side of my brain takes a nap). Such was my expectation for Made From Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life. Plus, it’s categorized as a memoir which is a French word that means: “diary; typically one that probably didn’t need to be published.”
And…I was wrong.
I had a weird response to Made From Scratch right away. I was calm. Jenna Woginrich peacefully invites you into her world, which is one of Corporate America by day and homesteader by night. Can a writing style be called hospitable? Yes? Good. Then this is a perfect example. You feel like you could be friends with this kind, honest girl right away. She makes you feel welcome.
Essentially, it’s about self-sufficiency. Raising your own chickens. Beekeeping. Baking your own bread. Grinding your own coffee beans (with a hand-grinder, mind you). Not because there is a financial crisis, or because it’s the cool thing to do. Because it gives you a satisfaction and peace that cannot be had from any other source. I was so invested in this book, I think I may have been drooling just a little while reading the first few chapters.
Then the chapter on sewing started. I had the same reaction as I did when I was reading Eat, Pray, Love and I got to the Pray part which was; crap. Why are we leaving Italy? I like it here, with the good food. Unlike Eat, Pray, Love though Made From Scratch sucked me right back in. I still don’t really want to learn to sew, but I do see it as a measure of self-sufficiency.
Sewing was a gateway skill, which lead to things like working your house dogs (with carts!),and raising Angora rabbits. She encouraged seeking people with the knowledge you want; and gave you just enough talking points to get you started.
Then came the homemade mountain music. That was the chapter that drove it home for me. I’ll admit it: I spent a few hours looking for a dulcimer online. I’ve been to a ton of folk music festivals, loved the bluegrass music on the campus busses at the University of Georgia, and have I mentioned that I am related to Maybelle Carter? Pickin’ is in my blood; or tipping back a jelly jar of moonshine while I listen to it is, anyway.
Jenna Woginrich is hilarious, but there are also parts of the book that made me cry. The simple life is not easy, but it’s real. I loved reading this book, and I love what I learned from it. I did receive a copy of this book to review, and I seriously hope I wasn’t supposed to send it back, ’cause I’m not gonna.
For more Things I Love Thursday, check out The Diaper Diaries.