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My Name Is Lucy Barton - A Book Review

The Made From Scratch Life - A Book Review

Almost every blogger I’ve ever met (online) has also called themselves a reader. Writer. Reader. They seem to go hand in hand. Here’s another thing. If you’re a true bookworm, many genres catch your attention. I’m usually reading at least three books at once and often they’re completely different from one another. So, this week, I want to review four totally different books. One nonfiction on simple living, one literary fiction, one praise & worship coloring book and one on leadership. How’s that for variety?! Be sure and check back all week long because the plan is to give some books away at the end of the week!



We moved to the country about three years ago. I grew up in rural Missouri so I knew what I was getting myself into. I remember the garden and the shelves of canned food items in the basement we’d end up with each fall. I thought I knew all about it. Except in reality I spent so much of my childhood reading I forgot to pay a whole lot of attention to the wealth of knowledge that surrounded me. Women who spent their whole life working the land and preserving the harvest because they had to.


How many times have I wished I could sit down with one or two of these women and learn more about what I’m trying to do? Actually, let’s not sit down. Let’s put on aprons and get to work in my kitchen. I’ll ask questions as we go along. Well, I may not get my wish on this one, but I found something that comes real close.


51OfAMN99UL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Melissa K. Norris wrote this book, “The Made-From-Scratch Life: Simple Ways to Create a Natural Home.” It releases today! As I read it, I felt like I’d found the woman friend I’d longed for that could clear up some of the mystery involved in this gardening and canning business. The book doesn’t read as a “how to guide.” It’s a conversation. You get to know her a little better. She shares what insider tips she’s learned along the way. Just the kind of book I’ve been wanting to find.

We live in a small mountain town, though by saying town, I'm being generous. We have a post office, a gas station, and a bar. That's it.


Always rotate your potatoes each year.


Legumes (beans and peas) will put nitrogen back into your soil through their roots, so planting brassicas [broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower] where you had beans or peas the year prior is a good idea.


These tidbits can't be found on the back of the little seed packets. Actually, she even advises you about which seed packets to buy! Such good information here. Like getting advice from a good friend. 


And recipes. Did I fail to mention she has recipes in here? In her "Old-Fashioned Blackberry Jelly" recipe, she lists 1 gallon ripe blackberries. Then, right after that in parenthesis, she tells you that's 16 cups. This might sound simple to you, but often times the recipes I have handed down to me don't get so specific. I don't have a measuring scale in my kitchen so I have no way of knowing how many blackberries make up a gallon.  Also, when I google it, often times the recipes online will say the number might vary depending on the size of the blackberry. Well, duh! Believe me, giving me the estimated 16 cups in parenthesis helps a whole ton.










Even if you don't have plans to start your own garden and do much preserving, Melissa educates you on buying local. She tells you what she's learned after researching some of our grocery store purchases. Also more tips on how long to store items in the pantry, refrigerator and freezer.

I've often thought life should be like a potluck, where everyone brings their best and shares.

I'm glad you feel that way, Melissa! I couldn't agree more. Thanks for sharing so much of what you know with your readers. 


I received a copy of The Made-From-Scratch Life, written by Melissa K. Norris, from netgalley.com for the purpose of generating a review. Italicized quotes are from the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


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