Book Review: Hand Made

Hand Made by Melissa K Norris
4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

After reading this book about baking, cooking, growing herbs, creating hand-made soaps or candles, and decorating and organizing your home, I want to try it all! I want to cook every recipe, and start an herb garden, and make little gifts for all my friends! I want to organize my kitchen, and plan for holiday decorating, and fill my house with the yummy smells of baking.
The best thing about this book is the personal childhood stories of the author, detailing her mother’s cooking, her father’s warm spirit, and her grandmother’s wisdom. With each little anecdote, the author invites us to share in her family’s home heritage, and then she shows us how to create that cordial atmosphere in our own homes and hearts.

The only drawback is that some of the recipes and instructions are a little too “from scratch” making them time-consuming or difficult. Nobody cooks with lard anymore. I don’t want to make my own buttermilk or sauerkraut. I just don’t have 7 weeks to create yeast starter, when I could buy an active yeast packet at the store and be done with it. I’m all for being “natural”, but…. ain’t nobody got time for that!
Thankfully, the author usually adds a quicker recipe, a store-bought substitute, or a more tech-friendly option for those of us who don’t live in the country with our own acre-wide garden and a butterchurn on the back porch.

The thing that truly made me fall in love with this book is the way the author ties in Scripture and Christian lessons with her stories and anecdotes about her childhood and family. She reminds us to let our light shine, give up on being perfect all the time, follow our truth, and trust in God through each situation. These are little lessons we hear all the time, but this author weaves them into the book in such a unique way, with her own perspective and delightful humor, and they feel new and pertinent again.

A charming and wholesome book with roots in the frugality of the Great Depression era!

Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts and are not influenced by anyone.

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