Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

Published in October 2011 by Free Press. 
Selected by The New York Times as a Notable Cookbook of 2011!

Order now from your bookseller of choice!


Publicity & Reviews
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, American Public Media: Marketplace, October 14, 2011
Buy or Make, What Food Staples are Cheaper to Make at Home?, ABC: Good Morning America, November 4, 2011
Notable Cookbooks of 2011, The New York Times, Nov 30, 2011
Cookbook Review: Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, The Oregonian, December 12, 2011
Marshmallows From Scratch, National Public Radio: All Things Considered, December 16, 2011

About the Book
Should you bake your bagels or buy them? Is it really a good idea to keep chickens in your backyard for eggs? Is there any point in making your own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when you can buy them individually wrapped and frozen? When you can buy everything you eat already made, from bottled salad dressing to canned gravy, what does it make sense to cook for yourself?

Haven't you always wondered?

92 comments:

  1. Keep us posted on your East Coast tour!

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  2. I just started reading Make the Bread, Buy the Butter and LOVED your opening thesis that just as we now may find the idea of Uncrustables bizarre--who would buy a Big Food produced frozen PB&J sandwich?--people a couple of generations ago would have found our current practice of buying the bread and the jam and the peanut butter just as odd. i've enjoyed your blog for a long time and am looking forward to reading the rest of the book!

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  3. Tatiana Robinson10/24/11, 7:57 AM

    i bought your book! i was recently directed to your blog and i ended up spending a couple hours going back through all of your food pictures and life experiences and i really liked all of it. i hope to start a farm-like thing with my boyfriend when we finish grad school and i really enjoyed reading about your goats and chickens and other animal adventures. :) i like the way you write and am sure that i will enjoy the book and the recipes in it!

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  4. I just bought the book, after hearing the interview on This Splendid Table. Love the sense of humor infused throughout. As a beginning cook I am wondering what neutral vegetable oil is....
    Will definitely be trying many recipes!

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  5. Your cookbook was delivered yesterday after being ordered from Amazon.ca. Thanks for a great read! The section on raising chickens had me in stitches!
    I'll be trying some recipes next week when I get back from my business trip.
    I've put your book on my blog at www.HeatherStewartQuilts.blogspot.com if you want to have a look.
    Cheers! Heather

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  6. Just bought the book and absolutely love it. However, I made the Everyday Bread and it turned out like a rock or door stop maybe. Could the temperature given perhaps be wrong? 450 seems high.

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  7. I am enjoying your book and tried the Rye bread recipe. It is delicious. The Everyday Bread looks easy, but I'm wondering about putting it in the pans right away before letting it rise. Is this what you do?!
    Thanks for the laughs in your book!

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  8. Happened to stumble across the headline "Make the Bread, Buy the Butter" and had to chuckle. I spend my boyhood summers on my grandfather's farm in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. I remember making butter. As you might suspect, it begins with a cow. The milk was put into one-gallon glass jugs and left in the spring house to turn. At that point, I would bring them up to the kitchen and pour the milk into a wooden churn. Churning was my job, and my grandmother constantly cautioned me against becoming too enthusiastic. A certain cadence was required. Too fast or too slow and the butter flakes would not separate from the milk. Occasionally, I would pull the top from the churn and check to see if there were yet golden flakes floating in the milk, indicating that the butter was separating out. As I continued to churn, those flakes would grow larger and begin to stick together. When that process was complete, I would pull the lump of butter out, then strain the remaining milk through cheese cloth to catch any remaining flakes. Then I would kneed it to press out any residual milk. After the butter would be pressed into a wooden mold. What emerged was a beautiful butter "sculpture" with a tulip flower imprinted on the top. If memory serves, it was the most delicious butter I have ever eaten. As for the milk that was left over, it was "buttermilk," which I could never abide. I figured if you take milk that has turned, and then remove the only good part of it, why would any sane person want to drink what was left. But those were different times.

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  9. I bought your book on Saturday... And on Sunday I made your bread and peanut butter!

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  10. Just finished your book and LOVED it! I have found new inspiration to cook and bake all kinds of new recipes! I would love to see more "test" comparisons of quality, cost, hassle, etc. of different types of foods on your blog! Also... along with Liz, my Everyday Bread didn't turn out either. I may try it again- hand mixing this time, as well as reducing the temperature due to using a glass pan. Thanks for the great read!

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  11. Love your book. Please advise on the Everyday Bread, tried twice but did not turn out as well as expected, do believe temp is too high.
    Kat

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  12. Congratulations on being named one of the New York Times Notable Cookbooks of 2011!

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  13. Love, love, loved this book! Read it in one day and made the bread and peanut butter the next! I won't be curing meats in my house but I can't wait to try some of the other recipes! I've let all the readers (could just be my mom, I'm not sure) of my blog know I loved it too.

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  14. oh my gosh! my lovely neighbor just gave me your book for my birthday yesterday and i have not been able to put it down, and we are talking reading while walking here! i love it! it was the perfect present for me because i love experimenting on things like bagels or ladyfingers and i make my own nutella for sure! i do tend to go a bit overboard sometimes and that is precisely why your book is perfect for me, i need to know where to draw the line. and i 100% agree with the whole dinner party and entertaining anxiety-i definitely have that. anyway fantastic book and you are truly hilarious! i look forward to reading through your blog! also would it be possible to use vanilla vodka and slightly dry vanilla beans to make the vanilla extract? i would love to know!

    -rachel the girl who wants to try cooking everything (even if its just once ;-D)

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  15. I just heard your marshmallow story on NPR. Great! I can't wait to read your cookbook.

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  16. I heard about your book on Splendid Table and bought myself a copy as a christmas present. I just finished reading it. It was wonderfully enjoyable. I hope to try some of the recipes and even if I don't, I plan to follow your blog now that I have found it. Thanks for the effort.

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  17. R. K. Weaver12/27/11, 1:50 PM

    Some decades ago my wife stopped cooking. As I did not want to stop eating, it was incumbent on me to learn to cook. As it turns out, I really enjoy it and have spent years learning to be a moderately competent home cook. While she won't cook, my wife does buy me cookbooks and washes the dishes. For Christmas she gave me several cookbooks including your marvelous Make the Bread Buy the Butter. I enjoyed it so much that I felt compelled to find your web site and complement you on the most fun cookbook I've read in years. I have bookmarked your site and hope to read more about your adventures in and out of the kitchen.

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  18. Loved the book, but either I'm doing something wrong or the bread recipe just doesn't work. I've tried it twice now and the dough refuses to rise. Maybe it's supposed to be a TABLESPOON of yeast instead of a teaspoon?

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  19. Just started reading your cookbook.

    Your hash brown recipe needs some improvement. I learned from a old school diner owner in Illinois many years ago working as a cook.

    The best recipe for hashbrowns is to boil the potatoes, let cool, and then grate them. They will firm up after sitting, cook faster, and they will have absorbed more water which will make them absorb less grease.

    Note do not overcook the potato, more than blanching, but less than mush is ideal. This will also cook the starches and give you a much better texture.

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  20. Uses for old Veg fry oil.

    If you have the old fats and oils, you can mix it with the chicken feed, not to much but a couple cups over a week will give the chickens a huge boost of calories and make them very fatty and tasty.

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  21. I just got your book (my son ordered it) and started at "Eggs". I wanted to see what you'd say about it. I recently got my own chickens and am now enjoying my own eggs!

    I'm sorry you had such bad luck in the beginning.

    You don't relate it in your story, but I hope the owners of those loose dogs got ticketed and fined for letting their dogs run loose and cause damage. I also hope you got reparations from those owners.

    It's also too bad you didn't know about electrified poultry netting. You can get that from www.premier1supples.com. Order the length and height of netting you want and a solar charger and you're in business. It would keep dogs out, but maybe not foxes or bobcats.

    Good luck now to you and your girls. Oh, don't let your daughter tell you how to enjoy your chickens. Go ahead, be a dork! :D

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  22. I bought your book on my Nook Color yesterday afternoon. Thank you for your pragmatic approach to this eating and feeding my family in a healthier, more sustainable way. I've read almost all of it and am re-inspired! (and also dangerously close to starting the required neighbor permission process we have here for backyard chickens!!)

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  23. My brother-in -law bought me your book as a gift, it is now a treasured possession! He came up to visit and, as a family, we spent our New Year's day making worcestershire sauce, cheeze-it's and horseradish, could it have been any better?

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  25. I just finished reading your book and I'm sad to be done with it!! I loved all of your stories, especially about the bees and the goats, and you have really inspired me to make more things than buy them. I'm super excited to make homemade Oreos and ricotta cheese and vanilla extract?!?! Why have I never thought of that?! I will surely keep this cookbook forever and refer to it very very often I'm sure!!! Great job! Cheers!! :)

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  26. Jennifer, I devoured MTB,BTB over Christmas vacation, and I loved it and flagged nearly all the recipes. My marshmallows were quite a hit! My Vadouvan spice mix arrived in yesterday's mail, so I was working on the Vadouvan Mac n' Cheese this evening, and I hit a snag. In step 2, where you put breadcrumbs into a skillet with butter, what is the purpose of this pan? Simply to brown the breadcrumbs? Are these the same breadcrumbs you later sprinkle on top? Sorry, I just got a little lost in this one about what was going into what pan... I actually ran out of pans, so was glad I had halved the recipe!

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  27. I heard your bite on NPR before Christmas, and quickly got your book for my fiancee. We love it! I LOVE IT! We live in Montana where there is still a sense of homesteader instinct or something, and your book fits right into this. We've "mastered" fermented pickles and bread (thanks to the no knead meathod: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html) and some smoking techniques to play around with meats (smoked fish!). My family and I look forward to making cheese, marshmallows, pancetta, and more with your help. Next up: homemade venison bologna and corned elk/venison! Thanks for being you...

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  28. I got your book as a Christmas present after raving to my family about an NPR spot that talked about it, and I don't think it's possible to love a book more. I love the humor, the insight, the foolproof recipes, and the honesty of the failures. I can't wait to try so many of these recipes, but as my fiance is similar to your husband in his skepticism of fancy foods (how can he NOT love chicken saltimbocca? I'm pretty sure that's illegal!), I'll have to space them out to keep him from rioting.

    Your homemade wheat bread recipe is fantastic, I've made 6 loafs since Christmas and only 2 didn't rise! Damn you, cold apartment, damn you straight to hell.

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  29. My husband gave me you cookbook for Christmas and I spent the next week rereading every paragraph outloud to him so we cry laughing tears together at your adventures. I loved every word of your book! Thank you! I'm excited to try the ginger ale out. Do you have any suggestions on how to add fruit flavor to it, ie raspberry ginger ale?

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  30. i think neutral oil is oil with no flavor, like canola oil instead of say, olive or sesame oil. i love making from "scratch" and this book answered my question of "can I make my own graham crakers?" cause there is high fructose in the stores, and the organic is SOOO expensive. also, can't wait to try the ginger ale recipe and any other recipe containing ginger. great book (I got it as a gift for Christmas)and will recommend it to all! P.S. what is instant yeast? like those packets or rapid rise or fresh or.....

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  31. Hi Jennifer,
    I heard your interview on NPR and love the concept of your book!

    I am the Founder of the online financial lifestyle magazine TheSavvyLife.com and if you're game, I'd really like to interview you. Can you contact me at Melissa@TheSavvyLife.com?

    Thank you!
    Melissa

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  32. I love the book. I have tried to make the sandwich bread and it tastes great but does not rise enough. I have tried following the recipe exactly, adding more yeast, putting it into the food processor to knead for one minute. Has anyone gotten the bread to rise and what is your secret.

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  33. Heard you on NPR, immediately bought the book, read it cover to cover, and bought more for friends for Christmas. Love it.

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  34. I also heard you on NPR and bought the book on a whim (I'm more of a library gal.) I was laughing so hard last night reading about your hot dog making experience that my daughter ran downstairs wondering what was wrong. When she heard that I was reading a cookbook, she made that teenage daughter face, and walked back upstairs. Seriously that was the funniest thing I have read in ages. GREAT BOOK!

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  35. Donna Kupprat1/20/12, 7:39 PM

    I received your book from my husband for Christmas.  He found an article in one of the airline magazines and thought it was right up my alley.  I've read most of it and have tried several of the recipes... LOVE IT!  Some of the recipes didn't work for me (like the yogurt, but I believe it failed due to a very cold house.  I was determined, and found that the crockpot method works great in my case!).   I've been looking at you book daily, and brag about it wherever I go... Love the stories, the humor, the layout. 
    Couple suggestions... Popcorn - If you cook the corn on low and let them toast a little, it adds a nice rich flavor.   Onion dip - I've been making this almost identical to your recipe (bases on trial and error) and found that adding a little beef flavor adds what is missing (I don't like to use bouillon, but in this case it really helps, not sure if you have any suggestions for substitute?).  Can also use greek yogurt for the sour cream.  Thanks so much for a wonderful book!  I'm working on making cheese next!

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  36. Love the book! About freezing chicken stock: I pour it into ice cube trays, freeze it into cubes then put them in a zip lock bag in the freezer. I just take hoever many that I need out. If they stick together just whack the bag on the counter or drop it on the flor before opening.

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  37. I adore your book! I read the review in EW and knew instantly that I had to have it. I love your writing style and sense of humor - there were many laugh out loud moments as I was reading the book! I flagged about 35 of your recipes to try out and I cannot wait! So far I've made the yogurt, and I am starting the vanilla tonight. Thank you for being such an inspiration and blazing the trail for the rest of us!

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  38. Rachel Fiske2/1/12, 2:00 PM

    Hi Jennifer-

    Here is a link to the review I wrote of MTB,BTB. It was such a pleasure speaking with you and reading this book (which I have turned to many times in my own kitchen since then!). Keep up the good work.

    https://www.facebook.com/LifeToldinRecipes

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  39. I loved the book, but I'm having trouble with the apricot ginger bread. Is it really a tablespoon of salt? I'm not sure what I am doing, but the bread will not rise.

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  40. I am going through my own sustainable transformation. Started with my husband suggesting we start a garden. I didn’t know vegetables could taste so good! Then it grew to canning some of that produce. In the middle of February (in Canada), I am enjoying peaches as if it were July! Now we’re making our own bread, iced tea, and hummus. We’ve started using cloth napkins instead of paper. You’re book gives tons of ideas that I am going to adopt right away. I made the peanut butter and love it! BTW – on popcorn, if you put the kernels in a plain brown lunch bag and microwave, it will pop! Healthy, fast and cheaper.

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  41. I have had the same issue with not getting the everyday bread to rise that other people have mentioned here. Each time I've made it, it doesn't rise after the first 2-3 hours; I add a little more yeast, mix it up again, leave it for another couple hours, and then it rises. Once it rises and cooks, it is delicious! I've had the same question about using a tablespoon vs teaspoon as the recipe calls for...anybody figured this out yet?

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  42. Love your book...I never would have thought to make ricotta cheese or my own cheez-its! It's been fun. I do have some frustrations with your bread recipes. I've attempted the hot dog buns three times and always duds. They never rise. Frankenstein inclinations?? The lumps just sit there. And your every day bread has the same problem. I can at least feed the sad buns to my chickens.

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  43. I saw you on TV (I think), and dug out my bread machine. With just 2 of us in the house 1 loaf at a time is perfect. It usually takes 5 minutes to set it up, and now I can slice it pretty good. I've got 2 bread machine cookbooks so I've been putting notes in them - especially for the best successes and worst failures. Thanks for the inspiration; baking bread makes the house smell wonderful, and I'm saving over 50% on bread.

    Also, I had an idea you can add next time around: you can make your pancakes and have your frozen ones, too. Make a double batch, then put the extra in bundles of 2-4 in the freezer. I put them in sandwich bags, then put that in a bigger baggie. They don't take any longer to microwave than store bought ones. Do the same with waffles and they work out great in the toaster oven.

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  44. I tried your clotted cream recipe. When it was done it had this thick crust on the top though. The clotted cream was underneath but it was very hard to separate it from the crust. If anyone has any suggestions I would be very grateful! Thanks!

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  45. Love your book! Reviewed it on my blog, Mama Bear Review. Love how all your comments are relevant for time, money and most importantly FLAVOR. Can't wait for more from you!

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  46. I tried your "Everyday Bread" recipe from the book. However, my bread didn't rise at all. You don't indicate any kneading in your recipe, so I didn't do any. Can you think of any other reasons the bread might not have risen? Thanks.

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  47. I'm going with this is the best place to put this. In your book you said you didn't have any luck with a hamburger bun and I wanted to share my preferred recipe with you.

    http://www.food.com/recipe/light-wheat-hamburger-buns-258471

    If you don't like wheat buns, I had no problem subbing in white flour for the wheat. Also make sure it gets good and puffy on the second rise. They still come out okay if it doesn't but much better if you give them the time they need (I find about 1.5 hours on the second rise).

    Also, thanks for writing such a great book!

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  48. Just finished reading this insightful, honest, and enchanting cookbook. Your humor had me laughing and sharing excerpts and giggles with my boyfriend. I love your low-key approach to the Every Day Bread and Yogurt. Both turned out lovely. Thank you for sharing.

    For the readers having problems with the Everyday Bread.... I followed recipe exactly and our bread is beautifully. Hand mixed with a wooden spoon, divided dough into pans and let rise on my stove that had some residual heat from cooking something else and cooked at 45O.

    Perhaps you didn't buy "instant" yeast..."rapid rise yeast" is not the same. The kitchen may be too cool also....best of luck!

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  49. I checked this book out of the library. I loved it. I'm going to try several of the recipes.

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  50. I haven't had any problems with the "Everyday Bread" either. Only once have I had problems. I don't put it back in the oven for 15 minutes though. I just take it out of the pans, turn off the oven and set it in there for 10. Also I do add 2 Tbsp. of sugar and after baking I butter the top so it will soften up a bit. Love the recipe! So easy and we all love it! Thank you so much for your wonderful sense of humor. I cracked up. We have a small hobby farm and we too have done all the animals, bees etc. It makes for a wonderful life!

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  51. I am only on pg.3 of your intro and I feel in love at "This was a stupid little sandwhich" lol I can't wait to finish !

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  52. My lovely daughter gave me your book for Mother's day and I finished it this morning. Loved, loved, loved it! The muttering ducks had me laughing and reading aloud to my husband. I think I must be a combination of you and your mother as I plan to try making cheese and have done some pretty good lamp rewiring and lampshade redos as well as canning and furniture recycling. Thanks for a good read and a good laugh!

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  53. I own way too many cookbooks (according to my husband, not according to me :)), so as a compromise, I try to take books out of the library if possible before purchasing. Well, got your book out yesterday, and ordered it on Amazon today. So many wonderful recipes. Can't wait to try making my own Camembert. I think because of the use of the penicillin bacteria (at least I think that's what I read), I'm going to institute a Camembert when sick policy at home. :)

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  54. Hi! My boyfriend gave me your book for Valentine's Day, and I love it!! Your story introducing fried chicken prompted me to finally watch Lord of the Rings. I haven't tried making the chicken yet, but I have made yogurt with your recipe, and vanilla extract, which led me on a delightful detour into infusing vodka. Wow!

    I am giving myself an 8 week writing retreat in my friend's apartment in New Orleans this summer, and each week I'd like to feature a different writer whose work really inspires me (nolastudiola.wordpress.com) It would be awesome if you had the time to do a 6-question interview!

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  55. I just sat down yesterday and read straight through "Make the bread, buy the butter" at moments laughing uproariously- what a droll way you have of expressing things! I too have turned to cooking many things from scratch to save money and for the superior taste. I thought of a few tricks--- when I make pita bread or naan (I use the new Joy of Cooking naan recipe)I use my outdoor gas grill- set to high (500 degrees)- I make pizzas and naan and other flatbreads on the grill with great success. (turn it to high, then use the middle burner turned off- the rest of the temp is really high). I learned a lot Also wanted to recommend "Taming the Flame" by Elizabeth Karmel, and I also love "Pressure Perfect" by Lorna Sass, but this is because I live in Colorado and it is impossible to cook beans from scratch without a pressure cooker here. Great to learn I could make cheesecake, flan, chili, beef stew, stock and risotto in a pressure cooker (5 minute risotto!) I loved your book- you are a great, sympathetic writer, and I will suggest it to all my foodie friends in town! thanks a bunch, Olga

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  56. Love the book. Fantastic success with bagels and everyday bread.

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  57. I LOVE your book. I read cookbooks all the time, but I rarely want to buy one. Yours I bought and I use it a lot. I've always been convinced I can do things better myself. This gets a little ridiculous sometimes (yes I homeschool, yes I have chickens, yes I make my own soap, yes I spin my own yarn, etc), but needless to say your book "speaks" to me. BTW I think my rice pudding is divine- you basically make eggnog and mix it with rice, steam it and there you go. Couldn't be easier.

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  58. Diane Jackson7/10/12, 2:42 PM

    I found out about your book from a recent issue of EW and, I'm ashamed to say, checked it out of the library to see if it was any good. Well, it was and now it's on my wish list at Amazon to be purchased right after I get "Plenty" by Yotam Ottolenghi, which I also checked out of the library to see if it was any good.

    There are dozens of your recipes I want to try, especially the one for clotted cream. I visited a friend in Plymouth, England back in November where I tasted my first Devonshire clotted cream. Not only that, but I fell in love with clotted cream fudge. I ate a bag of it each and every night whilst I read in bed and gained 10 pounds during my trip.

    Every recipe I've found for the fudge (which does not involve chocolate, by the way) calls for the clotted cream and it's impossible to find here in Las Vegas.

    Another thing that's impossible in Las Vegas is growing a garden or keeping chickens. It was 110 degrees at 11 AM this morning and every plant we've ever tried to nuture and grow has died a terrible death. I'd hate for that to happen to a chicken.

    I've been catching up on your blog site and I must tell you I laughed so hard at your review of "Gay Men Don't Get Fat" (I've ordered it from the library) that my husband came in the den to see if I was okay. The remark you made that you had stepped in animal feces while drinking a gin cocktail nearly made me wet my pants.

    So your book is on my wish list and I'll keep the library copy as long as I can; refraining from writing in the margins, until I can get my own copy.

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  59. Diane Jackson7/10/12, 3:09 PM

    I just commented above, published my comment, and realized I forgot the main reason I wrote.

    I just finished your book last night (in bed, I read cookbooks in bed) and I must ask: Where on earth are you buying your vanilla? $53.00 for 12 ounces of McCormick's pure vanilla extract? Holy Moly!

    I just ran out of a 17 oz bottle of vanilla I bought in Mexico back in 2007 for $3.00 (I had a friend do the haggling, I'm too shy to do it my self)and went to Sam's Club where I bought a 16 oz bottle of McCormick's for less than $15.00. Not as good as bargain as the $3.00Mexican vanilla, but it sure beats $53.00.

    If that's what it costs where you live, then I can see why making it yourself would pay off. As for me, I'd rather not wait the 3 months, pay $15.00 and be able to use it right away.

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  60. Just picked up your book on the new bookshelf in the library (great cover caught my eye!). That was 12 hours ago- I am halfway through the book, read a good chunk of your blog and having a baking date (bagels and bread) with my boyfriend tomorrow! I never thought of a cookbook as a great read but I love your approach and have ordered the
    book to become a permanent in my collection! Looking forward to trying many of the recipes and checking some local laws on bees and chickens!! Can't wait for the cheese chapter!

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  61. Just picked up your book on the new bookshelf in the library (great cover caught my eye!). That was 12 hours ago- I am halfway through the book, read a good chunk of your blog and having a baking date (bagels and bread) with my boyfriend tomorrow! I never thought of a cookbook as a great read but I love your approach and have ordered the
    book to become a permanent in my collection! Looking forward to trying many of the recipes and checking some local laws on bees and chickens!! Can't wait for the cheese chapter!

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  62. Toni Feldhaus-Ingley7/23/12, 11:40 AM

    I checked the book out of the library last week and as I was reading the cover at the check-out desk I blurted out, "This is HER!" (The librarian now thinks I'm crazy). When I became a stay-at-home-Mom I found myself desperate to justify my decision to NOT earn a salary by using my new-found time to keep us healthy,comfortable and well-fed for as little money as possible. Jennifer, a couple years ago your Slate article gave me a real boost in that direction. It might be hyperbole to say you changed our lives, but you sure changed our yogurt, and our granola,and it kind of snowballed from there...can't BUY English bacon? Make it! What about crumpets? Make 'em! Already soaking noodles when you realize you're out of ricotta? Make it! I've reached the same conclusions you have several times...I'm not making butter until I own a cow,and while I happily make our laundry detergent, I still buy the stuff for the dishwasher, because it works better. Thank you for your delightful, readable, helpful book. And in my fondest dreams, I never thought I'd find a cookbook that quotes Betty MacDonald AND Laura Ingalls Wilder (Ma Ingalls was a fine woman, but Almanzo's mom could really cook...which makes Farmer Boy my favorite). I just bought your book. New. Retail. I never do that. Be honored.

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  63. I read every comment, and NOBODY mentioned the WAFFLES. These are absolutely delicious. You will never want Eggos again, and I know because I used to live on them. Two years ago I got a waffle iron for Christmas and couldn't find a good recipe, especially one I could put in the freezer. But I refused to buy Eggos any more. And it's tons of fun to make. Try it and you'll see why.

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  64. Just finished reading your book -fantastic! I can relate to everything you said, guess it's because I was raised in the 70's too...Appreciated your humor and candor, I definitely plan on trying some of the "make it"s, and won't be curious any more about the "buy it"s. I myself have a half dozen home-canned jars of prickly pear jelly on my shelf right now. Only because I have an abundance of cactus in my yard, and always wondered. Turns out, it isn't all that tasty...

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  65. I love the book! You have inspired me to make the camembert. I could use some advice, though.(although the spirit of adventure in your writing will probably also inspire me to just make my own decision....)
    1. calcium chloride: when to use or when not
    2. ripening: my choices are a 50 degree basement which is moldy or my fridge. I worry that the cheese will catch a bad mold in the basement when I open the container to turn it...any experience to share on this?
    thanks so much
    Donna

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  66. Hi there! I love this book!! After maxing out my checkouts at our library, my wonderful husband got me a copy, and it is already nice and splattered...a true testament to it's greatness in my kitchen:-)

    We recently had quite the adventure making your Canadian bacon, and consequently making a smoker to do so, and I wrote about it on my little blog. Here's a link if you'd like to take a peek: http://earthycraftymommy.blogspot.com/2012/11/diy-canadian-bacon-and-smoker.html

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for all of the inspiration. The recipes are wonderful and your stories all made me smile. I was so happy to see that you have this space up too, and I will be a frequent visitor from here on out.

    Thanks again!
    ~Michelle in Virginia

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  67. I made the camembert a little over 3 weeks ago. Last night I had a dozen people over. I asked them to bring a bottle of wine or some bread. We cut into a camembert with great fanfare, kudos and much snapping of iphone cameras. It was delicious! runny around the edges with the middle a bit younger. I made it with local pasteurized milk.
    My only suggestion to others: be aware that you need a 12 quart pot. That is a very large pot, like a lobster pot. I had to borrow one. Also, I used camembert cheese molds which I sprang for from the cheesemaking supply place.
    With 3 cheeses left, I am a rich woman!

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  68. After checking the book out a half a dozen times from the library, my wife requested your book for my birthday. Well, my mother bought the book, but since I didn't see her for a while, she read it first (and loved it). Anyway, love all the stories and the recipes are wonderful. Never had bagels turn out so well! The book pays for itself with just a few recipes made. When is the sequel?

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  69. I just heard you on the Faith Middleton Show on WNPR, and HAD to have your book! I'm halfway through it, and loving it.

    You say you've thrown in the towel and settled for Kozy Shack rice pudding--which is quite good--but I have unearthed the secret of transcendent creamy rice pudding: a recipe from a local church cookbook. By trial and error I learned that 1) it's best to make no more than a quart at a time and 2) use short- or medium-grain rice; cheap rice works best. The recipe is inexpensive, but it's a PITA to have to stand over the stove stirring it for an hour--still, it's worth it.

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  70. Dear Jennifer,

    I am a fervent eater, food blogger (www.cayugastkitchen.com) and admirer of your cookbook. I recently finished a cookbook proposal for a book I hope to publish called "The Best Source", where conscientious purchasing and producer stories (local and global) are an intrinsic part of each recipe. I am just beginning to contact publishers, and would love to hear about your experience with Simon and Schuster's Free Press and how you connected with them to publish Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. I would love any thoughts and advice you would be willing to share from one home cook to another!

    My best, and happy cooking!
    Emma

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  71. interesting book. Found the pancake recipe wrong, stating 2 cups of milk and not 1. I tried the isabella chocolate chip cookie recipe and cookies did not turn out. I am wondering if the recipe is off or if anyone else had similar issues?

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  72. Hi Jennifer I am an American ex pat living in New Zealand, and I found your book in our local library! I have been making many of the recipes you mention due to lack of availability of certain foods (ie good bagels!!) and great expense for others (chocolate syrup, mayo). Thanks for some great suggestions, I have made the ricotta, Isabelle's cookies, which I thought were fabulous, and today I tried the bagel recipe, which is much simpler than the one I had been using. Your chicken essay had me laughing out loud!! I don't have chickens but many of my friends here do. I do think their eggs are superior. There are no bobcats in NZ so that's a help!! I'll be buying your book soon from Amazon. Thanks!!

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  73. I am about halfway through this book and it has been great so far. Thanks for all the great recipes. I would like to use your everyday bread recipe in an upcoming bread making series on my website TheMessyOrganicMum.com

    Can you please let me know if I can publish your recipe? thanks so much.

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  74. I agree with the comment that using rapid rise yeast instead of instant yeast is likely the reason many people's bread won't rise. Thank you so much for that advice, after many non-rising bread attempts (hot dog buns, bagels, etc), I've finally got 2 loaves of lovely everyday bread baking in my oven.

    I will say it's pretty odd that the author won't come on this thread and help people who have questions on bread making, when the title of the book starts "Make the bread." :-/

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  75. Simply amazing book, love the sense of humour & great recipes throughout! Cheers from Canada!

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  76. Ms. Reese

    I just started to read your book "make the bread, buy the butter" and have been having a great time...however, I felt quite compelled to write to you about your "potsticker" recipe.

    1st of all, even though a lot of Chinese cuisine would call for many indgrents in just one dish, these ingredients must be used in good balance instead of just being mixed in because there was something in the cupboard. For authentic(and great tasting) potstickers, you season the filling with salt instead of soy sauce and YOU DON'T PUT RED PEPPER FLAKES in your filling unless the meat has been sitting in the fridge for too long(and lost that nice pink color when cooked) and you need the soy sauce and pepper flakes to cover up. And as far as I remember, the best dumplings/potstickers I have had were all made with salt instead of soy sauce.
    Garlic quite often is used for dipping, not for seasoning the meat as it is too overpowering. If you already have ginger and scallion and the Szechuan peppers, that's more than enough and you do want to let the meat's own flavor come through, instead of smothering it with everything you can find at an asian market.
    The second thing I had a problem with is how you cook your potstickers.
    In your book you wrote to boil them first then fry them in a pan....well, not only does this method take too much time, the dumplings would lose quite a lot of nice flavor/juice from the pocket because of the time they swim in that pot of boiling water...and the frying both sides is way too greasy and missing the point.
    The best potstickers are "steamed and pan fried" in one pan: you fill a frying pan with water that just covers up to the bottom of the dumplings and then you drizzle some cooking oil in the pan. Put the lid on and let the water steam the inside of the dumplings and the skin. Once the water has mostly evaporated and the skin translucent, you open the lid and let the oil crisp up the bottom (that is if you make these babies in such way they could stand up on their flat bottom)

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  77. I have owned your book for about a year now. I have tried numerous recipes and have loved them all. I even bought a copy for my father-in-law, the cooking neophyte. The stories are funny and clever and I swear I laugh out loud when I think of your goat tales...

    What I love the most about your book, though, was the complete shift in the way it made me think about food. Several of the recipes you provide are for foods that I NEVER would have thought to make myself. This trend towards making things myself has actually led to a self-sustaining attitude that I truly believe will stay with me forever. Now, before I buy something, I think, "Can I make this myself?"

    You can get good recipes in a million different places, but it really takes a special book to make someone change the way one views the world. (I know that sounds sappy, but it is absolutely true)

    I admire the courage it takes to put yourself out there. Thank you.

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  78. Almost two year later, and your book is still a "standard" in our kitchen. Chocolate cake turned out great....again! Thanks again....

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  79. I heard about your book on the Faith Middleton show, and I have been loving it. I wanted to let you know that it gave me the idea for a 10-part series I just started on my blog. I listed 47 ingredients and am having readers guess the mystery meal I will be making from it. Thanks for the inspiration! Here’s my post if you want to check it out: http://www.tootimidandsqueamish.com/2013/11/guess-the-mystery-meal-a-ten-part-series-part-1/

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  80. I have had the book for a while now and I love it!! So funny and super helpful. I have used a lot of the recipes and concepts from the book.

    I found myself wishing there was a similar volume but addressing non-food home products. I constantly find myself getting excited over the most recent DIY project I discovered: cleaning products, toiletries, laundry detergent, blah blah blah. I can't believe how many things I use that I could make myself! But just because I can doesn't mean I should ;-) Would love to see another book covering the non-food things!

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  81. Jennifer-- I absolutely love your book! Although I've had the book for almost two years, I read it more like a novel than a cookbook! Your voice is so fresh and funny and always makes me laugh. I can relate to almost everything you say (except your experience with the Cake Bible, which is one of my favorite baking cookbooks!). I finally got around to making the yogurt. I really wish I had done it sooner. It was great. Per your suggestion I saved the whey to use to make bread but wondered how long it will stay fresh in the refrigerator. I made the yogurt on Sunday; do you think it's still good after 5 days?

    Thanks for such a great book. I plan to work my way through the recipes in the coming months.

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  82. Just made the lemon extract, and got inspired to make orange extract as well. The vanilla beans are on order from Amazon. The kids and I are making the Cheez-Its this afternoon. I can't wait to play my way through the rest of the book!

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  83. I was lurking in the cookbook section of the library yesterday. I picked up a dozen or so books, and thumbed through the pages seeking some true inspiration. I came across "Bake the Bread, Buy the Butter" which I at first found comical because I love to make my butter but buy my bread... maybe this book could teach me a few things. I began reading last night over a glass (or two) of wine and finished it this morning over a cup of coffee. I loved this book! It is the perfect mix of humor and recipes. Although, I don't intend to ever own a goat or chickens for that matter, I do intend to try many recipes from this book. Thanks for a great read and some kitchen/life inspiration!

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  84. Dear Ms. Reese, I have enjoyed and used your MTBBTB for nearly three years. My only disagreement so far would be regarding hamburger buns, which you advise buying. I have followed Bernard Clayton's recipe several times and have been thoroughly pleased. I have also used the same recipe to make hot dog buns (to go with my home-made sausage) and have not had the problems you mention regarding irregularly shaped buns. I hope this is useful to your readers.

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