Saturday, July 11, 2015

"A Cabin Full of Food" Cookbook Review: 5 Stars

"A Cabin Full of Food" Cookbook Review: 5 Stars

Generally I don't buy cookbooks, because I am more of a cook with what I have on hand type of gal. There are just a few bloggers that I really like, my criteria is that they actually are living what that talk about. "Just Plain Marie" is one of these people.  What first drew me to Marie Beausoleil's cookbook was her “What to Expect” & “What Not to Expect” pages. 
Here is a picture I took of the "What Not to Expect" page, shared with Marie's express permission

She lives on an off-grid homestead and everything she says is simple & plain. Just reading these pages on the "Look At" feature on Amazon convinced me to order the cookbook.

Then the recipes. The recipes Marie shares focus “heavily on foods that can be grown, raised or made at home. Other recipes then refer to these basic ingredients.”
As she states “This is not a 'Go Shopping' cookbook.”

There are almost 1,000 recipes that are geared towards off-grid cooking scenarios that can be made without electric appliances. That cinched it for me.

The A Cabin Full of Food” cookbook arrived on Friday and was sitting on or porch when we came home from the farm.

Just before we left Mr. Perky was cutting up some apricots we had on hand, vacuum sealed them and threw them in the freezer. His only venture into caning is jam & he was talking about making apricot jam. First thing I looked for when I opened the cookbook was an apricot jam recipe. Sure enough there it was on page 248 and the instructions were so simple.
These recipes were gleaned from many people who shared handwritten family treasures and old cookbooks with Marie's sweet comments embroidered about. There are also Old Order Mennonite recipes.
The categories are unique & simple:
  • Make Your Own: things like Home Made Hot Chocolate
  • Herb & Spices: such as Herb Vinegar Infusions
  • Grains: two examples are Shoofly Pie & Four Types of Scones
  • Vegetables: Mashed Potato Biscuits
  • Dairy & Eggs: including Master Sauces.
  • Dairy: I want to try the Baked Butterscotch Pudding
  • Legumes: how about Canning Baked Beans
  • Trees & Fruit: I know I will like the Blueberry Juice Concentrate. Blueberries are in season and I did this last year.
  • Meat: I definitely want to try the Rabbit Casserole.
As prepared people our larders should have basics spices and ingredients by now. This book caters to the type of cooking we should be practicing, from scratch, with our fresh and stored foods.
Bonus: Marie also added a seasonal calendar of things to be preparing for and doing on a homestead.

You can also take a peek through the link below, at the huge list of recipes with the “Look At” feature on Amazon. 
I am already turning down page corners of recipes I want to try. This is a book that I highly recommend and I believe it will fast become a classic must-have prepping cookbook.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I encourage you to join our growing community at Perky Pepping Gramma on Facebook. Also, if you would like to follow Marie on Facebook, her page is Just Plain Marie (2307). I participate in the Amazon Associate program, where I receive a small referral commission for products that I recommend. But, I will tell you I only recommend items that I own and use. Below are just a few more products that I use that work well for grid-down living. Thank you for our support!

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  1. You know, I had a dumb moment and didn't connect your name and penname when you emailed me. :)

    Thank you so much for the kind words. I'm glad you liked the Master Sauces. I spent a lot of time trying to make that simple but practical so that people would realize that there really are ONLY a few basic sauces - and once you have those mastered, the world's your oyster, and you can riff on the theme as much as you like. That's especially helpful when you're looking at the pantry and wondering how to make a set group of staples turn into multiple meals your family will continue to eat! :D

    Cooking IS simple, and directions should be simple, too. A famous homesteader, Helen Nearing, once said that if a recipe can't be written on the back on a 3 1/2" index card, "off with its head!"

    1. I am a basic cook and couldn't survive without my white sauce (bechamel). Love it!

  2. Thank you for the review. I read Marie on facebook and enjoy both of you. I am looking forward to the cookbook. I am sure it will become a staple in our home.

  3. I'm thinking this is going to be the next cookbook I buy. My " go to" is the 4 ingredient cookbook because everything in there literally only has hat many or less. But this one has to happen.