Home Made Simple: Fresh Ideas to Make your Own
by The Experts at Home Made Simple

St. Martin's Griffin, 2010. ISBN 978-0-312-64147-4.
Reviewed by Laura Strathman Hulka
Posted on 11/08/2010

Nonfiction: Creative Life; Nonfiction: Arts/Crafts; Nonfiction: Food/Cooking/Kitchen

I am of the generation that learned homemaking skills from my parents and grandparents, and from my home-ec experiences in school. But now, the plethora of HGTV shows, Food Network cook-offs and self-help books, it is possible to learn both old and new skills without setting foot in a classroom or sitting at your grandmother's knee. That said, there are few shows that are memorable, and few books that are worth keeping or passing on. This book might just be an exception.

Quite a few of the ideas in Home Made Simple are fresh takes on the tried-and-true. It is the presentation that makes the book a joy to browse through.The five sections are "Organize," "Cook," "Decorate," "Celebrate," and "Garden." Would you like to have a traditional tea party? In Celebrate Living, you get history and background, directions for brewing the perfect pot, recipes for homemade natural teas, and ideas for tea treats, including chai tea squares. All this is provided in a section labeled "light and fun tea party."

Home Made Simple is a great book for a young married, a single person, or someone who wants new ideas to spark an in-home revolution. The ideas are modern and innovative, and yet the suggestions and recipes are based on much of the cooking, decorating and gardening ideas that have been around for generations. It is an interactive book, as well. Pages marked "work space" where you can make notes of recipes you liked, changes you implemented, or pairings of food and beverages that you have tried.

With Christmas coming soon, you might want to consider the "Simple Mango Chutney" recipe, with its accompanying gift-giving suggestions. Or create an indoor herb garden for an elderly friend, or a decorated woven mat for the doorstep. You can find creative thoughts for picture frames, and keeping family treasures.

Whether you want to try something new and different, such as a progressive tapas party, or something with the touches of old-fashioned family fun, such as having a family baking day, (making bread and cookies,) you will find the blueprints here in this book to make it happen.

A great wedding gift, or as a family treasure, Home Made Simple reminds me of the old book my grandmother had, called Inquire Within; between its battered leather covers I found receipts (the old-time term for recipes) for tonics, bread, salves, Christmas tree decorations and more. This book has the same flavor, modernized. Perhaps it too will become a family favorite.

This book is created by the experts at Home Made Simple. With a TV show, magazine, and vast media presence, they are what is new in taking care of your home. Visit their website.

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