Ms Betterhome

What I’m reading now…
October 31, 2009, 12:36 pm
Filed under: food, gardening, politics | Tags: , , ,

I’m busy with work & study right now, so most of my reading is work related. However, I still read for pleasure on the bus, and am currently loving Novella Carpenter‘s book Farm City. I don’t think it’s been released in Australia, but I bought it from Amazon in a fit of ‘good exchange rate’ euphoria. Carpenter has a great voice – very funny & self-deprecating, but sincere, too.

About 10 years ago, I heard a radio interview with a guy who had organised a community clean-up/regeneration project for an urban creek that had essentially become a stormwater drain. He commented that yes, he was a greenie, and most people would expect him to be living in some pristine wilderness area… but he felt he could do more good living somewhere really polluted. Carpenter’s book really reminded me of that story, & it’s great to read a book about food production that’s so warmly connected to an urban community.

My other recent food-related reading is The 21 Dollar Challenge, produced by people from the super useful Simple Savings website (which appears on my blogroll). It’s basically a book-length lesson in taking inventory of your fridge, freezer or pantry, then menu-planning to stretch your budget as far as you can. It’s not something you would do all the time – more like a way of demonstrating to yourself that you can eat well even when the cupboard seems bare. Most of the recipes are not things I’d eat, but I would certainly recommend the book to friends for those times when all the bills come at once & there’s only X dollars left til payday.

If the fridge/freezer/pantry were absolutely bare, I’d recommend the Hillbilly Housewife’s Emergency Menu Plan, which assumes that everything has to be purchased. The menu is more based around North American tastes, and again, includes food I don’t eat, but it is a clear, basic foundation for feeding a household well on a rock-bottom budget. I’ve known a few people who were broke & lived on junk to the point where they wrecked their health, because they just didn’t know what they could buy with their limited $$, let alone how to cook it. This site gives you the menu, the shopping list, the recipes, and the instructions for prepping each day’s meals. The context of the general website implies you’re a Christian homemaker feeding a particular kind of family… but frankly I don’t think that matters.


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