Based on reader suggestions, Kris and I made a trip to Costco on Friday to buy bulk yeast and a fifty-pound bag of bread flour. (We're serious about this whole home-made bread thing.) While I waited for Kris to pick up some other groceries, I leafed through Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills edited by Abigail R. Gehring. "Wow," I thought. "I am the target audience for this book." I bought it.
Here's an excerpt from the book's introduction:
Back to Basics is a book about the simple life. It is about old-fashioned ways of doing things, and old-fashioned craftsmanship, and old-fashioned food, and old-fashioned fun. It is also about independence — the kind of down-home self-reliance that our grandparents and great grandparents took for granted, but that we moderns often think has vanished forever…
At its heart Back to Basics is a how-to book packed with hundreds of projects, step-by-step sequences, charts, tables, diagrams, and illustrations to help you and your family reestablish control over your day-to-day lives.
Back to Basics is not for everyone. If you have no desire to grow and prepare your own food, or to build your own furniture, or to practice voluntary simplicity, then there's probably little of value here. But if, for whatever reason, you are drawn toward voluntary simplicity, this book offers a treasure trove of information.