I bake bread for my family every week. Home baking is not that hard, not that time consuming, and certainly cheap! You don't need a bread machine or a lot of fancy equipment. This blog features a tutorial on home bread baking, tips on equipment and ingredients, and recipes for real home cooking.

More-With-Less Cookbook

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Every winter, when the money gets tight, I reach for this cookbook. Every summer, when I'm trying to figure out how to use way too many zucchini and tomatoes, I reach for this cookbook. In the spring, when I need another recipe for rhubarb, or in the fall, when baked squash is getting boring, I reach for the More with Less Cookbook.

First published in 1976, this book deserves a new look. The last decade's flurry of TV cooking shows and celebrity chefs have left us with the impression that good cooking starts with scouring the world for exotic ingredients. As the carbon crisis challenges us to eat food produced closer to home, as food prices rise along with oil prices, this book shows us how to cook and eat in a cosmopolitan fashion while using the plain ingredients that we find at hand.

Some of it is dated. We no longer think that margarine is automatically more healthy than butter. Eggs are no longer 59 cents a dozen. But the basics are sound in this collection of proven recipes. The ideas are gathered from Mennonite communities worldwide, including farm families and missionaries. The introductions, anecdotes about food and hunger from around the globe, brings perspective and helps us appreciate the bounty that we still enjoy, even with rising food prices. Each chapter ends with advice to "Gather up the fragments", how to use leftovers that might otherwise go to waste.

Cheese Strata

Preheat oven to 350
Lightly butter:
  • 12 slices bread (can be stale)
Arrange six slices in the bottom of a 9x13 pan Cover with:
  • 6 slices cheese or 2 cup shredded cheese
Top with remaining bread. Beat together and pour over:
  • 2 2/3 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Bake 45 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Serves six.

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About me

  • I'm Susan Och
  • From Lake Leelanau, Michigan

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There's more to food than just nutrition, otherwise we would all be eating custom-formulated kibble. I didn't exactly learn to bake from my grandmother, but my ancestors, even the ones I never met, have informed and influenced my lifelong exploration of cooking and food. Want to read more? Check out this entry from my home blog, French Road Connections