Homemade Book Review

Homemade Book Review

Title: Homemade: Finnish Rye, Feed Sack Fashion, and Other Simple Ingredients from My Life in Food
Author: Beatrice Ojakangas
Published: October 3, 2016, University of Minnesota Press
No. of Pages: 184
Cover Price: $22.95 Hardcover, $21.80 Kindle

I have loved Beatrice Ojakangas ever since I made her recipe for Chunk-O-Cheese Bread which was published in the 1957 Pillsbury Bake-off Booklet when she was a young finalist; oh how I marveled that a darling girl so young could win a national contest. My mother and grandmother both had kept the Bake-off booklets, and they fascinated me as a child while I was learning to cook. I consider Ojakangas the “Julia Child” of Scandinavian Cooking. Homemade is definitely up to her excellent standards: mouthwatering recipes, well-written stories and vignettes, easy to follow instructions, and a comprehensive index. You simply can’t go wrong with a Beatrice Ojakangas cookbook.

Homemade is somewhat different than Ojakangas’ other cookbooks, however. It is more of a memoir than a regular cookbook. The pictures aren’t of the mouthwatering recipes featured as in her previous cook books; rather they are of family, friends, winning cooking contests, and television appearances. Although it would be nice to see pictures of the finished dishes, anyone who is familiar with Ojakangas will welcome this fascinating glimpse into her world. Many of the recipes are from her previous cookbooks (I own them all), so they are pictured there.

I first made the Pulla – Finnish Cardamom Coffee Bread, and it was fabulous. I have now adapted it to make the dough in my automatic bread machine. Her recipe for Nauvoo Wheat-Nut Coffee Cake is worthy of a fancy brunch with company, and her Finnish Rye Bread is the best I’ve ever had. While not all the recipes are for breads, the cakes, appetizers, and main dishes are also excellent.

Foodies everywhere, especially those who have an interest in the actual cooks behind the recipes will thoroughly enjoy this well-written book. Ojakangas is a wonderful, down-to-earth person; regular people can relate to her, and this cookbook will provide not only good recipes, but a good reading experience.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this novel.

This book may be purchased at Amazon:
Homemade: Finnish Rye, Feed Sack Fashion, and Other Simple Ingredients from My Life in Food

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