Synopses & Reviews
After a harrowing experience with a pink-slime burger, acclaimed writer Max Watman resolves to stock his pantry with real food. Invigorated by memories of his childhood in rural Virginia with foodie parents, he hunts, fishes, gardens, bakes, makes cheese, raises livestock, butchers, preserves, and pickles. All does not go as planned: his backyard paradise is invaded by a defiant chicken-killing raccoon; his homemade Camembert tastes like chalk; and for one moment it seems as if he’s lost a thousand-pound steer. With humor and infectious enthusiasm, Watman perseveres, detailing the pitfalls and triumphs of his do-it-yourself adventures without pretense. On his quest he learns that the value of the endeavor is in the attempt, and that living from scratch is not all-or-nothing. With a blend of down-home spirit and literary panache, Watman serves up a delectable taste of the farm life—minus the farm.
"While I was growing up on our family farm near Lyon, I learned the importance of seasonal produce and fully utilized livestock at an early age. Max Watman's witty and vivid accounts of producing farm-fresh products such as cheese and preserves in a modern world brings back fond memories and had me laughing throughout." New York Times Book Review
"Max Watman has the descriptive and narrative power to make the outer limits of the food world seem both magnificently rare and dangerously explorable and appealing. finds the sweet overlap between our gustatory appetite and our hunger to keep turning the pages of a great story." Daniel Boulud
"Succeeds not only as a memoir but also as a work to inspire everyone to try new things regardless of expertise." Publishers Weekly
"[Watman] captures the swing and momentum of food preparation, the Zen of hunting and fishing, and the sweet, quirky joys of family life ." Eugenia Bone
"On the surface, is about food ...[but] a deeper examination reveals that is also about family and friendship and the role of food in those relationships." The Wall Street Journal
"Exuberant ...  is inspirational." Dawn Drzal
Max Watman's compulsively readable memoir of his dogged quest to craft meals from scratch.
After an epiphany caused by a harrowing bite into a pink-slime burger, Max Watman resolves to hunt, fish, bake, butcher, preserve, and pickle. He buys a thousand-pound-steer--whom he names Bubbles--raises chickens, gardens, and works to transform his small-town home into a gastronomic paradise. In this compulsively readable memoir, Watman records his experiments and adventures as he tries to live closer to the land and the source of his food.
About the Author
Max Watman is the author of Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in Moonshine and Race Day: A Spot on the Rail with Max Watman. Raised in the mountains of Virginia and the kitchens of Washington DC, he currently lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife and son.