Cooking

When Ruth Reichl lost her job as 'Gourmet' editor-in-chief, she turned to, and found joy in, cooking.
Timothy Krause / Flickr Creative Commons

When Gourmet magazine, shut down six years ago this month, editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl was devastated.

The former Los Angeles Times food editor and New York Times restaurant critic did not know what to do next. Lost and uncertain about her future, Reichl returned to the one simple passion that always brought her joy: cooking. 

Image of Peach Pico de Gallo from Sandra Gutierrez's book 'The New Southern-Latino Table'
Sandra Gutierrez

The first community cookbook was published by Maria J. Moss in 1864 to raise funds for Union soldiers injured during the Civil War. Over the following centuries, thousands of other communities followed in her footsteps and used cookbooks as a way to raise money, share a particular message, and communicate peer-to-peer with others in their community.

Homeward Bound: The New Domesticity by Emily Matchar
Emily Matchar / http://emilymatchar.com

What’s going on with the youth these days?  Some are getting into knitting sweaters. Others are tending to backyard chicken coops. They are cheesemaking, canning, beekeeping and growing their own vegetables. These labor-intensive homemaking projects may be more than a trend towards rustic pleasures.

John F. Blair

  

In the South, food has purposes beyond sustenance and certain items like biscuits, buttermilk, and bacon are sacred. 

Homeward Bound: The New Domesticity by Emily Matchar
Emily Matchar / http://emilymatchar.com

You may have noticed a DIY trend among young people these days. Some are getting into knitting sweaters; others are keeping backyard chicken coups. Otherwise, they are making cheese, canning, beekeeping and growing their own vegetables. These labor-intensive homemaking projects may not be just a trend towards rustic pleasures.

Emily Matchar calls this movement the New Domesticity.  And she documents this phenomenon in her new book, "Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity." Generally, she is writing not about people who embrace DIY culture out of necessity, but rather as a voluntary lifestyle. 

Andrea Reusing's Chapel Hill restaurant Lantern is loved and respected by sophisticated foodies from around the world. So it's a bit of a surprise that her first cookbook is not full of recipes from Lantern’s menu. Instead, the book is a seasonal guide to a year's worth of unintimidating, easy-to-shop for, easy-to-make, fresh, local meals.