It is surprisingly difficult to summarize the book “How to Sew a Button: and Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew” quickly. At first glance it seems like yet another long laundry list of DIY frugal living notes and instructions on a vast array of seemingly unrelated topics. This book goes deeper, however. Tying these topics together are short quotes and vignettes from grandmothers who grew up, survived and even thrived during the Great Depression.
The author, Erin Bried, manages to connect us with these women from another era, even though they aren’t MY grandma, there is an authenticity to their voice: they are somebody’s grandma. Through these women, you aren’t just learning how to preserve food, you are learning how to preserve food the way Jean Dinsmore’s mother taught her during the Great Depression. These DIY tips aren’t just modern day tips and tricks for saving a buck, they are tried and true methods for living-heirlooms passed down through the generations.
“‘If you didn’t can your vegetables in the summer, you would do without them in the winter.’ ~Nikki Spanof Chrisanthon”
I received this book from a friend as a birthday gift (thanks Dara!). I find it a handy resource in my home as I explore cooking, cleaning with natural cleaners, and sewing. Not only do I learn new things through this book, but I feel a little more connected to my past. It would be great for someone moving out on their own for the first time, a college student or a young adult, or for people of any age who want a quick reference on the basics of domesticity.
“‘It’s about what you do with what you’ve got, not just what you’ve got. Living your life to try to make more and more isn’t a very good way to live. You need to appreciate what you have and look to others who aren’t as lucky and feel you’re blessed and wonder why sometimes.’ ~ Alice Loft”
There has been a lot of talk lately comparing the Great Recession with the Great Depression. I am interested to know your thoughts–do you think it is a fair comparison?
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