We are constantly inundated with information on what to buy and why, but Amy’s do-it-your-self approach is refreshing—it is more about empowering than judging and nudges one to cook more mindfully. Poor Girl Gourmet is filled with tasty and approachable recipes as well as advice on how to live a budget gourmet life. The idea is that buying less, growing more, and cooking are the keys to saving money. I can attest to this because I grew up without a lot of money. My mom was a painter and my father a farmer, but we always had excellent food. We had real butter and whole milk, and we sat down to dinner each night and connected with each other. My mom had a magical garden filled with tomatoes, squashes, corn, asparagus, strawberries, kiwis, and lettuces. My father raised lambs, rabbits and chickens for us. We ate off the land. It was not about fancy labels or buying things, but self-sufficiency and connection to the land.
A life centered around food need not only be about consumption. It can also be about what you make and what you can do for yourself. Amy’s book Poor Girl Gourmet (which she kindly sent to me) embodies this philosophy where simple frugality does not skimp on gourmet taste. I highly recommend this book as a gift for anyone who is trying to get friends or loved ones to cook more sustainably or to just cook more. It is a wonderful read and makes shopping at the farmer’s market for whole ingredients less intimidating. Last but not least are Amy’s recipes, all thoughtfully written and with maximum taste in mind.