Home Dairy

Homemade Living: Home Dairy with Ashley English:
All You Need to Know to Make Cheese, Yogurt, Butter & More
Ashley English

I have looked at many books that have information about making butter at home. Ashley English's book is one of my favorites. Unlike many home dairy books, this one has a comprehensive chapter dedicated to butter.

Ashley English provides a feast of information for dairy-loving foodies! She guides readers through all the essentials in four topic-specific sections: Butter & Ghee, Cultured Dairy Products, Cheese, and Ice Cream. Each primer offers need-to-know facts with gorgeous photos, troubleshooting tips, profiles, and Ashley's own roster of recipes.

Ashley is the author of four books in The Homemade Living Series – Canning & Preserving, Keeping Chickens, Keeping Bees, Home Dairy, as well as many others including A Year of Pies, A Year of Picnics, and Quench.

My Last Supper


My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals / Portraits, Interviews, and Recipes
Melanie Dunea


Award-winning photographer Melanie Dunea asks fifty of the world's famous chefs what their final meals would be.  The portraits--gorgeous, intimate, and playful--are informed by their answers and reveal the passions and personalities of the most respected names in the business. One recipe from each landmark meal is included in the back of the book. 


My Last Supper: The Next Course: 50 More Great Chefs and Their Final Meals: Portraits, Interviews, and Recipes
Melanie Dunea


In My Last Supper: The NextCourse, Dunea expands her circle from the highest echelons of chefs to include the best-loved food personalities such as Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, Joël Robuchon, Tom Colicchio, and Bobby Flay to ask them the question that drove the first volume: "What would you eat for your last meal on earth?"





Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages
Anne Mendelson

Part cookbook—with more than 120 enticing recipes—part culinary history, part inquiry into the evolution of an industry, Milk is a one-of-a-kind book that will forever change the way we think about dairy products.

I first found out about this book because of its beautiful cover design. I know you are not supposed to Judge a Book by it's Cover, but it is often what makes me take a look inside. I'm glad I did with Milk. It is an interesting read. She has lots of interesting butter information and butter recipes.

Terry Gross interviewed Anne Mendelson about Milk on Fresh Air.

Chef's Story

Chef's Story: 27 Chefs Talk About What Got Them into the Kitchen 
Dorothy Hamilton and Patric Kuh

I am sorry I missed the Chef's Stories series on PBS television. You can find a few episodes on YouTube and listen a handful of episodes on the Chef's Story website.

Chef's Story takes us into the private world of more than two dozen master chefs—twenty-seven remarkable individuals who share their memories, their beliefs, and their passion for quality to reveal what helped them all become modern culinary legends.

Visit Chef's Story website

Animal Farm - Orwell, Vermont


Photos by Colin Clark

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Animal Farm is a small, licensed dairy and farmstead creamery located in Orwell, VT. They have been producing handmade butter from grass-fed Jersey cows for ten years, and recently expanded their facility to bottle their own buttermilk, straight from the churn.

Their commitment is, first and foremost, to cow comfort and well-being. From this foundation, they create delicious, high-quality dairy products using small-scale techniques. This allows them to produce food that tastes as it was meant to be — butter that is rich in mouth-feel, fragrant on the nose, and changes with the seasons as well as buttermilk that is light and tangy with butter flecks that melt in your mouth.

The majority of our butter is sent to Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurants, The French Laundry and Per Se. In addition, their butter goes to Chef Barbara Lynch’s Boston restaurants, Menton and No. 9 Park, as well as to Chef Patrick O’Connell’s, The Inn at Little Washington, in Virginia. Small amounts are available through the Middlebury Natural Food Coop. Their buttermilk is distributed throughout New England by Provisions International and can also be found in New York City from Saxelby Cheesemongers.

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The Animal Farm Buttermilk CookbookRecipes and Reflections from a Small Vermont Dairy 
Diane St. Clair (Author)

This cookbook offers 100 recipes, from sweet to savory, designed to showcase the best that buttermilk can contribute to food, all set in the context of what it is like to live and work on a small Vermont artisanal dairy.


Spinning Plates


Spinning Plates is an award winning documentary about three extraordinary restaurants and the incredible people who bring them to life. A world-renowned chef competes for the ultimate restaurant prize in Chicago, while privately battling a life-threatening condition. A 150-year-old restaurant in Iowa is still standing only because of an unbreakable bond with the community. And a fledgling Mexican restaurant in Tucson struggles as its owners risk everything to survive and provide for their young daughter. Their unforgettable stories of family, legacy, passion and survival come together to reveal how meaningful food can be, and the power it has to connect us to one another.


Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient


Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes
Jennifer McLagan

Winner of the 2009 James Beard Award for Best Single Subject Cookbook and Cookbook of the Year, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, is broken down into five sections,

Introduction: A Matter of Fat
Butter: Worth it
Pork Fat: The king
Poultry Fat: Versatile and good for you
Beef and Lamb Fats: Overlooked but tasty



I, of course, focused on the first chapter, Butter! 

From the book jacket:
For all of history, minus the last thirty years, fat has been at the center of human diets and cultures. When scientists theorized a link between saturated fat and heart disease, industry, media, and government joined forces to label fat a greasy killer, best avoided. But according to Jennifer McLagan, not only is our fat phobia overwrought, it also hasn’t benefited us in any way. Instead it has driven us into the arms of trans fats and refined carbohydrates, and fostered punitive, dreary attitudes toward food–that wellspring of life and pleasure.

In Fat, McLagan sets out with equal parts passion, scholarship, and appetite to win us back to a healthy relationship with animal fats. She starts by defusing fat’s bad rap, both reminding us of what we already know–that fat is fundamental to the flavor of our food–and enlightening us with the many ways fat (yes, even animal fat) is indispensable to our health.

Mostly, though, Fat is about pleasures–the satisfactions of handling good ingredients skillfully, learning the cultural associations of these primal foodstuffs, recollecting and creating personal memories of beloved dishes, and gratifying the palate and the soul with fat’s irreplaceable savor. Fat lavishes the reader with more than 100 recipes from simple to intricate, classic to contemporary.

For Grace


"For Grace" is the revealing feature-length documentary by Chicago filmmakers Kevin Pang and Mark Helenowski. The film follows the building of the restaurant Grace from concrete box to its opening night, showing as few films have before, the exacting standards required in luxury dining.

It’s a story about food, family, balance and sacrifice. It also revisits Chef Duffy's turbulent childhood: How a middle school home economics teacher recognized cooking talent in a troubled teenager, how an unimaginable tragedy made Duffy seek refuge in the kitchen, and how cooking ultimately exacted a price.

The filmmakers spent four years filming, editing and producing their debut documentary. 


Food Lover's Companion

The New Food Lover's Companion 

Ron Herbst and Sharon Tyler Herbst

I love this reference guide. I refer to it any time I read about a food or technique that I am not familiar with. Such as, I was looking at a recipe that asked for "roquette." Thanks to my Food Lover's Companion I now know that roquette is arugula.

The New Food Lover's Companion includes more than 7,200 A-to-Z entries describing food of every kind, cooking techniques, herbs, spices, wines and other ingredients. The book includes hundreds of cooking tips plus an extensive bibliography of recommended cookbooks. 

There is also The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion. This enlarged and enhanced reference volume has detailed glossaries and hundreds of illustrations.