Self-Sufficiency is the Ultimate Girl Power: Modern Pioneering by Georgia Pellegrini (Book Review)

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Raised with a great aunt that made sure that she got dirt under her nails and a grandmother that made sure those nails were polished, author Georgia Pellegrini is well prepared to share tricks and techniques for making the most of what you have with a modern twist.  Modern Pioneering is filled with gardening advice for those with limited space, recipes meant for garden to table cooks, homemade projects that are simply beautiful, and a variety of tips for developing unique survival skills.  Brimming with beautiful pictures and images of the many suggested food stuffs and creative activities, the book succeeds in entertaining and exciting the reader about investing time and effort into “modern pioneering.”  Some of the best and most unique ideas are listed by category/chapter below.

The Garden

  • indoor versus outdoor gardening
  • the best plants to grow for medicine
  • edible flowers

The Home

  • food storage techniques
  • how to grow sprouts
  • the art of drying foods

The Wild

  • common edible plants
  • pocket-size 48-hour survival tool kit
  • versatile and strong knot for many uses

The Rest

  • how to turn jars into lanterns
  • hard apple cider doughnuts
  • quick and easy beeswax candles

This is not a book encouraging a minimalist lifestyle, but rather one that rejoices in the simple pleasures that can be found in multiple environments, whether the reader lives in the country or in a nineteenth floor sky rise.  Granted some of the planting described in this book is going to be more challenging at a New York City apartment altitude, but most of the projects and recipes can easily be completed even by a city dweller.  Many of the baking recipes are heavy on sugar and cream, but are likely well worth the calories.  There is also a noticeable lack of information regarding hunting or raising and caring for animals as potential food sources even though meat recipes are provided in the book.  This is especially surprising given the author’s last published book, “Girl Hunter:  Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time.”  Notably there is discussion of meat choice and purchase, storage, and preparation options.

Reasons to Read:  Modern Pioneering would make a fantastic investment for those interested in doing more with the land and resources they have, but feeling overwhelmed by the process.  This would also make an excellent and heart warming gift for those moving into a new home!

Reasons to Pass:  This book is very modern and encourages fun and crafty over resourceful and thrifty.  Individuals purchasing this book with the intent of living solely off the land and minimizing their carbon foot print may be disappointed.

Category:  Better Living, Crafts, and Hobbies

Suggested Rating:  PG  This book is almost entirely family friendly, but does discuss the use of alcohol and creating a watermelon keg….which sounds delicious by the way 🙂

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

From the Publisher

About the Book:  A cookbook and backyard gardening and homesteading guide for women who want to grow food efficiently, cook seasonal recipes, or even try foraging, camping, and living off the land.  Georgia Pellegrini, outdoor adventurer and chef, helps you roll up your sleeves and tap into your pioneer spirit. Grow a small-space garden and preserve a little deliciousness for the cold months; assemble the makings of a self-sufficient pantry; learn to navigate without a compass for your next camping trip; or even forage for plants that give you energy.

Whether you’re a full-time homesteader, a weekend farmer’s market devoté, or anyone looking to do more by hand, this overflowing resource will help you hone new skills in the kitchen, garden, and great outdoors. It includes:
·         More than 100 recipes for garden-to-table dishes, preserves, and cured foods
·         Small-space gardening advice on building a raised bed, choosing what to grow, and saving seeds
·         DIY projects, such as Mason jar lanterns and homemade notecards
·         Superwoman skills like assembling a 48- hour survival toolkit in an Altoids tin
Packed with beautiful photographs and illustrations, Modern Pioneering proves that becoming more self-sufficient not only means being empowered, but also having a lot more fun. 

About the Author:

GEORGIA PELLEGRINI’s taste for simple food and outdoor adventure evolved as she grew up in the Hudson Valley, on the same land her great-grandfather owned and worked. She followed her passion to the French Culinary Institute and then to Gramercy Tavern, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and La Chassagnette in France. Georgia is the author of two previous books,Food Heroes and Girl Hunter, and her writing has appeared in The Wall Street JournalBon Appetit,American Hunter, and The Huffington Post. She has been featured on TodayJimmy Kimmel Live!, and Iron Chef America. She lives in Austin, Texas.

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