How To Use Kombucha as a Household Cleaner (and Other Handy Tips from The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home)

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Did you know that if you leave your home-brewed kombucha to ferment for several weeks longer than usual, it can be used as a household cleaner and vinegar substitute? Have you ever wanted to build a wood-fired oven in your backyard or braid a rug for your kitchen floor? How about making your own cheese or soap or taking on the Sephardic dish called huevos haminados which begins by hard boiling eggs for 12 hours until they become tender, nutty, and taste like a roasted fowl? If any of these basic yet fascinating household tasks intrigues you, read on for my review of the new book, The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home.

This is not a fancy, glossy-photographed book. It’s smallish, about the size of the Nancy Drew books from my childhood and has the same kind of paper and line-drawn illustrations. It may be small but the content is large and mighty, with many original and unusual recipes, tips, tasks and projects for ‘domestic self-sufficiency.’

Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafzinger Henderson are the authors of another favorite book The Lost Art of Real Cooking to which The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home is a cosy companion. Here they have expanded their scope a bit to include other helpful domestic projects like sewing your own clothes, gardening, quilting, and soap making.

Quick Facts

Who wrote it: Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger Henderson

Who published it: Perigee

Recipes and projects for right now: Fermented apple cider, hootch, liverwurst, kombusha for ‘refreshment and utility’, olive oil soap, a simple kitchen broom, paneer, boudin noir, pomegranate molasses, soy sauce.

Recommended? Yes! This is an informative, fascinating and practical book which delivers an enormous amount of information.

Who would enjoy this book? Anyone who would find a glimpse of themselves in the following paragraph from the title page: “A recondite treasury of arcane secrets, wherein are explained mysteries of the kitchen and cupboards, plainly set forth for those who would profit materially and spiritually through self-sufficiency, honest unplugged labor, and diligent application of economic principles derived from our esteemed forebears in matters both esculent and domestic.”

→ Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home: The Happy Luddite’s Guide to Domestic Self-Sufficiency by Ken Albala and Roseanna Nafziger Henderson (Perigee, September 2012)

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.

(Image: Perigee)

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