Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver and Camille Kingsolver and Steven L. Hopp

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  • Basil-blackberry crumble

    • radishseed on September 07, 2020

      Interesting flavors. This recipe doesn't indicate what size of pan to use, but I think an 8" x 8" is probably intended. I used a pan that was too big, and it was very thin with sparse topping. I also would go lighter on the basil, maybe a tablespoon? I'm not sure how much a "large handful" is, but I think mine was too large. I sprinkled some pine nuts on top, and that plus the light sweetening and strong basil flavor made a dessert toeing the line between savory and sweet.

  • Family secret tomato sauce

    • Christine on August 28, 2012

      This was my first attempt at canning tomato sauce. I can't honestly say it's the "perfect" recipe that I will now make every summer, but it is pretty good. I had to look up instructions on how to actually make the tomato puree, but other than that it was a good introduction to the canning process. I know there are a lot of safety rules when it comes to canning tomato products and I have read in many places that it is a big no-no to mess with tested canning recipes. So, now that I've gotten my feet wet and am no longer intimidated by the process, I'll probably keep my eyes open for for different recipes to try with my next batch of tomatoes. This one has an interesting mix of seasonings and a nice deep, red color. If you're looking for a homemade sauce recipe that doesn't taste exactly like what you can buy at the store, give this one a try.

    • Barb_N on July 26, 2014

      This, too was my first foray into canning. Unlike 'the old days' I did it by myself not realizing that the huge quantities were going to make a lot of work. I also foolishly made each of the recipes that build on this base- barbecue sauce, chutney etc After that exhausting experience it's a wonder I ever canned again. Now I make small batch and make sure it is something our family eats. You need a village if you plan to make these recipes in all their steps.

  • Barbecue relish

    • Barb_N on July 26, 2014

      This starts with Family secret tomato sauce and leads to Sweet and sour sauce and Chutney. I don't remember if she suggests making all of these step by step, canning each along the way or if that was my misguided idea but it was a huge amount of work. Unfortunately making it did not make it enter our menu repertoire. It was good but I threw most of it away unused.

  • Sweet and sour sauce

    • Barb_N on July 26, 2014

      This is easy to make if you have already made the Family secret tomato sauce or the next step- Barbecue relish. Perhaps canning those then later making this or the chutney is most practical. Unless you have an army of workers don't can these all at once.

  • Chutney

    • Barb_N on July 26, 2014

      This is step 4 after starting with tomato puree. A nice conceit, but I have made much better chutneys. I prefer a straight tomato chutney OR a fruit chutney not a mix of both.

  • Strawberry rhubarb crisp

    • Barb_N on June 14, 2020

      The flavor was spot on, I heartily approved of the allspice and cinnamon in the topping. The fruit base was very soupy, most likely due to the use of honey as a sweetener. Next time I have rhubarb and strawberries, I’ll macerate them with sugar & maybe a bit of flour for thickener.

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  • ISBN 10 0060852550
  • ISBN 13 9780060852559
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published May 01 2007
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 384
  • Language English
  • Edition First
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher HarperCollins
  • Imprint HarperCollins

Publishers Text

Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver returns with her first nonfiction narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.


Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.


This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew ... and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air.



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