Shannon Hayes leads us ever deeper into a truly fulfilled, humane and sustainable lifestyle with her latest book: Long Way On A Little: An earth lover's companion for enjoying meat, pinching pennies, and living deliciously. I've been looking forward to Long Way On A Little's publication ever since devouring Hayes' ground breaking work Radical Homemakers, in which the author takes on extractive consumption, consumerism as a way of life, and boldly suggests that the home can and should become a place of production once again. Long Way On A Little extends that concept even further with threads of philosophy, animal husbandry, sound food science, and wonderful recipes woven into a narrative fabric that's fine, strong, beautiful, compelling. Much more than a cookbook, Hayes' newest work helps the reader understand the hows and whys of meat (and other animal products) production, offers frank discussion of why meat is so important in the human diet and then delights with creative and approachable recipes that prove straight forward to make and absolutely sumptuous to experience. However, even if you are not the type to raise your own meat animals, process them and then utilize every single part -- this is a book any eater should read, just for the sustainable food production lessons woven throughout the text.
As a cookbook, Long Way On A Little makes an important addition to any meat eater's collection -- and for those for whom meat is not an option, you will be offered an honest assessment of how and why meat, as a healthful dietary component, is important to so many folks. Wondering what to do with that left over hog's head? You'll find everything you need to know about making head cheese on pages 228 and 229. Always had difficulty preparing sausages or roasts to perfection? Long Way On A Little is loaded with no-fail procedures for getting it right every time. For the carbohydrate counters among us, Hayes has even included carbohydrate estimates and a breakdown of their sources for each recipe. In her most refreshing, inclusive style, Hayes also offers entry points for folks interested in grain-free, legume-free and other specialized diets. And finally, Long Way On A Little offers the reader so many great and good tasting ideas on how to use up leftovers, how to strip a carcass and get all that good stuff to the table, and even offers soap recipes and rendering techniques for taking advantage of all that good grassfed fat!
As a farmer holding an earned Ph.D. in Sustainable Agriculture and Community Development from Cornell University, Shannon Hayes is not just passionate about her topics. She is a practitioner who bothered to inform her practice with deep knowledge. As an author, culinary expert and teacher, her work is every bit as approachable as it is impeccable. Long Way On A Little by Shannon Hayes is a must read for everyone who enjoys any aspect of real food, environmentalists, food fad activists, conventional agriculturists, animal husbands, animal scientists, processed food industrialists and anyone else with any stake in the food game -- I think that's pretty much everyone, and I mean it sincerely. Purchase your copy here or here, sit back, read, cook, enjoy and become part of new food paradigm.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.