Jammed with Good Advice

By Raleigh Briggs

Microcosm Publishing 9.95 128 pages

Not everyone can grow a garden, attempt major DIY projects or sew their own clothes. But, as Raleigh Briggs shows in Make It Last, they can prolong and preserve the things they have already, food included. In this charming little manual, Briggs explains basic preserving methods in three categories: clothes, food, and home. In “clothes” she discusses the rudiments of sewing, mending, patching, fixing a zipper and waterproofing. In “food” she discusses all sorts of preservation methods, from canning to drying to salt-curing, as well as how to make herbal vinegars, syrups and honey. In “home” she discusses how to fix doors, windows, paint problems, tubs, sinks and toilets.

“There’s a lot of apprehension about home repair because the stakes seem so high. But honestly, if you’ve ever cooked meat to a safe temperature or cleaned an oven without killing yourself, you can totally fix up your home.”

The entire book is written in the author’s handwriting, and accompanying the text are pen sketches, giving Make It Last the feel of a casual notebook of hard-won tips and tricks. Despite the subject matter, it’s replete with humor and the author fairly jumps off the page. The page numbers are on the side, as opposed to the bottom, which makes finding specific topics fast and easy. This utterly approachable book is a handy resource for anyone wanting to save money, throw out less and be more self-reliant.

Reviewed By Andrea Klein

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