Real Simple: Guide to Real Life

Noelle Howey

The reason you need The Real Simple Guide to Real Life: Adulthood Made Easy edited by Noelle Howey (Oxmoor 2015) is that it’s funny. Here is the line from the opening to the short chapter on Feeding Yourself (And Others):

Things get weird when you rely on pizza delivery every night. Whether you love to cook or see a frying pan solely as a weapon, this chapter will give you something to chew on.

So, Super Chef followed that advice (not about using the frying pan as a weapon), and chewed a bit on the chapter.

The Real Simple Guide to Real Life by Noelle Howey

If you are starting out with your first apartment after high school or college or grad school or a few years back at your parents, then the list of “You can’t cook without…” (pp. 106-7) pantry staples might be pretty useful. There are follow up lists to help you choose spices for your rack, your pots and pans and other tools assuming those parents haven’t made those decisions for you already. There is a handy list called “8 Kitchen Gadgets You Really Don’t Need” (p. 112) like a Meat Tenderizer “Excellent at getting out stress, but not essential. The bottom of a heavy saucepan works just as well (for the stress, too).” Ah, there is that pan again – sort of a Maxwell’s Silver Hammer theme?

There is more: Kitchen Secrets: How to Avoid Common Cooking Mistakes (p. 113-115) like overcrowding the pan or cooking with a cold pan, cold butter and oil. But you are off the hook about not preheating the oven or letting meat rest. The editors let you know that it isn’t the crime of the century.

There are 10 recipes “anyone can make” like Butternut Squash and Bean Tacos for lunch at home or Pork Cutlets and Sautéed Mustard Greens for dinner with your significant other. These are short paragraphs with just enough detail for them to come out. Lastly, before the drinks section, there is a handy guide to choosing, storing, and using fresh fruits and veggies.

There’s plenty more in The Guide to Real Life on getting a job, looking good, dressing like a grown-up, and a faking a clean home. Here the question: is this for those of us who are just starting out or baby boomers taking a look back?

You decide.

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