The former Entertainment Weekly writer decided to take on this Herculean task after losing her job, because, if nothing else, testing and culling the legion of recipes included in her cookbook would take lots and lots of time. But mostly, as she says in the book, she wanted to find the "sweet spot between buying and making," to approach the subject empirically, rather than seeking an answer" rooted in ideology, or politics, or tradition, or received wisdom."
I would say she achieves her goal -- and beyond. I have no desire to raise goats, ducks, turkeys or chickens to see whether it makes sense economically or otherwise to do so, but she did, and now I have a resource to consult to talk me out of it.
Reese is no romantic about making things from scratch and is honest about what it will cost, the effort it will take and what I am better off buying at the supermarket. Better yet, she approaches the subject with a sense of humor, making for fun reading. And if I want more on the subject, I can also consult her blog, tipsybaker.com.