Monday, July 21, 2014

Homemade Pantry

Whew, readers!  I've been on a cooking streak the past few days!  One of the recipes on the docket for today was a whole bunch of flour tortillas.  Here's the wonderful cookbook that holds this recipe and many more:

The main premise of Homemade Pantry is that most convenience foods that we think of as being strictly store bought (eg. cheese crackers, breakfast cereal, graham crackers) are actually worth making at home from scratch.  It's a fairly generally acknowledged thought that homemade is always better, so why not extend that idea to our everyday boxed food?

I knew about a lot of the recipes.  For instance, I've been making granola forever.  It's no surprise to me that you don't have to eat store bought cornflakes for breakfast.  However, the recipes are so delicious and, at least in all the recipes I've tried, are fail-proof.  There's everything from the perfect pie crust to potato chips to homemade poptarts (pictured above).  The recipes are explained in careful (sometimes too careful) detail.  The author, Alana Chernila, is clearly working to make this cookbook accessible to readers that are not accustomed to working in the kitchen.

The book is laid out in a new and charming way.  There are 11 chapters, each labeled with an "aisle", like in a grocery store.  So there's aisle 1 with the dairy products and aisle 2 with the cereals and snacks.  If you're trying to find a good snack food, just turn to aisle 2 for some recipes for granola bars, cheese crackers, or beef jerky.  The other interesting thing about this book is the way that the recipes are presented.  Each recipe is preface by a little reflection by Chernila that ties into the recipe in some way.  Actually, they remind me of little blog posts, which is not surprising as she is also a blogger.  It gives the reader the distinct impression that she is reading in on a journal.

Aside from the great recipes and the gorgeous photographs (I so admire food photographers), the writing is eloquent and skilled.  No awkward, unwieldy sentences that desperately try and fail to explain something.  No bad grammar (thank you, editors) or tangled-up-mumbo-jumbo wording that ends up making less than no sense.  It's a pleasure just to sit down and read this book like a novel.

If you're not a cook already, then it probably wouldn't make a lot of sense to get this book.  However, if you have ever had any interest in cooking or preserving, then this is a must-read.  I really enjoyed it.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good cookbook.
    I need recipes spelled out in detail.
    Those poptarts look inviting