Kasey Jueds's Reviews > The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making

The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila
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's review
Jun 11, 12

bookshelves: food-writing, cookbook
Read in June, 2012

I'm not sure I've ever read a cookbook cover-to-cover, the way I did with this one (very happily, on the train to CT to visit my in-laws). I did skim some of the recipes, but otherwise read every word--each recipe has a warm-hearted, thoughtful, often funny mini-essay that accompanies it, so really this is part cookbook, part memoir, part treatise on eating sustainably and mindfully (and with pleasure). So it's several of my favorite genres and topics rolled into one. Occasionally the writing gets a little too sweet/precious for me (the only reason I shied away from five stars), but it's only occasional, and for the most part I love Chernila's writing voice, which is honest and accessible and heartfelt. I also love the idea of making homemade versions of so many store-bought things... AND the fact that Chernila is so remarkably nonjudgmental about this process. She shares what works for her and encourages people to do what works for them--so if you don't want to make homemade pasta or twinkies (I don't--I'm one of the few people I know who hated them even as a kid), you don't have to. There are tons of things I do want to make, though. There's a great-looking recipe for jam using Pomona's pectin and any kind of berry, plus homemade ricotta and yogurt and granola and power bars and Oreos. Yum.
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