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

The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila
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Oct 29, 12

bookshelves: cookbooks, food, reference
Read in October, 2012

This cookbook fits right into the DIY movement by providing (as the title suggests) recipes for foods that you could be making yourself instead of purchasing pre-prepared.

I already cook from scratch a fair amount and have a sizeable cookbook collection with recipes. So I already have recipes aplenty for many of the foods featured in The Homemade Pantry. I still appreciated this book, because its emphasis on the "pantry" was a useful reminder for how I could be putting my time in the kitchen to more efficient use by making larger batches to save some for later. I also like that the recipes have specific suggestions for solid technique.

For example, I already have a good granola recipe that I use regularly. But with this book, it has been improved. Chernila's recipe not only identifies granola as freezing well -- something I had never previously thought of although it makes sense - and makes a larger batch than my old standby, it also calls for parchment paper on the baking pans and leaving the pans to cool in the oven. These refinements provide for quicker clean up plus a better texture and more toasted flavor for significant improvement on a granola recipe that I had been happily using for quite some time.

It arranged "by aisle", with a couple of recipes for each. As in, a couple of savory condiments. A couple of jams. These are foods I had previously made myself. But what about crackers? Those I wasn't making regularly, but having seen how easy they are to put together, tasting the fantastic results, and realizing that like granola the crackers freeze well, they are now definitely foods I can see in the regular rotation in my oven. Similarly, this book's dairy aisle is inspiring a foray beyond basic butter and yogurst (which I have made before) to soft cheeses. And with such solid recipes, I know the results will be delicious.

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