Vikki'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
Apr 26, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-reads

yes, i'm adding another cookbook to my 2012 reads shelf...but it counts, trust me! this is no small book, and i read it cover to cover (ok, i scanned most of the recipes, but there's an essay accompanying almost every one, and some substantial chunks of text in between). i can't comment yet on the recipes; there's vanilla pudding chilling in my fridge right now, but it's only the second one i've had a chance to test drive. it's a beautiful book, though, with personal stories that place it somewhere to the left of "a homemade life" on the cookbook--memoir continuum. this is the second book i've bought in as many weeks that tells you how to make at home things you'd normally buy at the store: everything from bread and butter to ketchup and oreos. i have no desire to make our oreos (or out ketchup, for that matter--it's got about 37 ingredients), but i'm always interested in good recipes for more prosaic staples of our pantry, and this one's got a few i haven't seen in other cookbooks: instant oatmeal, pancake mix, and a "car snack" that the author calls a granola bar but that struck me, when i made it for a friend who just had her third baby, as more of a homemade energy bar. this is not a cookbook for people who are looking to cut back on their sweets--although she does try to replace refined sugar with natural sweeteners wherever possible--but it is a good resource for people who just want to be more independent with their kitchens, less reliant on processed foods and grocery store products with lots of additives. if you want a basic resource that will help you make most of the things you rely on in your daily life (including desserts!), this would be a good place to start.
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