The Homemade Pantry

(Books, Nonfiction, Cooking) Permanent link

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making is a compilation of recipes for pantry stapes by food blogger Alana Chernila.  Mother of two young children and avid home cook, Chernila shares her recipes for such stapes as sandwich bread, ketchup, jam, salsa, and even vanilla extract.  If you’re really adventurous in the kichen, you can try her recipes for homemade mozzarella, toaster pastries, or peanut butter cups.  Although she does include recipes for entrees such as lasagna (with homemade noodles!), generally you won’t find full meals here, but recipes for food that most people probably buy prepackaged and that might be a component in a meal or snack—breads, condiments, soup, dressings, etc.

Chernila admits that buying prepackaged food certainly is faster and easier, especially for busy families for whom dinnertime can be rushed and chaotic.  She gives five reasons in particular for making the effort to prepare more food at home:  1. Food made at home is better for you;  2. Food made at home tastes better; 3. Food made at home usually costs less;  4. Food made at home eliminates unnecessary packaging;  5. Food made at home will change the way you think about food.

While I agree with her reasons, I seriously doubt that I’m going to make potato chips or fruit roll-ups any time soon, and I feel no guilt about that whatsoever.  Food can be a very sensitive subject in our culture, with plenty of judgments being passed around regarding what and how people eat; I’ve glanced through plenty of cookbooks that come off as snobby or authoritarian, but this isn’t one of them.  Chernila is simply sharing recipes for food she likes to make at home, and she makes home cooking look easier and more worthwhile than always relying on prepackaged food.


The Homemade Pantry

Posted by Caitlin Hoag at 07/20/2012 02:47:33 PM