The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila

updated May 2, 2019
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Quick Facts

Who wrote it: Alana Chernila

Who published it: Clarkson Potter

Number of recipes: 101

Recipes for right now: Yogurt, Maple Popcorn, Sauerkraut, Potato Leek Soup, Pudding, Chicken Nuggets, Veggie Burgers, Lasagne, Breadsticks, Chai, Peanut Butter Cups, Fig Bars

Other highlights: There are a few things that I love about this book and why it has earned a spot on my very crowded shelf. First, this book has all the basic recipes you might conceivably need in one place, from homemade butter to homemade peanut butter cups. It feels comprehensive. It feels empowering. It feels like I can clear out a few other DIY books and just use this one instead. I love how Alana just gives us the straight-up recipe, no twists or special spins, just the simplest, most easy-to-follow form of the recipe — though, yes, with plenty of exciting variations and tips for getting through tricky spots.

Second, this book is as pleasurable to read as it is to cook from. Her witty recipe titles crack me up, like “Tortillas, or The Only Problem with New England” and “Jerky, or Just You and the Highway.” Her recipe headnotes are more truly blog-style mini-stories. They hit just the right note to me, being both entertaining and informative. Reading about her own life, her relationship with her husband, and parenting two young girls, I start to put the recipes into context. I can see how one might conceivably integrate all these homemade projects into daily life.

Who would enjoy this book? DIY-ers, folks wanting to replace store-bought foods with homemade, new cooks looking for basic recipes

Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Homemade Pantry:101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making by Alana Chernila
Visit the author’s website: Alana Chernila

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