“Alana is the real deal: A practically minded, thoroughly modern yet authentically old school homesteader. Ingeniously opting for quality over quantity, she strives for excellence, taste, and nutrition, and inspires her readers to do the same. She shows us the functional beauty in a frugal kind of cooking that’s nevertheless alive with luxury and abundance. Believe her and practice what she preaches.”
—LUCINDA SCALA QUINN, host of Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn and author of Mad Hungry
“The Homemade Pantry is an important, beautiful work that can change the way people approach their food lives.”
—MOLLIE KATZEN, author of The Moosewood Cookbook
“You can work culinary magic on a whim when you keep a well-stocked, mindfully edited pantry. Alana’s beautiful book shows you the way with an impressive range of homemade go-tos. She covers all the useful day-to-day staples here with understated style. Pancake and waffle mixes, granola, tomato sauce, and salad dressings bump up against recipes for crackers, soda syrups, sauerkraut, and spice blends. It’s the sort of book that makes you want to head straight for your kitchen.”
—HEIDI SWANSON, bestselling author of Super Natural Every Day
About The Book
On a mission to kick her family’s packaged-food habit, Alana Chernila discovered that, with a little determination, anything she could buy at the store could be made in her kitchen—and the homemade versions were less expensive, more satisfying, and better for the environment and the soul. In The Homemade Pantry (Clarkson Potter/Publishers; April 3, 2012; $24.99; Trade Paperback), her debut cookbook, Alana Chernila presents recipes for 101 everyday staples, organized by supermarket aisle—from crackers to cheese, pancake mix to sauerkraut, and mayonnaise to toaster pastries.
These recipes were born from Alana’s tight budget and her desire to make delicious foods from scratch for her schoolteacher husband and two energetic young daughters. Many of the recipes in the book are magically quick and easy to create, from kneading fresh, creamy butter in five minutes to making a delicious, yet simple, homemade ricotta from milk, salt, and a couple of lemons. In beautiful prose that captures the daily humor and foibles of family life, Alana both inspires and teaches the reader, friend to friend, simple but often thrilling basic foodmaking that will change the way they think about the packaged foods they use every day. Sample recipes featured in the book include:
- Dairy: Buttermilk, Cream Cheese, Yogurt
- Cereal and Snacks: Instant Oatmeal, Toaster Pastries, Potato Chips
- Soup: Potato Leek Soup, Beef Stew, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Baking Needs: Basic Pie Crust, Pancakes and Waffles Ready Mix, Vanilla Extract
- Frozen Goods: Strawberry Ice Cream, Veggie Burgers, Fish Sticks
- Pasta and Sauce: Pasta Dough, Ravioli, Macaroni and Cheese
- Breads and Crackers: Hamburger Buns, Graham Crackers, Tortillas
- Drinks: Rhubarb Ginger Syrup, Hot Chocolate, Lavender Chamomile Tea
- Candy and Sweet Treats: Peanut Butter Cups, Fruit Rollups, Marshmallows
The 101 recipes in this book are accompanied by beautifully written essays on food memories in Alana’s life; they also include helpful tips for leftovers and storage suggestions to keep your pantry as fresh as possible. With Alana Chernila’s approachable voice and patient and humble advice, including her own tense moments in the kitchen, The Homemade Pantry will encourage readers to step into their own kitchens and think twice before buying foods they can easily make at home.
About The Author
ALANA CHERNILA writes, cooks, sells fresh vegetables, and teaches cheese making. She created the blog www.EatingFromTheGroundUp.com in 2008. Alana is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe and lives with her husband and two young daughters in western Massachusetts.