Midnight Jesus - A Book Review
8 Things I Didn't Know About Motherhood

All The Cookbooks In My Pantry

I read cookbooks like novels. I've been so delighted to learn I'm not the only one. In my experience, time spent in the kitchen together equals some of the sweetest memories. I’m always surprised when people tell me they don’t like to cook. I enjoy cooking almost as much as I enjoy eating.


Some of you are already thinking, “I don’t have time for all that cookbook reading and making things from scratch.” But for me, it’s not another item on a to-do list. It’s a way to reconnect with a more basic lifestyle. It’s offering my loved ones the best life has to give.


Anyway, back to cookbooks. I have a few healthy eating ones, that if I’m being totally honest, don’t get opened very often. I love my classics. Gifted to me since before I got married even, they’ve made lots of moves with me and called several kitchens home. But my favorites these days are the ones that call me back to simple cooking. There’s an emphasis on using the best, freshest spices. Since we do a little gardening now, they teach me how to preserve foods we harvest when they are at their peak in flavor and texture. 




So, when I got my hands on My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own by Alice Waters, I cozied up under a blanket, made a cup of tea and got to reading from cover to cover. In addition to lots of helpful suggestions, her daughter shares her ink illustrations throughout the book. Simplicity at its finest. 


Like her recipe for Roasted Tomato Sauce. First, she gives me permission to skip the dreaded step of peeling and seeding all FOUR POUNDS of tomatoes beforehand. Let the food mill take care of the skins and seeds. To which I say, done!


Also, how to pickle, um, everything. Zucchini. Ginger. Peppers. Mushroom. Oh, and cucumbers!


Although the preserving sections spoke to me directly, this cookbook includes much more than that. She walks you through homemade hummus. Yogurt. Broth. Spice Mixtures.




Every page took you right into her kitchen. These weren’t recipes she’d tried once or twice. They weren't the masterpieces from her restaurant. They are staples. I’m convinced if we could teach our palates to appreciate the freshness and richness of food prepared at home, we’d lose all interest in chemicals, preservatives and processed packaged foods for good.


Now, to celebrate these homemade ingredients that make the simplest of meals, I want to share something with you, my readers. About three years ago, when I first started gardening and canning, my mom sent me the canning recipes she’d collected in her younger years. This little spiral bound book of recipe cards contains recipes from a great aunt who ran a grocery store. A few from my mom’s favorite aunt. Some from the sweet lady who attended church with us when I was a little girl. She owned domesticity. My husband has crowned her Bread and Butter Pickle recipe the winner of all contests. Friends, I share the recipe with you!






The older I get, the more thankful I am for cookbooks like this one that teach me how to do the basics well.



I received the book, My Pantry, from Blogging for Books for the purpose of generating a review. The opinions expressed here are my own.


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