Cookbooks: My Pantry, Brew Better Beer, Homemade Vegan Pantry

three book stack - Food in Jars

I have been gazing at this particular stack of three books for at least a month now. I set them on the edge of my desk sometime in early October, thinking that they made a nice little collection, and then got lost in a hurry and busy of life. Read nothing into my delay, all three of these books are worthy contenders for your eyeballs and wish lists.

cover of My Pantry by Alice Waters

Alice Waters is a woman who needs no introduction. As the founder of Chez Panisse and the author of many, many cookbooks, her influence on our culture’s understanding of food has been vast.

My Pantry is her newest volume and is relatively slim in comparison to some of her earlier works. However, as someone who takes great pleasure from making my own pantry staples, I am entirely charmed by this book. It is a trip through Alice’s favorite homemade condiments, simple soups, preserved meats, sweet preserves, and simple cheeses. It’s like a peek into her fridge and cupboards, and there’s much here that I’ve bookmarked for future days of making.

cover of Brew Better Beer by Emma Christensen

I’ve never brewed beer. There are a couple things that have stopped me from trying my hand at it. First is the issue of storage (I’m already at capacity with my preserving habit). Second is the fact that my body hates it when I drink more than a few sips and tortures me with headaches if I venture beyond my paltry tolerance.

And yet, despite all that, thanks to Emma Christensen’s Brew Better Beer, I still want to give it a shot someday (I’ll just have to give most of it away, which should make me very popular with my neighbors). Her instructions are clear, the flavor combinations are hugely appealing, and I so appreciate the fact that the recipes are scaled so that you can brew your batches in either 1 or 5 gallons. If you have a burgeoning home brew enthusiast on your list this holiday season, you should get them this book.

cover of Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner

In a sea of books devoted to making pantry staples from scratch, Miyoko Schinner’s Homemade Vegan Pantry, is unique for its plant-based approach. I know several vegans who have already come to depend on this volume for the nut-based cheeses.

However, don’t think you should skip this book if you take a more omnivorous approach to your diet. There is still plenty here for you. The soup concentrates (tomato! mushroom! cream of broccoli!) alone earn this book a spot on my shelf. The crackers are pretty special as well. And I’m really curious about the flax seed meringues!

Are there any cookbooks that you guys have been enjoying lately?

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6 Responses to Cookbooks: My Pantry, Brew Better Beer, Homemade Vegan Pantry

  1. 1
    mlaiuppa says:

    I’m still obsessed with The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook.

  2. 2
    Isolda says:

    My pantry is in my wish list for Christmas, what a lovely set of books.

  3. 3
    Brenna Searcy says:

    Yours, actually! 🙂 I picked up “Preserving by the Pint” at my local indie and have totally fallen in love with it. I stumbled upon your blog by happenstance and then realized that you were the author! So fun.

  4. 4
    MJ says:

    I have been doing some deep dreaming of holiday foods with a twist with the “Theo Chocolate” cook book. Really beautiful!

  5. 5
    Trish says:

    I love cookbooks

  6. 6
    Lucia says:

    I LOVE “Homemade Vegan Pantry”! More Weck jars are coming into this house as a result of all the staples I’m going to start making myself.

    I also just bought “Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking” and will be trying out my first recipe from it tomorrow. What I really appreciate about this book is the authors’ recommendations on what to do with the “extra” ingredients you may have left over, so that nothing goes to waste.

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