On the Bookshelf: What We’re Reading
These are a few books we’re drooling over (and cooking from) this month:
The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making by Alana Chernila: More postings on this books will come this month, but this is hands-down our new favorite for homemade pantry basics like Roasted Tomatoes For the Freezer, Potato Chips, and Wheat Crackers to Rhubarb Binger Syrup, Peanut Butter Cups, and Easiest Chocolates. Think of her like a modern pioneer woman; she cans, she bakes, she writes. (A favorite essay of ours is “Canning Is Not Scary.”) Witty and smart, Chernila freely admits she once feared yeast and will convince you that you, too, make hamburger buns from scratch.
Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can’t Wait to Make by Melissa Clark: New York Times columnist Clark has always provided reliable, interesting recipes and this book is no exception. Her chatty writing style and modern homestyle seasonal recipes (including Crisp Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas, Lemons, and Carrots with Parsley Gremolata, Southeast Asian Tomato Salad, Spicy Three-Meat Chili, Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Salted Yogurt, Mint, and Pomegranate Seeds, and Berry Summer Pudding) use accessible ingredients and have enough of a modern twist that kids will devour them but parents will, too. And in our house, that’s all we can ask for.
The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert: Wolfert is undeniably the expert on Moroccan cuisine and this updated classic is packed with luscious photos and recipes that will have you lugging that tagine out the cupboard and making a batch of couscous. A must for the serious foodie willing to stock their pantry with a few Middle Eastern ingredients.
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton: Hamilton’s saucy memoir (pun intended) isn’t a cookbook, but might just be the most entertaining read about the making of a chef. It’s just out in paperback, so snatch it up and settle in for a roller coaster ride with this New York City chef.