This book is a map for how, day in and day out, food shapes my life for the better, in the kitchen and beyond it.
—from the Introduction
Start where you are. Feed yourself. Do your best, and then let go. Be helpful. Slow down. Don’t be afraid of food.
Alana Chernila has these phrases taped to her fridge, and they are guiding principles helping her to stay present in her kitchen. They also provide the framework for her second book. In The Homemade Kitchen she exalts the beautiful imperfections of food made at home and extends the lessons of cooking through both the quotidian and extraordinary moments of the day. Alana sees cooking as an opportunity to live consciously, not just as a means to an end.
Written as much for the reader as the cook, The Homemade Kitchen covers a globe’s worth of flavors and includes new staples (what Alana is known for) such as chèvre, tofu, kefir, kimchi, preserved lemons, along with recipes and ideas for using them. Here, too, are dishes you’ll be inspired to try and that you will make again and again until they become your own family recipes, such as Broccoli Raab with Cheddar Polenta, a flavor-forward lunch for one; Roasted Red Pepper Corn Chowder, “late summer in a bowl”; Stuffed Winter Squash, rich with leeks, chorizo, apples, and grains; Braised Lamb Shanks that are tucked into the oven in the late afternoon and not touched again until dinner; Corn and Nectarine Salad showered with torn basil; perfect share-fare Sesame Noodles; Asparagus Carbonara, the easiest weeknight dinner ever; and sweet and savory treats such as Popovers, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Summer Trifle made with homemade pound cake and whatever berries are ripest, and Rhubarb Snacking Cake.
In this follow-up to Alana’s wildly successful debut, The Homemade Pantry, she once again proves herself to be the truest and least judgmental friend a home cook could want.
The Homemade Kitchen is full of beautiful, clean photos of food and the author’s family. They are the kind of photos that draw you in, if I had seen this book on the shelf I would have grabbed it, even if I hadn’t heard anything about it and didn’t have time to look at the back cover. I know they say never judge a book by its cover, and I don’t in the negative way, but I’ve got to say that sometimes a nice cover will draw me TO a book. This book has one of those covers. It’s also full of stories. I’m a sucker for stories! The author included personal stories with every recipe. Some of them are long, a lot of them are just small blurbs, but each idea has something to help the reader connect to it. Which is nice, because some of these tutorials and recipes (such as Kefir or Turkish Breakfast) are for things I have never heard of. After reading the authors descriptions I am making plans to try cooking things like Kimchi Breakfast Tatas, even though I haven’t previously had a strong desire to try kimchi. Hopefully it’s great! Near the start of the book is a section called “Be a Beginner.” It includes things like how to cook an egg, how to cook a vegetable, how to turn fruit into jam, etc. I love these simple how to’s! As weird as it seems, I had never actually fried an egg before. I’ve just always been convinced that I didn’t like them, but reading this book I realized I had never actually tried one. Now I have, and the information was easy to follow, with delicious results. I didn’t have to look anything up online either, which is nice, because sometimes I just don’t want to. This book is all about eating as well as you can, and it’s not condescending or patronizing. It’s very easygoing, and I appreciate that. And the food is very approachable! There are so many recipes in here that I still want to try. And there are tips too! All sorts of tips that I never knew I needed, but now have at my fingertips. So much knowledge shared, without anything feeling pushy. My favorite recipe in here so far is the Asparagus Carbonara. I haven’t yet been able to make it exactly as written, because some of the ingredients were out of season or unavailable for me to find, but there are variations listed with the recipe (that helped me immensely) as well as just things I decided to try. I’ll post my heavily modified carbonara recipe below, but be forewarned that I don’t always measure things closely. I didn’t really measure anything for this recipe. And of course I don’t have a picture, so you’ll have to use your imagination. The author has a blog that you can find here. The writing style is much the same as in the book, so give it a peek and see if you like it. Shortly after I brought this book home I decided I just had to add it to my collection, so I am now a proud owner. I love it so much it hasn’t even made it to the bookshelf yet! So far it has been going back and forth between the coffee table and the kitchen. Definitely try this book out if you like story based cookbooks with lots of pictures and multiple types of recipes- it’s fantastic
- Title: The Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure
- Autor: Alana Chernila
- Publisher (Publication Date): Clarkson Potter (October 6, 2015)
- Language: English
- Download File Format: PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3 (Kindle)