Tuesday, August 28, 2018

"My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own"--by Alice Waters--A well-stocked pantry is quite a comfort to home cooks

My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own

In this sweet, petite collection of essays and recipes, Alice Waters showcases the simple building-block ingredients she uses to create gratifying, impromptu meals all year long.
In her most intimate and compelling cookbook yet, Alice invites readers to step not into the kitchen at Chez Panisse, but into her own, sharing how she shops, stores, and prepares the pantry staples and preserves that form the core of her daily meals.  Ranging from essentials like homemade chicken stock, red wine vinegar, and tomato sauce to the unique artisanal provisions that embody Alice’s unadorned yet delightful cooking style, she shows how she injects even simple meals with nuanced flavor and seasonal touches year-round.  From fresh cheeses to quick pickles to sweets and spirits, these often-used ingredients are, as she explains, the key to kitchen spontaneity when combined with simple grains, vegetables, and other staple items.  With charming pen-and-ink illustrations by her daughter, Fanny and Alice’s warm, inviting tone, the latest book from our most influential proponent of simple, organic cooking ensures a gracious, healthy meal is always within reach.

MY REVIEW:  A pantry is defined as a “small room off the kitchen, where cooking ingredients, utensils, pots and pans, china & etc. are kept”. I once lived in a house with a pantry, and it had a window looking out over the back yard. It was a pleasant space, one where I not only perused the items available on the shelves, but often took a moment to pause and reflect on events of the day and life in general. I miss that pantry. Alice Waters and her daughter Fanny Singer have combined their considerable talents to produce a charming little kitchen companion: “MY PANTRY: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own”. A well-stocked pantry is quite a comfort to home cooks, and Ms. Waters states that “A familiar pantry is like being surrounded by friends who won’t let you down, within instant reach”. Building your own “food fortress” is valuable not only for long-term meal planning--it also allows for flavorful impromptu dishes. The book’s sections include: Spice Mixtures and Condiments; Nuts; Beans and Other Legumes; Savory Preserves; Whole Grains; Preserved Fish and Meat; Cheese; and Sweet Preserves. Some of the recipes included are: Chile-Lime Salt; Chocolate Nut Bark; Lentil Soup; Roasted Tomato Sauce; Zucchini Pickles; Multigrain Porridge; Oat Pancakes; Salted Fish; Beef Broth; Chicken Stock; Farmer’s Cheese; Crème Fraiche; Raspberry Syrup; Candied Citrus Peel; Mary Jo’s Brandied Cherries; and Vanilla Extract. Author and Chef Alice Waters is the owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She is also the founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project, which integrates gardening, cooking, and sharing school lunch into the core academic curriculum. Fanny Singer, who provides the delightful illustrations for “MY PANTRY”, is an art historian, curator, and illustrator based in London and Cornwall.

Book Copy Gratis Pam Krauss Books via Blogging for Books


Alice Waters 

Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school.

She has been Vice President of Slow Food International since 2002. She conceived and helped create the Yale Sustainable Food Project in 2003, and the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome in 2007.

Her honors include election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007; the Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award, which she shared with Kofi Annan in 2008; and her induction into the French Legion of Honor in 2010. In 2015 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama, proving that eating is a political act, and that the table is a powerful means to social justice and positive change.

Alice is the author of fifteen books, including New York Times bestsellers The Art of Simple Food I & II and The Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea.


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