Homemade food tastes better. It’s cheaper and uses less packaging. Still, while we may want to pickle those cute, little Persian cucumbers straight off the farm at the market, it turns out we might not know how. As such, Vanessa Barrington’s new cookbook, D.I.Y. Delicious comes to us in a timely manner. Vanessa’s cookbook explores recipes for many basic food staples you may have only recently considered making yourself. No time like the present!
For example, I never thought I’d find myself so excited to make porridge (boring), yogurt (too hard), or kimchi (really?)! However, after picking up D.I.Y. Delicious, my mind is spinning with all sorts of new staples I could make from scratch.
The first page of the cookbook starts with a dedication- -¦to every eater and cook who has ever asked the question, “˜Why can’t I make this myself?’” Now you can. The cookbook includes recipes of varying complexity from simple salad dressings and salsas to more involved projects such as making tortillas and crackers to fermenting and brewing sodas and tonics. Let the kitchen adventures begin! Plus, as a veteran chef in the Bay Area, Vanessa adds her own twist to basic recipes – fig jam becomes Fig-Rosemary Jam, sourdough bread becomes Sourdough Cornmeal-Pumpkin Seed Bread and aioli becomes Meyer Lemon and Parsley Aioli.
If you are in any way a D.I.Y kitchen type or have been aspiring to outfit your from-scratch pantry, this cookbook is definitely one you’ll want to have on your shelf for inspiration and reference. I know that I’m jumping on the crÃ¨me fraiche bandwagon. And fresh tortillas? I’m in! And yes, I even can’t wait to make porridge.
The book sells as a hardcover with wonderful photographs by Sara Remington, designed by Suzanne LaGasa with a modern day homespun feel, and retails at Chronicle Books for $24.95.