Contributed by Mari Farthing, OWB Admin & mom dedicated to finding a balance between cooking and eating, reading and writing, running and sitting still.
The book reviewed here was provided to Oklahoma Women Bloggers by Chronicle Books for the purpose of review consideration. Opinions shared here are the opinions of the blogger.
My grandmother cooked from scratch. She canned her own vegetables and kept a bountiful garden. My parents would make things like homemade sauerkraut (not my favorite) and my mom often cooked from scratch even if our meals often consisted of the big three: meat, potatoes and a vegetable.
We didn’t have a lot of pre-packaged food but it was the 1970s and we were right in the rise of frozen meals. There were pot pies here and there, a foil-trayed TV dinner every now and then, but for the most part, it was mom making our meals and our snacks, too.
I love the idea of eating local and cooking every day. Kind of like grandma did, but with a little modern twist. I may not have a green thumb but I do have a GPS to lead me to the best farmers markets around for my ingredients.
When I first saw D.I.Y. Delicious (published and provided by Chronicle Books, written by Vanessa Barrington, illustrated by Sara Remington), I wasn’t sure, but when I started reading, I found that the author has a similar mentality as me—it’s more than a cookbook, it’s a guide to demystifying a simple life. After all, Grandma might have made her own bread or even yogurt, but she probably didn’t have a fancy bread or yogurt maker to do it. This book reminds us that once upon a time, those convenient foods we get in single-serve plastic packages were made in someone’s kitchen. Making staple food items from scratch—like butter, pasta, yogurt, granola, jam and so much more—is not just delicious and healthy, it’s satisfying.
The first recipe I tried out was granola—using rolled oats, coconut oil, leftover pepitas and almonds, some flax meal. The recipe is super-flexible and easy (as evidenced by my success with it). I like to eat it stirred into my Chobani—I have yet to venture into the yogurt making myself.
Next I made a batch of almond butter, which was also easy and tasty. It was great spread on apple slices for a snack. Next I’m hoping to whip up a batch of sourdough starter for bread and maybe some crème fraiche. It’s gonna be a really fun summer!