The Pantry Project:
A few years back--ok, a few years and then some--I had an online column for Gourmet called "Extreme Frugality." The stories I told chronicled the adventures my family and I had while trying to live and eat within our means. Most of the stories centered on food-related topics, from sourcing meals out of local garbage receptacles--read dumpster diving--to more family-friendly undertakings like making our own mozarella. It was a blast--until Gourmet magazine folded without warning.
Now, though, I have an even better and bolder project. Over the next year or so, my family and I (the family that cooks together stays... fat and happy) are going to replace as many of our store-bought pantry items with homemade ones as is humanly possible. The items I'm talking abourt are the "ingredients" that most cookbooks assume a reader'll go out and buy--everything from table salt to Worcestershire sauce to sherry to oyster catsup. Not only will we know how and where all our staples came into being but we'll know the history and stories behind every little (and big) ingredient we take for granted. The part that makes it fun for you, the reader/cook/chef, is that all the stuff between--the multiple attempts, the adventures, the connections to our past and the failures--is what interests me the most. You'll have a bullet-proof recipe at the end of the day but you'll also be entertained while sharing in the joy, and sometimes even stronger emotions, that food brings to each of us every day.
Musings, Updates, and Failed Blogs
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