In case you find yourself in possession of a rainy (or sunny) day and a kitchen, I highly recommend checking out Amy Pennington’s new book, Urban Pantry. A Seattlite in practicality and creativity, Amy manages to lay down all kinds of interesting food knowledge in between delectable, just-challenging-enough recipes. Among the cooking knowhow I learned:
- Staples: Amy guides you through the basics (flours, spices, oils, etc.) and follows up with recipes telling you how to use them.
- Infusions: If you enjoy a good hint, a world of infusion lies before you! Bow down before such inspired combinations as Earl Grey ice cream and orange-flavored butter.
- Nuts: All it takes to make a nut butter is nuts and a blender! This now seems obvious, and yet, I had never known.
- Handy tips: Consider mason jars for storing leftovers; save your meat scraps for stocks; don’t shy away from substituting ingredients.
She also covers nutrition, conservation, gardening, keeping and drying herbs, preserving, and much more.
Most of all, it’s the book’s friendly, unpretentious tone that drew me in. One of the recipes she praises the most, in fact, is an easy walnut spread.
1) Take a slice of bread and soak it in milk
2) Blend the bread with an equal portion of walnuts
Presto! You’re the proud new owner of a ridiculously tasty walnut spread. Put it on pasta, eat it with chips—it truly does suit every occasion.