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Customer Review

205 of 220 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homemade PopTarts (that's right!) jams, condiments and more, April 21, 2012
This review is from: The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making (Paperback)
I have no doubt that if you are perhaps older than 40, you've noticed a change in store-bought foods, especially snack foods. The taste somehow has changed over the year. Also, not a few of us have become aware of additives in food we really don't want to eat. Or, we have allergies and so do our kids. In any case, wouldn't it be GREAT if you could have the same treats and snacks in your biscuit tin, pantry or cookie jar that your kids love but you are ashamed to even be seen buying? I certainly think so and that is why I got a copy of this book.

I am going to say right out of the gate, I am not one of those people who only eats organic, or vegan or really takes tremendous care, but I buy very few packaged baked goods or crackers. (Which is why most coupons are useless for my buying habits.) And I have never EVER eaten a Pop Tart(tm). My mom when we grew up, simply refused to buy that kind of thing. But if your kids would like a treat and clamor for toaster pastry, here is a recipe for absolutely delicious-looking flat tarts that you could serve with your head held high (even to guests, with a cup of coffee.) If you can roll out pastry dough (and to the author's credit, she gives a pie dough recipe rather than "buy a package of refrigerated pie dough") you can make these and they are cute as can be. And the author tells you how to freeze them effectively (on parchment paper, flat, so they can be stacked into a container) so you could simply pull them out on a weekend or even weekday, heat them up in the oven and serve them up for breakfast.

Some of the other recipes are jerky, homemade yogurt (which I do frequently), mixed nuts, granola bars, and crackers. Now, I was really interested in the crackers because crackers and cheese happens to be my snack of choice (I'd rather have that than a cookie.) But I have found most crackers to be very salty, or starchy and the flavor doesn't seem to be there. Here we have a recipe for wheat crackers using spelt, wheat, flax seed and are they ever good! And the author gives gluten free variations using brown rice flour.

Staples like pancake mix, ketchup (no hfcs) and even mustard are covered. The ketchup is good--I tried it, but it will not taste like (you know who) because that recipe is difficult to duplicate. Mine was more tomato-ey, spicier, but I liked it.

The downside to this book is that it takes some planning and preparation (a weekend canning, mixing, boxing, freezing) but if you do plan ahead, you could have a pantry of American favorites in a convenient form but lacking additives, corn syrup, even wheat, which sneaks into many mixes as wheat starch, so if you are concerned about such additives or if you or a family member has an allergy, this is a welcome book and the pictures make the most ordinary foods look very tempting indeed.

I'm off to make more crackers...
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 14, 2013 3:51:27 AM PST
S. Jackson says:
What about dairy-free options? Is the cookbook loaded with butter, milk and cream? Or can I find some recipes that don't call for cream cheese, sour cream, or cheese?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 4:13:01 AM PST
There are a lot of cracker and bread recipes, some have buttermilk, but there are many that don't have excessive amounts of creamy ingredients. It depends on your definition of "loaded." Mainly, this is making homemade versions of convenience, grain-based foods (like toaster pastry), jams and condiments, for people who want to eat such things but make a better version without so much processed ingredients.
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