Book Review: My Pantry by Alice Waters

I'm a cookbook junkie; I can't resist a good cookbook.  I borrow them from the library.  I purchase them.  I read them for pleasure--sitting in the rocking chair while I nurse my baby.  I study them when I menu-plan.  I pore over them while I consider alternative diets.  I give them away when I have too many to fit on my shelves.

Then I buy more.

So, when I found out I could join Blogging for Books and have nearly unlimited access to brand-new cookbooks, something in my brain shivered with pleasure, and I signed on.

I've long been fascinated by Alice Waters and the Chez Panisse story, and I love a well-stocked pantry, so it was with delight that I opened the box containing my first cookbook to review.

But I was disappointed.

I'm an instinctive cook.  I don't need recipes for much other than inspiration and the specifics for a good pie crust.  What I look for in a cookbook is inspiration.  It doesn't matter whether there are luscious photos, charming essays, or statistical information.  What matters is the answer to this question:  Does the cookbook make me long for time in the kitchen?

If yes, then it's a keeper.

This one didn't do it.  It was all set up to be charming and inspiring, but it missed the mark.

The mini essays are almost inspiring, but not quite.
The recipes are almost tempting, but not quite.

I left it out on my kitchen island where I could study it at my leisure . . . so could my kids.  I thought that we'd each choose a recipe to test and then we'd have a two-for-one homeschool/book review experience.  It was a no go.  We all looked again and again, but walked away uninspired. 

I do currently have a glass bowl full of apple cores and peelings and sugar water in an effort to make my own apple vinegar using the My Pantry recipe.  I do have some organic orange peels in my freezer awaiting the time when I've collected enough peels to let Super Star candy them using the My Pantry recipe.

But it's kind of out of obligation to my Blogging for Books commitment.

The book wasn't a total loss for me, though.  My favorite part of My Pantry is the list of recommended cookbooks at the end.  It is chock full of a list of truly inspiring cookbooks--many of which I either own, have owned, or would like to own.

So now I have a list to take to the library for a good cookbook fix.

FTC Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.


  1. Hmmm... there is absolutely nothing about buying/preparing/cooking food that inspires or motivates me (except eating it, of course), so I stand in awe of your particular gifts and talents in this direction...

  2. I am drawn to the delicous photos. And I don't know that I have ever longed to be in the kitchen. You are amazing. Although I am branching out - something that I learned I could do when you were my fabulous roomie. I look at recipies in Pinterest. I have determined to try fudge this year. Something that is supposed to be so easy. Hah!


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