D.I.Y. Cooking — what a concept!

Julia Moskin, from the New York Times:

Illustration by Andrew Rae, from the NY Times website.

“If you live in an apartment, or tend to let surplus vegetables die in the crisper drawer, you may think that the do-it-yourself food movement does not apply to you. Not so. Making some of your own staples — and a few luxuries, like chocolate-hazelnut paste or better-than-balsamic maple vinegar — is possible, and enormously gratifying.

What follows is a D.I.Y. starter kit: small kitchen projects that any cook can tackle. What they all have in common is that they are simple, seasonless and a clear improvement on the store-bought version. Many books on craft food are daunting: full of advice on how to put up bushels of kale or bury an old washing-machine drum to use as a root cellar. Nothing here requires special equipment, a shed or a backyard; no canning or even freezing is involved.

Before getting underway, it’s not necessary to understand lactic fermentation, or to learn the difference between bacon and pancetta.

You can’t get more local than your own kitchen: use it, and produce a horseradish-spiked mustard that does justice to artisanal ham, or a batch of cream cheese with a taste that cannot be bought.”

Read more (see links on left side of page at NY Times site).

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