Best DIY Food Books of 2013

It was another excellent year for DIY food books. Here's a selection of the books that made our radar in 2013.

Drinky drinky:

True Brews
Just say no to sodas full of corn syrup! Emma Christensen's book walks you though easy recipes to brew naturally fermented sodas, beer, milk kefir and so much more.
The Drunken Botanist
This charming book demystifies the botanicals that make up our various cocktail ingredients, and includes growing tips for many so you can make your own. There are recipes for things like homemade grenadine and limoncello, and of course lots and lots of cocktails.

Meaty goodness:

Duck, Duck, Goose
Even if you are not a hunter, as Hank Shaw most adamantly is, this book is the definitive resource on preparing these two foul, with excellent tips on butchery, storing and a kaleidoscope of globally-influenced recipes.
In the Charcuterie
Taylor Boetticher of the Bay Area's venerated Fatted Calf turned out this tome full of recipes for sausages, pates, salumi and so much more. It's undeniably the best book on cured meats since Ruhlman's Charcuterie. Talking of which...
Charcuterie
Due to its ongoing popularity in the wake of Charcutepalooza, Charcuterie has enjoyed a new edition, with modified recipes and inclusion of some of the recipes from Salumi, melding some Italian recipes into a book previously dedicated entirely to French technique.

All-rounders:

Saving the Season
Kevin West's massive tome serves forth 220 recipes for jams, pickles, cordials, candies and many more ways to capture the season at its bounty. But it's more than that -- a literary romp through the author's childhood and approach to living the good life.
Put 'Em Up! Fruit
In her second book, Sherri Brooks Vinton offers an amazing and inspiring array of treatments for all manner of fruits: Chutneys, curds, gastriques, ketchups, salsas, leathers, liqueurs and more. And, she goes further to include recipes on how to use these marvelous creations, so your pantry doesn't just turn into a jar graveyard. Read our review here.
America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook
Admittedly this came out in 2012, but I became aware of it this year, when I met one of the ATK crew at BlogHer Food. In the true ATK style, this book is full of direct, approachable recipes with a light and affable voice. Great for DIY enthusiasts of all levels.
Mastering Fermentation
Mary Karlin has reigned supreme as the queen of home cheese making for years, but in this book she looks at fermented foods in all their forms: Breads, sauces, beverages and more. You'll find yourself integrating fermentation into every course, and maybe be surprised at how much you already were.
 

 

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