Thursday, September 29, 2011

Amy’s Five Picks for Home Canning and Preservation

Have you always wanted to make your own jams, pickles, and tomato sauces? Are you overloaded at home with produce from your CSA or backyard garden? Check out these books below, for everything you would ever need to know about preserving, and enjoy the harvest all winter long. These would also make great gifts! Pair it up with canning supplies, which can be found next door at the Weavers Way Co-op. Happy canning!

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It and Other Cooking Projects by Karen Solomon (Ten Speed Press, $24.99)
This would be a great starter book on the subject, and has simple instructions for all kinds of foods: jams, pickles, condiments, basic pasta dough, homemade marshmallows (which are amazing), and making beverages like limoncello and chai.

Put 'em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling by Sherri Brooks Vinton (Storey Books, $19.95)
This book comes highly recommended by canning bloggers. It seems to offers the traditional recipes and techniques along with more modern treatments like cucumber sake and pickled spring ramps. It’s also gorgeous, and if you are looking for a gift, I’d choose this one.

The Joy of Pickling: 250 Flavor-packed Flavor-packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market (Revised Edition) by Linda Ziedrich (Harvard Common Press, $18.95)
This is the only book you need on pickling.

Putting Food By by Janet Greene & Ruth Hertzberg (Plume, $17.00)
This is an essential component to any home canner’s library. It’s been around for over 30 years, and was recently revised and updated for the 5th edition. It covers all matters of home preservation, including a section on curing meats and building root cellars.

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz (Chelsea Green, $25.00)
This is a great resource if you are at all curious about the benefits of fermented live-culture foods in your diet, and how exactly to go about safely making foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, kombucha, and ginger beer. My mouth is watering as we speak.

*Also useful:
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving: 400 Delicious And Creative Recipes for Today by Judi Kingry (Robert Rose, Inc., $24.95)
While a little generic, you absolutely can’t go wrong with having this book on hand. However, I do believe that the selections above are better choices.

September 2011, Amy Vaccarella

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