Cookbook: Edible DIY + Giveaway

Edible DIY

One of the joys of being someone who cans and preserves regularly is that I’m nearly always prepared when the need arises for a gift. During December’s gift giving season, I keep a box of summer jams and butters near the front door, ready to be distributed. I build couple-specific baskets for bridal showers and weddings.

Last summer, when I was scurrying around on book tour, I even kept a couple extra jars in my car at all times, for those moments when verbal thank yous just weren’t enough and I wanted to offer a physical representation of my appreciation.

Year of Edible DIY

Sometimes, even I run out of preserves good for giving (there are a number of trial batches in recipe development that, while good enough for home use, aren’t great for bestowing upon others). Other times, I just find myself out of fresh ideas. That’s when I turn to books and blogs authored by other creative folk, hoping that their various perspectives will gyrate me free from my regularly-trod paths.


The latest book to cross my transom that I’m turning to for kitchen inspiration is Lucy Baker’s Edible DIY. Initially based on the work she’s done on Serious Eats, this book is filled with candies, infused spirits, crackers, pickles, and sweet spreads that will send you hopping for the kitchen.

sweet tea vodka

Recipes are arranged by type. You’ll find nibbly bits like crackers, spiced nuts, and popcorn in the Crunchy section. Boozy should be plenty self-explanatory (and goodness, do I want to try the Spiced Pear Gin pictured below). Sweet includes biscotti, marshmallows, truffles, and toffee.

spiced pear gin

The last two sections the most preserve-heavy of the book. On the savory side, there’s a strong assortment of Spicy Condiments, Pickles, and Snacks (flavored salts! pickled fennel! ginger sriracha!). Rounding out the book are the Jams, Jellies, and Other Preserves. Lucy has made tweaks to a series of reliable favorites (blueberry port jam and strawberry balsamic thyme jam, for example) which are all worthy of canning pot consideration. One recipe that I’m planning on making soon is the one for Cranberry-Champagne Jam with Crystallized Ginger (I still have a couple bags of cranberries stashed away).

maple syrup caramels

One of the things I like most about this book is that it’s accessible. Not a single recipe goes on for pages (or days), making it approachable for all levels of canners, candy makers, and cracker bakers. As someone who rarely has the patience for recipes that require multiple days of fussing, I’m appreciative. That said, if you’re an expert baker/canner/sugarcrafter who is looking for a book to push your skillset to a new level, this one is probably not for you.

Because they’re nice, Running Press has given me a second copy to share with my readers (I know I said no giveaways for the rest of January. It’s nearly February and I was itching to share this book). If you’d like to enter for a chance to win it, here’s what to do.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me one recipe that’s on your list to try in 2013 (if you want to link to it, feel free).
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Friday, February 1, 2013. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog over the weekend.
  3. Giveaway open all.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.
Disclosure: Running Press gave me two calendars, one to keep and one to give away. They did not pay for inclusion in this post and my opinions are entirely my own. 

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743 Responses to Cookbook: Edible DIY + Giveaway

  1. 701
    Ann Mc says:

    First off…thank you for the giveaway! It looks like a terrific book! I’m excited about doing a ton of canning this year, including vegetables! I can’t wait to make pickled cauliflower!

  2. 702
    Dana M says:

    I just looked down through your posts, and love the looks of the pear and chocolate jam! Pears are one of my favorite fruits, and of course everything is better with chocolate 😉

  3. 703
    Melissa says:

    I’ve been giving handcrafted edibles for the holidays recently and they’re always a big hit – this book would be great for some new ideas for x-mas 2013!

  4. 704
    Caroline says:

    This year I will try to make marmalade. I don’t know why, but it intimidates me.

  5. 705
    Nico Scheidemantel says:

    What a fun little book! The recipe I’m most excited to try this year is from another great little book previously mentioned right here on this blog, The Kimchi Cookbook. My sweetie loves cucumbers, and the traditional stuffed cucumber kimchi will be a special gift when the warm weather comes with its surplus of cukes. I struggle to make pickles that retain that perfect crunch, so I hope to get around that using the Korean preserving method.

  6. 706
    MJ Barnes says:

    Thank you for your wonderful giveaways! This book looks terrific and I always love to try new homemade items for gifts.

  7. 707
    Amy L says:

    I want to try canning rhubarb jam, and also cherry jam, or maybe cherry-rhubarb jam! We have a tiny cherry tree that finally yielded enough for a pie last year, so I’m hoping maybe we’ll have enough for some jam, and a pie 🙂

  8. 708
    Heather says:

    What a fun giveaway!

    I am really ready to try some new tomato recipes this year–meals, like the tomato and corn pie over at Smitten Kitchen, and canned goods like marinara sauce.

  9. 709
    Annie says:

    I’m going to try anything citrus this year!

  10. 710
    Diane says:

    Wonderful ideas, recipes and a chance for a cookbook? Cooking heaven! I look forward to being teased, by this blog, into trying new combinations and taste sensations. My daughter whom is sixteen has already begun to love the canning process because her passion for jam and jelly on toast has no bounds. She gets that commercial versions while adequate for a fast PB & J sandwich cannot compare to a huge spoonful of something homemade on toast with a big mug of hot tea for relaxing comfort. Teenagers have so much more stress then my generation had back in the sixties and anything that can help her relax and just take time to focus on the pleasure of the moment is wonderful. Thank you for giving me new ways to branch out with our canning! P.S. As one of the many, many families whom lived without power, heat or light for two weeks due to hurricane Sandy I can testify how terrific it was to have canned jam and jellies to brighten our sandwiches this year. For anyone hesitating and trying to decide if canning is worth the effort … my family will give a resounding … yes! (My prayers are daily for those still living like Abraham Lincoln in candlelight, shivering and with no ability to do a simple load of wash for clean clothes. Constantly being cold, dirty and without enough light to see demoralizes your ability to cope. Please keep those families still trying to sort through contractors, FEMA, insurance, etc. in your prayers. Hurricane Sandy problems are definitely not over for so many folks!)

  11. 711
    Michelle Cox says:

    I really really want to try my hand at the honey sweetened chestnut butter!! Sounds delish & looks like a nice gift as well. 🙂

  12. 712
    Rose says:

    Well now…that’s a tough question…what is on my list to try for 2013? I’m looking forward to a Meyer lemon shipment to make your Lemon Curd, but I’ve been perusing Kaela’s Citrus Page in order to make use of some oranges sitting on my counter and her Lemon Lavender Marmalade caught my eye. So, I’m sure I’ll do some sort of marmalade with the oranges, but now have something else to make with those lemons coming in! Could be fun – and would love this cookbook for some ideas for my wedding celebration favors! Keeping fingers crossed!

  13. 713
    alison says:

    How great to start to think about gifts to make!

  14. 714
    Jennifer says:

    My canning friend and I have been dying to make blood orange marmalade…I just saw them in the store the other day so this may be the month to try it!

  15. 715
    Amy says:

    I’m looking forward to trying to make baby food!

  16. 716
    Kim Stewart says:

    I would like to try making a souffle. I’ve never made one and and I would love to give it a try. I live to make food gifts so have to add this to my book list. Thanks!

  17. 717
    Amanda says:

    I really want to try making homemade ketchup! This book looks amazing.

  18. 718
    Rosie says:

    That cookbook looks fantastic! I love giving edible gifts, and it looks like Lucy has some beautiful and tasty ideas.
    This year I want to make really good gluten-free crackers. I don’t have a recipe because I haven’t found one yet, and I may have to invent it myself. I’m looking forward to experimenting!

  19. 719
    AJ says:

    This is the year I hope to make homemade whole wheat bread!

  20. 720
    adina says:

    sweet tea vodka. does it get any better?

    would love to have this one in my collection.

  21. 721
    Jessica says:

    I’ve been dying to try marmalade again – the last batch I made ended up too firm, not easily spreadable..and just a little too bitter. Thanks for the new marmalade tips! I think I’m going to try the orange ginger recipe next.

    Would love to add this book to my (small but growing) collection!

  22. 722
    Susan Geyer says:

    I am hoping to get some candy making done this year, in particular nougat and caramels!!!

  23. 723
    Cece says:

    ‘Tis the month to try homemade nut butter! Chocolate walnut butter is first on the list.

  24. 724
    Amanda says:

    Love your blog!! I am a huge fan of marmalades, Meyer Lemon is my favorite. Made a few batches this year for gifts. I am lucky to have a beautiful Meyer lemon tree. I want to learn to make really good caramels this year. That is my goal. Maybe the recipe in this book!! Thank you for sharing.

  25. 725
    Tina says:

    I received your cookbook as a gift this Christmas and I want to make all the flavored salts. This cookbook looks beautiful.

  26. 726
    Stefanie says:

    Pear & Chocolate Jam. You posted it not too long ago and it really caught my eye!

  27. 727
    Angie says:

    Wow, this book looks amazing! I would love to try the strawberry balsamic thyme jam!

  28. 728
    Kathleen M says:

    I have never made jam/jelly, so any kind would be a great start.

  29. 729
    Amanda says:

    I want to try preserving Lemons or Limes. Just looking at the pictures makes my mouth water.

  30. 730
    Sherri says:

    I want to try Moroccan anything! I always have preserved lemons in the fridge but have never used them in a formal recipe. Then agai, those maple caramels sound awfully good…

  31. 731
    Patty M says:

    My husband makes maple syrup so those caramels wold be great to try!

  32. 732
    Olivia says:

    looks like there are so many good things to make in this book! i’m planning on making some chutneys for the first time this year with veggies from my allotment 🙂

  33. 733
    Nina Pantelić says:

    I just ordered your book and I’m looking forward to trying everything (darn juice diet)!!!!!

  34. 734
    Jessica says:

    Coconut macaroons! Or anything coconut related on this lovely website:

  35. 735
    Kandace says:

    Shrubs. I’ve read about them, tasted them, but have yet to make some for myself!

  36. 736
    Rachel says:

    I’d like to try making Grenadine and/or Maraschino cherries.

  37. 737
    KMoy says:

    We planted a lot of strawberry plants, so this year I hope to make strawberry jam…and strawberry pie…and strawberry pancakes…and…

  38. 738
    Dawn says:

    i have yet to make marmalade.

  39. 739
    Dionne says:

    I want to try the Quince jelly recipe I found on your site. I wish I would have got some when they were in season because I’m anxious to try it.

  40. 740
    Iris says:

    I will be trying your grapefruit jam recipe soon. Received a gift box of grapefruit!

  41. 741

    […] many thanks to everyone who took the time to enter the Edible DIY giveaway last week. The winning number is #640, which is the comment left by Sasha. She’s looking […]


  1. Links: Energy Bars, Cutting Boards, and Jam Vinaigrette - Food in Jars | Food in Jars - February 4, 2013

    […] many thanks to everyone who took the time to enter the Edible DIY giveaway last week. The winning number is #640, which is the comment left by Sasha. She’s looking […]