I’ve been showing you all the cover of my new book, Preserving by the Pint, for months now. I thought that since today is its official release date (though Amazon makes such things mostly moot by shipping pre-orders as soon as it has them in stock), it might be fun to show you what it looks like on the inside.
This book is full of tiny batches and was written with farmers market shoppers, CSA subscribers, and container gardeners in mind (though truly, if you’re not among those groups, the book is still for you). All the recipes start with either a pint, a quart, or a pound (or two) because those are the units of measure that so many of us end up with after a trip to the green market, grocery store, or farm share pick-up.
Instead of giving away your excess produce, or worse, tossing on the compost pile, you can preserve it. Make pesto from that giant bundle of Thai basil. Cook excess zucchini down into a creamy, garlicky butter. And transform those alien-like heads of kohlrabi into crisp, tasty pickles.
Unlike my first book, which was arranged by type of preserve, Preserving by the Pint is set up seasonally. The idea is that you can start at the beginning with Spring and preserve your way through both the year and the book. As someone who did essentially that while writing the book, I can promise, you’ll end up with a delightfully varied assortment of things in your pantry and freezer when that year is up.
One thing you’ll start to notice about this book is that while all the recipes do preserve the season, they don’t all do it through canning. A generous handful of the recipes are designed for refrigerator storage and yet others are best frozen. I made the storage choices I did in order to create the best finished product possible.
These marinated sugar snap peas, for instances, are a quick pickle because if you were to process them in a boiling water bath canner, all those spritely peas would lose their snap and crunch. Kept in the fridge, they last a respectable amount of time and are far more delicious.
This quick tomato sauce is one of my very favorite recipes in the book. Most years, I buy a 100 pounds of tomatoes and spend a week preserving them whole or as puree. However, throughout the summer, there are often small deals on cracked or otherwise marred tomatoes at my local market that I hate to pass up.
This sauce makes it possible to spend a dollar or two, invest a little time peeling and cooking, and end up with two half pints of glorious, flavorful pizza sauce from each batch. Because I make four or five batches over the course of the summer, I end up with enough sauce to last all year, but it doesn’t feel like any work at all and costs nearly nothing.
In writing this book, I also worked hard to come up with recipes that solved problems. I often hear from people that they wish they could can caramel sauces. While this sweet pear caramel doesn’t have the creamy mouthfeel of a batch made with heavy cream, it’s a really delicious sauce that can be used in place of traditional caramel drizzles (and if you don’t like pears, try it with peach or raspberry puree).
I am really proud of how this book turned out and am so grateful to Running Press for helping me turn an idea into a beautiful, useful thing.
Finally, it’s time for the weekly giveaway to return. I have three signed copies of Preserving by the Pint, liberated from my stash of author copies, to give away. Here’s how to enter:
- Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you think about the new book. Or, if you’re not ready to share your thoughts, tell me about your favorite small batch preserving project.
- Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, March 30, 2014.
- Giveaway open all.
- One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.