Tag Archives | Preserving

The 2016 Class of Canning, Preserving, and Culinary DIY Books

In need of a new canning, preserving or DIY book for the holiday season? Look no further than this list of books published in 2016!

Oh friends, this last year was a very good one for canning and preserving books. I’ve done a thorough search of my shelves and stacks and have come up with 18 lovely volumes that came out in 2016. Let’s flip through the stack!

The Forager’s Feast – Written by Leda Meredith, this book contains everything you need to know about foraging wild edibles and transforming them into all manner of tasty things. If I can ever find enough rose hips, I plan on making the Rose Hip Freezer Jam. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars – My third canning book, this volume features recipes sweetened with honey, maple, agave, coconut sugar, fruit juice concentrates, and dried fruits. It makes a fabulous gift for anyone who is looking to reduce the amount of refined sugar in their home cooking. (Amazon | Powell’s)

A Prepper’s Cookbook – While not specifically a canning or preserving book, this slim paperback by Deborah D. Moore is an incredibly useful volume for those of us who have a homemade pantry that we’re trying to put into better use.  (Amazon | Powell’s)

The Big Book of Kombucha – I’ve been a semi-regular kombucha brewer for years with mixed success. It wasn’t until a copy of this hefty book by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory came my way that I actually starting having consistent success with my finished product. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Preserving Italy – This book by Domenica Marchetti is the best one on the market about canning, preserving, curing, and infusing in the Italian style. If you’re looking to make jams, cured meats, pickles, and liqueurs like the ones your nonna used to make, this volume should be on your shelf. More here. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Foolproof Preserving – Written by a team from America’s Test Kitchen, this book is a nice addition to the small batch canon. I don’t love that so many of the recipes aren’t safe for a water bath, but the flavor combinations are spot-on and recipe variety is appealing. More here. (Amazon | Powell’s)

The Art of the Cheese Plate – On the face, this book by Tia Keenan doesn’t much look like it belongs in this stack. But any cheese plate book worth its salt contains a trove of recipes for tiny batches of fabulous condiments and boy, does this one deliver. There’s sweet potato butter, apple chutney, pickled blueberries, and so much more. (Amazon | Powell’s)

The Modern Preserver – This charming book by UK-based professional preserver Kylee Newton bursts with appealing recipes and beautiful pictures. There is nothing in this volume that I don’t want make and many things I wish I’d thought of first. More here. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Food Swap – Whether you’re an active food swapper or not, there is so much in Emily Paster’s useful and clever book to like. It’s got jams, pickles, syrups, and baked goods, all that travel well, are easy to create, and make great gifts. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Beyond Canning – Smoky carrot coins. Banana ketchup. Hibicus lime jelly. You’ll find those things and so much more in this creative and varied book by Autumn Giles. If you’re tired of the same old thing, this book will breathe new life into your canning practice. More here. (Amazon | Powell’s)

The Cultured Club – I picked up this book while in Ireland in October. Written by fermentation expert Dearbhla Reynolds, it contains a wild range of ferments (fermented potato mash and lacto-fermented pestos!) and I can’t wait to explore it even more than I already have. (Amazon)

Batch – This massive book by Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison is the most comprehensive preserving book that we saw this year. It contains more than 200 recipes for jamming, pickling, dehydrating, infusing, and fermenting as well as  cooking, baking, using, and serving those varied preserves. It’s a must-have for avid canners. More here. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Not Your Mama’s Canning Book – This book by Rebecca Lindamood is totally brilliant. When I first opened it up and flipped through the recipes, I found myself wished fervently that I’d thought of the Instant Hummus-In-A-Jar or the Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie filling first. The recipes are unusual, approachable, and unlike anything else you have on your shelves. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Canning for a New Generation – The updated and expanded edition of this now-classic book by Liana Krissoff was published this summer and it’s even better than the original. If you don’t have the first edition on your shelf already, make sure to seek out this new one. (Amazon | Powell’s)

The Joy of Pickling – Another new edition of an old favorite, this volume by Linda Ziedrich is another must-have for an avid canner. An earlier version of this book was my first pickling primer and I’m delighted to have this edition, with its expanded section on pickling theory. (Amazon | Powell’s)

The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving – This new giant Ball book is gorgeously photographed and exhaustively tested. I’ll confess that I didn’t manage to use any of the recipes this summer, but everytime I flip through its pages, something catches my eye and I add it to my to-make list. (Amazon | Powell’s)

The New Milks – It’s a tiny bit of a stretch to include this book by Dina Cheney on this list, but its sneaking through on its DIY cred. I like it because I dig the non-dairy milks and I appreciate all the ideas for how to use them in my cooking and baking. (Amazon | Powell’s)

Fermented Foods at Every Meal – You’ve got a fridge full of fermented foods, but you struggle to use them up. Hayley Barisa Ryczek is here to help you weave those ferments into every meal of the day. So smart! (Amazon | Powell’s)

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Cookbooks: The Canning Kitchen, Preserving, Preservation Society Home Preserves, and Preserving the Japanese Way

stack of four 2015 preserving books

One of the things I find intriguing is that when I’m deep in the process of writing a book, I have a very hard time digging into cookbooks by other authors. I’m not sure if it’s fear of inadvertently borrowing a line or concept, or if it’s simply that my brain is so entrenched in my own ideas that there’s no room for others.

Whatever the reason, over the last six months I’ve really struggled to engage with new cookbooks. However, as I come to the end of the editing process with Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, I’m suddenly once again hungry for the words and recipes of others. These four preserving books have all come out during this foggy period of mine, and now that I’m seeing more clearly, I’m so delighted by them. I think you’ll be as well.

The Canning Kitchen

The Canning Kitchen by fellow blogger Amy Bronee, came out back in May and is a sturdy paperback, filled with homey, family friendly preserves.

The book is divided by kind of preserve and includes delicious sounding things like Lemon Raspberry Jamalade (page 54), Coconut Lime Marmalade (page 93), and Chipotle Cherry Tomato Relish (page 130). Every recipe has its own picture and Amy shot all the images herself (a feat I could never dare replicate).

Preserving

Preserving was originally published in France in 1948 under the title, Je Sais Faire les Conserves (I Know How to Make Preserves), by famed French food author Ginette Mathiot. The book has been updated and translated by author and food blogger Clothilde Dusoulier and is now accessible to a new generation of home cooks.

This comprehensive volume offers its readers guidance on how to dry, salt, cure, jam, confit, and otherwise put up the fruits of the growing season for the colder months. While there are some recipes that might be seen as relics of an earlier age, like the Stuffed Goose Neck (page 90), even the quickest glance through the book reminds me how much of the book’s knowledge is still relevant today.

One particularly useful technique is the one for Flattened Apples (page 220). It instructs the reader how to prepare, dry, and store whole apples, so that they can later be rehydrated and included in stews and tarts. I am confident that there are many out there in possession of an apple tree who would find it incredibly useful.

Preservation Society Home Preserves

It is always interesting to see the differences between preserving books written by home cooks and those written by folks who make a living by making jam. Preservation Society Home Preserves is a book firmly in the latter category. As far as I can tell, having a wider audience for their preserves often leads the professionals down a more varied range of culinary trails and I’m often surprised and delighted to see where those paths lead.

Written by Preservation Society founder and head preserver Camilla Wynne, this book definitely pushes well beyond the traditional array of flavor combinations and leaps right into the edible creative fray. The book features an array of intriguing things, including Fig Jam with Secrets (page 22), Sea Buckthorn Jelly (page 68), pickled Maple Chile Onions (page 117), and Pickled Raisins (page 118).

Another nice element of this book is that it includes a small section towards the back that offers insight into how Camilla likes to put her preserves to use. Onion Jam Poutine, anyone?

Preserving the Japanese Way

Last up in the stack of books is the beautiful and immersive Preserving the Japanese Way, by Nancy Singleton Hachisu. Nancy is a native Californian who married a Japanese farmer and has spent the last two and a half decades living, raising children, and feeding a family in rural Japan.

Over her years in Japan, Nancy has made a point to learn many of the traditional making and preserving skills, both to preserve the knowledge and because the resulting sauces, pickles, pastes, and other preserves are so much more flavorful and delicious.

As I type these words, I feel like I’m only just skating around the edges of this book, as it is a huge volume, both in the number of pages and in the sheer mass of information it offers. When I approach it, I feel much the same as I do when I open one of Sandor Katz’s books. I know that I can dip in and find the information I need to proceed in that moment, but that the words and concepts on the page deserve more than a quick visit. I look forward to finding the time to dive more deeply into this one.

Disclosure: I received copies of The Canning Kitchen, Preserving, and Preservation Society Home Preserves for review. Preserving the Japanese Way, I bought.

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