Cookbook: Edible DIY + Giveaway

January 28, 2013

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. 

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

743 thoughts on "Cookbook: Edible DIY + Giveaway"

  • I’d really like to try my hand at making candies, specifically caramels. In particular, those maple syrup caramels with fleur de sel up there look unbelievable.

  • I have a pile so high that I’d need a couple of years of daily trials to work through it, but I’m itching to buy the “Jerusalem” cookbook and try everything in that. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • I’d like to make a mango chutney and some kind of citrus marmalade. They’ve been on my list for quite a while.

  • I’m experimenting a lot with fermented foods in 2013. The Art of Fermenetation by Sandor Katz has got lots of things bubblin’ in my kitchen — kefir, kombucha, natural soda!

  • I tried Marshmallows this year for the first time. They turned out ok. Now I want to try different flavors of them.

  • Soooooo excited, just won an ebay auction for a wonderful 10-12 qt copper jam pan, it arrived from France on Monday. Not to mention I pulled a recipe for Strawberry Jam with rosemary out of the Hobby Farm Home this month. Checked that my rosemary was still going good in the herb garden and am just waiting for for strawberry season to arrive. Until then……..

  • Tomato salsa is on my list! I’ve canned nearly everything else, and even a pear salsa, but never a regular tomato salsa!

  • I am so excited about this cookbook! Ever since I moved closer to my fiance’s family, I have wanted to impress them with homemade goodies, like Sea Salt Caramels from scratch! But, to be honest, I really want to try the Spiced Pear Gin recipe, because gin is delightful.

  • Sourdough bread! Seems simple enough for someone who bakes bread on a regular basis but sourdough has always seemed like a monumental task! I am bound and determined to do it this year!

    Thanks for the giveaway and good luck to all!! 🙂

  • I am going to try boneless wings this weekend. We are hug fans of buffalo wings and wanted to try something different. Yay. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • Please don’t enter me in your lovely giveaway because I bought this book a couple of weeks ago. It’s lovely and I can foresee many pleasurable hours in my future of reading and cooking.

  • I’d LOVE to get a copy of this book. I made and canned several gifts for family and friends this past Christmas and really enjoyed the process. One recipe that was on my list for 2013 was chicken soup. I made that this past weekend. I made my own broth and then made the soup with it and canned it in my pressure canner. Then, because I’m the impatient sort, I opened a jar this week for supper, warmed it on the stove and added some rice I had cooked the night before. It was truly satisfying to eat the soup that I had made and preserved myself. 🙂 It’s also nice to know that I have 4 more quarts waiting on my shelf for future meals. I’m hoping to discover 3-4 more soup recipes for canning and also hope to can several quarts of chicken broth.

  • I have never done any preserving (unless you count stealing strawberries while my dad made jam when I was a kid), and so will be trying this out for the first time ever this year! I’m super excited!!!! Probably going to try out something involving cranberries, they are my favourite!

  • The past couple of years I have been doing a lot of experimenting in my little kitchen, for example I made my own sourdough starter and bread and my friends and family line up to get a loaf. But my favorite experiments have been in the form of infused liquors and such, I’d love to explore the entire “boozy” section of that book.

  • I was going to try your blood orange marmalade recipe, only I was going to try to use honey instead of sugar. I’m also working on taking a lot of our favorite recipes and substituting the processed foods in them with whole foods.

  • Next on my recipe list is Gluten free Sourdough Starter and then on to Gluten free Sourdough English muffins! They’ll be awesome with your Tomato Jam recipe.

  • Noodles. I’ve never made homemade noodles. And now that my daughter has tasted my sister’s chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles, she insists I need to make some!

  • I am really itching to try Julia Child’s French Onion Soup, especially after having watched the episode from PBS recently where she whipped it up. She makes it all sound so easy.

  • I have a big stack of recipes to get through this year. One for sure is a new lobster bisque recipe. I have fresh lobster stock in my freezer, that will be an excellent base!

  • As silly as it is, I always forget to put up pickled peppers (jalapenos and banana) and then kick myself when I have to buy them in the winter. So pickled peppers are the top of my list for next year. I also want to see if I can modify the spices in a spaghetti-sauce-type pressure canning recipe to incorporate Indian flavors instead of Italian flavors so I have curries and soups ready to go!

  • I work at a bakery and one year for Christmas, a collegue of mine handed out little bottles of homemade vanilla extract… it was both a lovely gift idea and had been on my “to do” list for years! Because it’s not something that can be whipped up last minute, I’m going to get cracking on this little project early this year! Everyone is getting homemade vanilla extract this year for Christmas!

  • First foray into canning last summer..tomatoes, peaches, pickles, applesauce. This year goal is trying JAMS. Strawberry balsamic thyme jam sounds amazing. Thanks for a great blog!

  • I am going to learn to make a good seeded rye bread and a tasty pie dough this year…then I will be making jams and fillings to complete those tw0 baking accomplishments! (fingers crossed 🙂

  • I would like to try to make my sister-in-law’s bread and butter pickle recipe this year. I’ve already bought cucumber seeds. Next, I need to get the recipe from her. Her pickles are so amazing that we’ll sneak them into the fridge and not tell others we’ve opened the jar. They’re always the first thing to go from her annual gift basket, even before her amazing jams.

  • Aged nut-based cheese! I had some over the holidays and it was amazingly delicious, so I want to try and make it myself.

  • What a great book! You say it includes candy? I made some chocolate candy recently and realized what kind of fun it could be to make other kinds of candies. Naturally, everything else in that book is right up my interest alley, too.

  • Key Lime curd!!! For the quick key lime pie fix. I was inspired by your lenon curd and the suggestion of putting the curd into a premade mini tart shell.

  • I’ve been exploring different breads to go with all of the jellies and jams I’ve been making for the past few years. I’m currently on the hunt for a good crumpet recipe. My first flop tasted delicious with your ginger peach preserves, but didn’t have the spongey little nooks and crannies I was hoping for.

  • Hey!! I’m a big fan of gifting food to people and well….love receiving foodie gifts too! Hope this book will help me! 🙂

  • Dying to try homemade condiments like mayo and ketchup. Homemade everything always seems to easily outshine store bought, maybe it’s the extra love!!

  • I’ve got a list a mile long, but I think my next big one will be Beef Wellington – a friend of mine made it recently, and it has given me the push to try it too 🙂

  • The recipe that I am late trying to this year is Blueberry-Maple-Pecan Conserve from Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Magazine, Canning. It looks delicious and a nice change from Maple Syrup late winter.

  • I’d love to master German Vollkornbrot (and feeding the starter culture that it needs). Otherwise I’m trying to use my pressure cooker and my Romertopf more and all those recipes hidden in cookbooks (have found helpful for discovering recipes).

  • I just bought two new items for my kitchen and I’m going to combine their talents. First comes the spaetzle tool. I’ll make those little noodles that cost so much at the store IF you can find them, then dry them for storage for us, and some to give to the food bank, in my new food dehydrator. At $5 for a box of dried ones, I decided a $10 tool was in order for a very cheap-to make-noodle! At our over-55 community food bank, these will be a needed gift.

  • I’ve been making jams for a couple of years – but always been intimidated by marmalades, the winter blues have got me thinking about taking the plunge!

  • Sweet Tea Vodka! I’ve made it once before and gave it away in glass flasks as gifts and it was a huge hit… love to replicate the success!

  • I just saw this book at my local book store and was so tempted to buy it–it looked like so much fun! I’m a canning newbie, and found your blog aftering buying your book. All of the recipes look so delicious, but I can hardly wait for cherry season. I’m dying to make the pickled sweet cherries! I also have a plethora of jams and jellies on my to-do list. This weekend I’m going to try a cranberry pear preserve. My fingers are crossed that it will make a good Valentine’s gift for friends.

  • This looks like another great book to add to my library. Along with your book and Salumi, I should be ready for anything.

  • In 2013, I want to start making my own mayonnaise. I think I’ll love it. Not sure why I’ve waited so long.

  • I don’t have a specific recipe, but my 2013 goal is to use my pressure canner. I have used it plenty for water-bath canning, but have yet to use it to pressure-cook or pressure-can. Maybe some chicken stock? Homemade chili? Lots of possibilities!

  • I have meyer lemons in the fridge waiting to be turned into your lemon curd. This will be my first attempt at a curd; wish me luck!

  • I don’t have a specific recipe, but I want to try making my own crackers this year. Store bought aren’t all that great and you can spend a ton of $$ on them!

    1. THey are so wonderfully easy! I make them and sell at my local farmers market. Try using buckwheat and corn flours! Very nutty and tasty! Good luck!

  • believe it or not i am just getting into barks. i tend to go or complicated food gifts and i am just now experieicing the satisfying ease that comes from melting good chocolate and adding a few odds and ends. yum and phewwwww.

  • I just stumbled upon this sausage soup on another blog I like to read. I am an organic farmer and grow veggies as well as raise heritage pigs. My famlies food is almost always sourced as locally as possible (i.e. just outside my back door) so finding new ideas for using my winter produce always makes me very, very happy! I just found the Food In Jars blog and can’t wait to dive into it!

  • Looking forward to trying so many new recipes out this year……more fruit butters, marmalades, sweet tea vodka, and work on a better GF bread recipe. Just to name a few. Thanks for the giveaway chance!