I discovered Kevin West’s beautiful blog, Saving the Season, soon after he started writing it in 2009. I was only a handful of months into this canning blogging gig myself and appreciated knowing that there was someone else out there with similar tendencies towards large scale fruit purchases (Local Kitchen and Hungry Tigress also appeared around the same time and gave me equal comfort).
Now Kevin’s book is available and I couldn’t be more pleased to add it to my shelf of canning volumes. Also called Saving the Season, it is gorgeous, hefty and impressively comprehensive.
The recipes are written in a tone that is clear, cool, and welcoming. There are more steps and stages than in the recipes I tend to write, but that is to their benefit. I have a nasty habit of streamlining things for results that are perfectly fine. Kevin’s recipes shoot for preserve perfection.
This is a text heavy book and it’s as much as joy to read as it is to cook from. Recipes come with stories and heritage. It is not something you want to scan quickly, but instead should be taken slowly and with great pleasure. It’s one that I predict will yield fresh inspiration for many seasons to come.
There are tales of his produce road trips and the canning he’s done in borrowed kitchens, along with photos of his quiet adventures. Makes me think that I’ve not done nearly enough traveling and canning.
The photography is both spare and incredibly appealing. Just look at that cauliflower. I also appreciate the sentiment in the first line of the headnote for his curried cauliflower pickle. He says, ” There should be more cauliflower pickles.” Kevin, I couldn’t agree more.
My only complaint about this book is that is has just a hint of text book. The cover reminds me ever so slightly of my 8th grade biology book and the interior photos are disappointingly small. I can’t help but find myself wishing that its design was as lush and generous as the stories and recipe it contains.
That said, I still recommend it entirely without reservation. It should be on the reference shelf of all home canners.