The Little Book of Home Preserving

October 12, 2013(updated on October 3, 2018)

The Little Book of Home Preserving

On first glance, The Little Book of Home Preserving might not catch your eye. It’s a tiny book (truly, no bigger than the size of my hand) and could easily get lost in a larger display. However, missing this book would be a huge mistake. Written and photographed by Rebecca Gagnon (author of the blog CakeWalk), it is bursting with interesting, creative recipes.

intro to The Little Book

For a little book, this volume packs a serious punch. It opens with the basics of preserving, including safety tips, the equipment you’ll need to get started canning, and even instructions on how to strain whey from yogurt in order to follow the lacto-fermentation recipes in the book. Rebecca also touches on the inherent art of making preserves, which is a section I particularly like and relate to.

Persimmon-Vanilla Jam

Once you get into the meat of the book, you see that it’s organized by season. I’m hoping against hope that my CSA will still have a few ground cherries left next week so that I can make a batch of the Citrus Chai Ground Cherry Preserves. I’ve also got my sights set on the Grapefruit Jam with Vanilla and Poppy Seed (the picture of that one in preserve is so gorgeous).

The Little Book spine

Rebecca sent me an extra copy of her book to share with one of my readers, so we’re having a super special weekend long giveaway. One lucky person will win a copy. However, no matter whether you win or not, I highly suggest picking up a copy. It’s size makes it perfect for slipping into Christmas stockings and at $6.57 on Amazon, it won’t break the bank.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share what you’re preserving this weekend.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Sunday, October 13, 2013. Winners will be chosen at random (using and will be posted on Monday, October 14, 2013.
  3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.
Disclosure: Rebecca sent me two copies of her book, one to keep and one to give away, at no cost to me. However, my opinions are entirely my own. 

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560 thoughts on "The Little Book of Home Preserving"

  • pomegranates!!! We have five trees that are covered with the lovely things. Juicing a lot and canning the juice.

  • If I can get the kitchen organized today, I’m hoping to do a batch of pickled garlic! Last weekend, I went to a friend’s house and we canned a triple batch of dilly beans, a triple batch of pickled lemony cauliflower and made a double batch of ketchup (and made marinara sauce for the freezer with the rest of the tomatoes).

  • Still no hard frost in New England. Going to get some B grade tomatoes from the farmer’s market at Harvard and prossess them in quart jars.

  • While half a dozen acorn squash bake to scoop & freeze, I’m going to pick the last green tomatoes & make a batch of chutney. We’ve novice yogurt makers, so this book’s section on yogurt making sounds like it would be very helpful.

  • Pickled bell peppers with one Thai chili slipped in each jar for a bit of heat. Last year I made the jars very pretty by putting several colors in each jar (green, yellow, red, orange, etc). I realized that it’s more practical to mostly have each jar only one color.

  • Wife is cooking down some tomato sauce… should be bwb canning 7 pints this evening.

    Picked the last of our tomatoes (north-central PA)… some ripe, some nearly so, some with just a blush of pink that should ripen off the vine for more sauce by the end of the week.

  • Plums and strawberries are still in my market. So I’m still canning a few jams. Would love to try recipes from this book.

  • Plums, so many plums! In the process of doing pie filling and plum sage jam. Just stopped by to get the plum star anise jam recipe.

  • Yesterday brought a batch of chocolate pear jam – thank you for that – and today began the grape jam, though it will have to wait until tomorrow for completion.

  • Quince! I have 8 1/2 pounds of beautifully ripe quince. I am starting with quince jelly, and then perhaps quince slices in a honey syrup. Yum!

  • We harvested a bunch of jalapenos and I didn’t want them to go to waste . . . so I canned some cranberry jalapeno jelly that can be used over cream cheese and served with crackers – yum – yum! I just finished a batch of jalapeno-pear chutney that can be used alongside meat, as a sandwich spread, chip dip or also over cream cheese! This is only my second year trying to can things and I love it! The book looks really cool!

  • I made applesauce in the crock pot and is in the refrigerator as we speak. I made some last weekend and then made applesauce donuts! they were a hit!

  • This weekend it’s Thanksgiving in Canada! Amidst the bird, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, parsnips, greens, and pumpkin pie most of the preserving will happen tonight – when leftover port cranberry jelly goes into the freezer…that’s all I can muster in the kitchen with all the good food, friends and wine 🙂 I am thankful for you Marisa and your beautiful book Food In Jars – it’s an inspiration everyday!

  • Green tomato chutney, Yellow pear tomato jam, peach pie filling, Sun Sugar Salsa, preserved lemons, melon-lemon marmalade, pickled peppers, salsa, and cranberry conserve. Whew. My husband’s garden went crazy this year! Oh, let’s not forget Basil pesto and Tarragon pesto. Say, anybody wanna come out to San Jose and help?

  • Today I’m making the Tomato Jam recipe found on this site. It’s about the last of my ripe tomatoes. A sample haste from the bottom of the pot is very promising.

  • i scored a pile of apples on the cheap this weekend. tomorrow they will become that fabulous apple lemon ginger jam you’ve been talking about. 🙂

  • Canning anything and everything with green tomatoes from my Maryland garden. All were volunteers that got a late start.

  • I got 35 lbs of cranberries and a bunch of apples at the farmer’s market. Canning cranberry jelly, cranberry sauce, apple butter and applesauce.

  • Alas, no preserving this weekend! We did, however, finally break into a sampling jar of Rhubarb Strawberry jam we bought during our vacation in Canada!

  • I didn’t can anything this weekend as we were camping with our kids and grandkids. But we enjoyed my canned salsa and a jar of my canned jalapenos (you recipe). 🙂

  • Unfortunately, I haven’t been canning anything. Ahh! It’s a tragedy that I hope will be rectified soon. I want to face winter with lots of yummy things to look forward to.

  • I’m still hoping to can some chicken & rice soup tomorrow, so i’d better get busy chopping veg. And then it’ll be time for some mulled cider, i think…

  • As a homesteader myself, I appreciate the simplicity and approachability of Rebecca’s book. The recipes are clear and concise, and the book is small enough to carry in my kitchen without being overwhelmed. It’s a great resource for beginners, but also has some unique recipes that even experienced canners can appreciate. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to get into home preserving.
    And for those interested in exploring more superfoods, I recommend checking out the website for some other great, but nowadays largely forgotten recipes.