Most years, I get this post up sometime midway through December. After all, it makes sense to publish a round-up of cookbooks when people are still engaged in holiday shopping. But, as we all know, this has not been a normal year for me and so it’s taken me longer than normal to share these books. I do hope you all understand!
It was a strange year for preserving books. There was a handful of dedicated books, but not as many as in the past. So I’ve drafted a handful of books with robust preserving chapters to round out this stack.
Do Preserve: Make your own jams, chutneys, pickles, and cordials by Anja Dunk, Jen Goss, and Mimi Beaven – This compact book is part of a UK series that has just recently been released in the US. The jams, pickles, and high acid preserves look lovely, but I wouldn’t trust the lower acid items (the authors’ understanding of low acid canning safety is suspect).
Pickle Juice by Florence Cherruault – This book is dedicated to drinks featuring shrubs, pickles, and other tangy preserves. There’s plenty here for both cocktail lovers and those looking to up their non-alcoholic game.
The Zero Waste Cookbook by Giovanna Torrico and Amelia Wasiliev – This is one of the books that doesn’t initially seem to fit, but does actually belong in this group. That’s because any time you’re working to reduce waste, preserving will play a role. You’ll find pickles, jams, spice mixes, homemade vinegars, and much more in this clever book.
The Joy of Cooking by John Becker and Megan Scott – We all know The Joy of Cooking as a useful, all-purpose cookbook. But people don’t necessary think of it as a preservation resource. That would be a mistake. The new edition has 60 packed pages devoted to canning, jam making, pickling, and fermentation. If you don’t want to clutter your shelves with multiple preserving books, this one will happily cover the basics plus so much more.
The Farmhouse Culture Guide to Fermentation by Kathryn Lukas and Shane Peterson – This a gorgeous book devoted to a wide range of ferments. If you’re a fan of the Farmhouse Culture line of products, this book is most definitely for you.
Leaf by Catherine Phipps – Okay, this book is a tiny bit of stretch for this list, but it does have a sweet little chapter devoted to preserves and drinks (including some appealing shrubs), as well as a very nice selection of sauces and page devoted to making herb jellies. More generally, it’s one of the most appealing books that crossed my path last year.
Pickled to Please by Tamika Adjemian – You may not know this, but Tamika has done a great deal of recipe development work for Ball. She is the genius behind many of their newer recipes and rarely does she get the credit she deserves for her hard work. This volume bursts with her brilliance and finally gives her the credit she is due. If you love pickles and want to add just one book from this list to your library, this is the one to buy. Also, if you find yourself in Unity, Maine, you can eat Tamika’s food at Unity Kitchen.
Apple by James Rich – This is another book that has a really nice preserving section, without being wholly devoted to the topic. If you have access to a wealth of apples in the autumn, this book should be on your shelf.
The Roughwood Book of Pickling by Williams Woys Weaver – This book is a survey course in pickles from around the world. No matter whether you want your pickles salty, spicy, or sweet’n’sour, you’ll find something to satisfy your tastes.
Japanese Home Cooking by Sonoko Sakai – If Japanese pickles are your love language, the chapter in this book devoted to their creation will delight you.
Cornersmith Salads & Pickles by Alex Elliott-Howery & Sabine Spindler – This volume comes from Australia and its small chain of Cornersmith Cafes. It’s a really nice collection of recipes for salads and pickles (just like the name suggests) and I’ve been taking lots of inspiration from it of late.