So often over the life of this blog, I’ve written about beautiful cookbooks. These posts are fun for me to write because I love any excuse to sit awhile with a new cookery volume and explore what it has to offer. Many of you take the time to write me an email or leave a comment, to tell me how useful you find these cookbook pieces, because they give you a chance to peek inside a book in a way that’s different from the experience on Amazon.
Today’s cookbook feature is a particularly unique joy, because this time, I’m sharing my own book. Now, I realize that I’ve been talking about this book for many, many weeks now. Thing is, for all that excited chatter, I haven’t taken much of a chance to tell you what you’ll find when you open the cover and why it might be a good canning book for you.
To my mind, the book is a tangible embodiment of this website. It brings together the most popular recipes from the archives as well as a number of new recipes you’ve never seen before. All the previously-published recipes were retested and rewritten before being included in the manuscript to ensure that they were the best versions of themselves. Many were also scaled down to yield just three or four pints, to keep with the small batch theme.
It includes detailed canning instructions (with helpful instructional pictures!), tips on how to determine whether your jam has reached its set point, a guide for adjusting processing time for altitude and all the best safety practices.
The recipes are sorted by genre, so that all the pickles are in one chapter, jellies in another and so on. Within each section, the recipes are arranged by season, so that each spring, you can start at the beginning of the jam chapter and then work your way through to the end.
The book is also full of really gorgeous images. Truly, my jars have never looked better. The photography was done by Steve Legato, at his Philadelphia studio, and it was such a pleasure to watch him work. Also, I made all the canned goods pictured, so you can trust that your finished products should look pretty darn close to what you see.
Another way I tried to keep the book tied closely to this site is that it’s not just about canning. Towards the back of the book, you’ll find sections devoted to nut butters, granolas, bread and scone mixes in jars and even flavored salts. There’s also information about how to best freeze different fruits and vegetables, and some details on pressure canning low acid foods.
Finally, the reason I think so many of you will like the book is that it’s me. It’s my voice, the same one you read here day after day. I’m always working to write about food preservation in a way that conveys the fact that it’s a joy, not a chore. That feeling ribbons throughout the book. I love joining so many of you in your kitchens through this blog and I hope I’ll get to do the same through the book.
Thanks to my kind publicist at Running Press, I have three copies of the Food in Jars (the cookbook) to give away to Food in Jars (the blog) readers. Here’s what to do:
- To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post and share your favorite kind of food in jars. Jam? Jelly? Pickles? Chutney? Canned peaches? Granola? Iced coffee? There is no wrong answer.
- Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Sunday, May 27, 2012. Winner will be chosen at random (using random.org) and will be posted to the blog on Monday, May 28, 2012.
- Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian readers.
- One entry/comment per person, please.
If you can’t bear to wait and see if you win the giveaway, you can always order a copy by clicking here: Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round.
Disclosure: I wrote this book. Running Press is providing three copies at no cost to me for this giveaway.