Canning and Preserving, Oh My!

This book is my new favorite canning and preserving cookbook. It has many of the tried and true recipes, and a whole lot of new ones. The introduction speaks to coming into the new realm of taste and flavor of the current day. It lives up to the expectation.

At the start of each section, there is a brief step-by-step process that covers the basic for that section, be it water bath canning, pressure canning, freezing, fermenting, or curing and dehydration. Just about any fruit or vegetable you may want to work with is present. The best part is the mix and match pairing of herbs and spices.

Not only does the book provide recipes to preserve food for the long-term, there are also recipes in which what has been preserved is used. A recipe for pie crust is even included. Surprisingly for some reason, there is even a recipe for enchilada sauce using New Mexican chile peppers (luckily I will be growing Hatch chilies this summer).

There are three recipes I am most interested in at the start. Over the past couple of years I’ve had as a goal to make more food from scratch whenever possible. This allows me to know exactly what is going into the food, ensures there aren’t any artificial or chemical agents going into my family’s bodies. What I want to try and make are mustard, worcestershire sauce, and pie fillings.

I’ve never attempted making a mustard or worcestershire sauce, but I have attempted to freeze fruit for winter pies with fresh farm fruit. It has been hit or miss as to whether the fruit holds up or not. My hope is the new recipes for preserving the pie filling will provide many fresh pies next winter.

Other recipes I look forward to trying are sauces for braising, soups ready to heat up in a pinch, and some seasoning combinations for tomato sauce. With any luck, I’ll be able to use many of the veggies I’ll be growing in my backyard gardens. Otherwise, thankfully, there are several farms close by with either their own market and/or pick-your-own days, along with the Farmer’s Market, and a blackberry pick-your-own farm within driving distance.

With the snow on the ground, there is a teeny tiny sliver of wanting to have winter on the way, just so I can go “shopping” among the foods I’ve preserved myself for family and friends.

Whoops! The feeling has passed and I can’t wait to get out in the garden. I want warmer weather to arrive, because as we are well aware, winter will be here again before we know it.

If you are wanting to try preserving some of your own food, or just want some new things to try, I highly recommend adding this book to your kitchen library.

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