Monday, November 10, 2008

A Few Reviews of Food Preservation Books - Gift Recommendations

I've been trying to explore a few different books about preserving and storing fruits and vegetables even though the harvest season is winding down and snow is beginning to fly outside my window. I'm hoping to have a stable of reference materials I can rely on for next season, and a bundle of new recipes to try out.

The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader, 1997, Storey Communications, Inc.
Recipes for drying, canning, and freezing vegetables, fruits, and herbs harvested throughout the season. Simple drawings illustrate some procedures and accompany step-by-step instructions that the first-time as well as the experienced preserver will find handy. This would make a good gift for someone just embarking on the food preservation adventure, but check before purchasing it for someone more experienced.

Preserving Summer's Bounty: A Quick and Easy Guide to Freezing, Canning, Preserving and Drying What You Grow edited by Susan McClure, 1998, Rodale Press.
Quite possibly a new favorite book for me that is chock full of recipes and instructions for preserving fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Great illustrated instructions, step-by-step procedures, and great tips on storage make this one another terrific choice for a gift or basic building block for a food preservation library. This is one I could see referring to over and over again throughout the season.

Country Harvest: A Celebration of Autumn by Linda Burgess and Rosamond Richardson, 1990, Prentice Hall Press.
This is a book I would LOVE to get as a gift, and a more experienced food preserver than I would also enjoy it immensely. Recipes for food preservation but also for baking, cordials, vodkas, chutneys, and cooking share space with some of the most inspiring photographs I've seen in some time. What I really liked about this book were the unique recipes - sloe gin, damson jam,
rowan jelly (those berries on that decorative mountain ash seen in many a front yard), windfall jams - that make you see food where you never thought it would be.

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