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Best Books for Canning and Preserving

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23 replies to this topic

#1 Tela T

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 08:16 AM

I may have missed this topic elsewhere in the forum - but what recommendations do y'all have? In addition, links or other references to prepare!
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#2 mukki

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 09:26 AM

Christine Ferber's Mes Confitures is a favorite.

#3 pastryelf

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 08:54 AM

Putting Food By by Ruth Hertzberg is a classic, originally published in the 60's/70's but updated and with info that is timeless.

Also Eden Waycott's book, Preserving the Taste.

Rodale also has a book called Stocking up, which I believe has a newly revised edition, although is often available in used book stores.

I have also found that going to any good used book store and checking through their cooking section yields some good older books. But I would start with Putting Food By...
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#4 sparrowgrass

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:56 PM

If you want to make sure you live thru your canning experiences, get the Ball Blue Book. Presented by the same folks who make the canning jars. Costs about $6, and is full of basic recipes for canning and freezing.

This is especially important if you are planning on canning low acid or low sugar recipes. (And tomatoes count as low acid, these days.)

Botulism is no walk in the park, my friends. Be safe.

USDA has an online canning site with up-to-date information.

Please, watch out for the out of date cookbooks and canning books. I am not ordinarily a member of the food police--you will even find chicken thawing on my countertops--but canning is a different story. Death can be the very first symptom of botulism, I think. :sad:

Not to mention the fact that prepping everything for canning is lots of work and expense, and it is a real bummer to have lovely jars of things unseal or go moldy.
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#5 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 06:43 AM

I agree with Sparrowgrass I have been canning for 30 years and honestly every year I contact the local Cooperative Extension for the lastest issued publications by the USDA

for the few bucks if anything at all ...I spend each year... safety is worth it

they also have some really good recipes!

#6 pastryelf

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:17 PM

Just want to add my 2 cents here. Botulism is real and serious, but if you are diligent and conscientious you will have much success. Canning is not rocket science and I worry that people get scared off from a wonderful process because they are afraid of killing their loved ones. The Blue Ball book is a great resource, what you need to learn most importantly is the basics of temperature, acidity and cleanliness, then you can use older recipes with some tweaking.

Absolutely no dis-respect intended here, just don't want anyone to get discouraged before they even start. I taught myself how to can, mostly with Putting Food By, a decade ago and I have not had any problems (knocks wood) with bad food.
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#7 ninetofive

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 02:25 PM

I agree, Pastryelf. I've been canning for years, following the latest guidelines, and the process couldn't be more simple (cooler, perhaps, but that's a story for August).

I worry more about cavalier handling of raw chicken and salmonella, to be honest, which kills more people than botulism. Not that I'd want botulism, of course, but it's not the death sentence it was 100 years ago. From the CDC's website: "Botulism can result in death due to respiratory failure. However, in the past 50 years the proportion of patients with botulism who die has fallen from about 50% to 8%."

http://www.cdc.gov/n.../botulism_g.htm
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#8 Lesley C

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 06:48 AM

I would highly recommend Linda Amendt's Blue Ribbon Preserves (HP Trade, 2001).

You can start out by checking out her website at www.blueribbonpreserves.com.

#9 sparrowgrass

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 07:47 AM

I, too, have been canning for 30 years (dang, that makes me feel old) and highly recommend the whole experience.

Nothing warms my heart like that "ping" as the jars seal.

I keep my canned goods in a china cabinet in the corner of the kitchen, almost as much for decoration as for eating.
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#10 Chris Amirault

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 06:30 PM

I just picked up a 1982 edition of "Putting Food By" and it's amazing. It doesn't just have information on canning either. Indeed, I'm mesmerized by the sections on freezing, pickling, curing, and root cellaring.
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#11 maggiethecat

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 06:46 PM

If you can find a copy in a second hand bookstore, or on line, The "Preserving" volume from the old Time-Life "The Good Cook" series is my canning/preserving Bible. Hey, Richard Olney was the editor. Great information, and like all the Time-Like cookbooks, beautiful photography thirty years on. Rilettes, jams, jellies, pickles, vegetables, brine, smoke -- it's all there. I've seen it around for six bucks.

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#12 hjshorter

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 04:04 AM

The Ball Blue Book is a great place to start. Canning and Preserving for Dummies helped me too. For more advanced flavors Fine Preserving is wonderful; it's out of print but can still be found on the web.

If you're interested in more than jam, a long-departed eG member recommended The Joy of Pickling. It's been a treasure.

I, too, check every year on the web about processing times, and adjust old recipes accordingly.

Edited by hjshorter, 23 March 2008 - 04:06 AM.

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#13 helenjp

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 05:13 AM

I can add my recommendation for those dry guides put out by university extension services, preserving jar manufacturers, and the like.

Whatever other resources you come to enjoy, those guidebooks are designed for easy reference, and they are always well-tested.

The other books that I use are almost all out of print. One thing that did take me a couple of decades to figure out was that if I'm buying produce instead of hauling in bathloads of excess produce from the garden, I don't NEED to make huge batches. I can make small, stress-free quantities! :cool:

#14 Anna N

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 05:29 AM

I can add my recommendation for those dry guides put out by university extension services, preserving jar manufacturers, and the like.

Whatever other resources you come to enjoy, those guidebooks are designed for easy reference, and they are always well-tested.

The other books that I use are almost all out of print. One thing that did take me a couple of decades to figure out was that if I'm buying produce instead of hauling in  bathloads of excess produce from the garden, I don't NEED to make huge batches. I can make small, stress-free quantities! :cool:

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Yep! and Small Batch Preserving is just the reference for this.
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#15 lperry

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 06:36 AM

I just picked up a 1982 edition of "Putting Food By" and it's amazing. It doesn't just have information on canning either. Indeed, I'm mesmerized by the sections on freezing, pickling, curing, and root cellaring.

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If you like this one, head to a used bookstore and try to find "Stocking Up." It was published by Rodale, the Organic Gardening people, and is all about having your larder full for the winter. I've spent days with that one.

#16 snowangel

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 05:13 PM

Another oldie but goodie is the Farm Journal "Freezing and Canning Cookbook." I see it at garage sales with some regularity. Back when I was a little girl spending summers on a farm in Nebraska, it was a staple on the shelves of every farm wife.
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#17 lcdm

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 11:06 AM

I canned last year for the first time, 2 books that really helped were The Ball Blue Book and Blue Ribbon Preserves: Secrets to Award-Winning Jams, Jellies, Marmalades and More. I also found the Ball website: http://www.freshpres...ages/home/1.php and the harvest forum on gardenweb http://forums.garden...forums/harvest/ very helpful.

#18 Kim D

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 11:29 AM

Putting Food By by Ruth Hertzberg is a classic, originally published in the 60's/70's but updated and with info that is timeless.

Also Eden Waycott's book, Preserving the Taste.

Rodale also has a book called Stocking up, which I believe has a newly revised edition, although is often available in used book stores.

I have also found that going to any good used book store and checking through their cooking section yields some good older books.  But I would start with Putting Food By...

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I read your suggestion this morning. I stopped by a used bookstore and they had "Putting Food By". I snapped it up and started reading it on the subway. Looks great. I can't remember ever seeing a write-up on root cellaring. Thank you!
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#19 janeer

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 01:22 PM

I may have missed this topic elsewhere in the forum - but what recommendations do y'all have?  In addition, links or other references to prepare!

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In addition to these listed, all good and in my collection, I like Katherine Plageman's Fine Preserving. Not much instruction, but very good recipes.

#20 Veena

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 07:25 PM

Anyone here has tried Preserves (River Cottage Handbook 2) by Pam Corbin? How does it compare to Christine Ferber's book in terms of methods and variety of recipes? The recipe for plum jam in this article is intriguing enough to make me want to purchase Corbin's book (in addition to Ferber's). None of the recipes for plum jam that I have come across ask you to include kernels from the plum stones.


Veena

Edited by Veena, 14 November 2008 - 07:33 PM.


#21 tangaloor

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 02:06 PM

The recipe for plum jam in this article is intriguing enough to make me want to purchase Corbin's book (in addition to Ferber's).  None of the recipes for plum jam that I have come across ask you to include kernels from the plum stones.


Any stone fruit conserve (or other preparation for that matter--eg clafoutis) can be improved this way--apricot, cherry, peach, etc. A few kernels left in each jar perfume the conserve with a lovely bitter almond flavour.

#22 LindaK

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 05:52 PM

Along with pickling, there seems to be a lot of interest in preserving and canning these days. I'm interested in trying my hand at it--small scale, using what comes from my small garden plot or my friends' fruit trees. I'm more interested in preserving (ie., fruits in liquors) than in canning, but I can imagine putting up some jams. But I need to do some reading and learn more about the processes, food safety, as well as recipes.

There are a lot of books out there, browsing Amazon is making me dizzy. It's hard to know which ones to choose. Does anyone have any recommendations?


 


#23 heidih

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 06:22 PM

I have heard great things about Williams-Sonoma the Art of Preserving

#24 KarenDW

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:04 PM

I would second the recommendation up-thread of the book Small Batch Preserving
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