Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Tela T

Best Books on Preserving and Canning

Recommended Posts

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Christine Ferber's Mes Confitures is a favorite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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Please, watch out for the out of date cookbooks and canning books.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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/botulism_g.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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...

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soon it will be the season for fresh fruit, and I've promised myself that this year I'll make some preserves, especially apricot, maybe cherry, but other fruits as well.  Saw some books on the subject at a bookstore this morning, but have no idea if they are any good.  Any recommendations for books, literature, links that may be helpful?  Maybe  some details about the content would be helpful. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By boilsover
      Solid intermediate cook, here.  Not especially intimidated by elaborate preps.  But I'm new to SV, and would like a recommendation for a cookbook for guidance and exploration.
       
      I was thinking of Tom Keller's Under Pressure, but I'm wondering if the preps he includes may not be the most generally useful.  What do you all like, and why?
       
      Thanks!
    • By Chris Hennes
      On Nov. 7, 2017, Modernist Bread will finally arrive on my doorstep. Having preordered it literally the first day it was available, to say I'm excited about this book is a bit of an understatement. The team at The Cooking Lab have been gracious enough to give @Dave the Cook and me early electronic access to the book and so I've spent the last week pouring over it. I'm just going to start with a few initial comments here (it's 2600 pages long, so a full review is going to take some time, and require a bunch of baking!). Dave and I would also be happy to answer any questions you've got.
       
      One of the main things I've noticed about this book is a change in tone from the original Modernist Cuisine. It comes across as less "everything you know is wrong" and more "eighty bazillion other bakers have contributed to this knowledge and here's our synthesis of it." I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Myhrvold and company are now the most experienced bread-bakers in the world. Not necessarily in terms of the number of identical loaves they've produced, but in the shear number of different recipes and techniques they've tried and the care with which they've analyzed the results. These volumes are a distillation of 100,000 years of human breadmaking experience, topped off with a dose of the Modernist ethos of taking what we know to the next level.
       
      The recipes include weight, volume, and baker's percentages, and almost all of them can be made by both a home baker and someone baking in a commercial facility. The home baker might need to compromise on shape (e.g. you can't fit a full-length baguette in most home ovens) but the book provides clear instructions for both the amateur and professional. The recipes are almost entirely concentrated in volumes 4 and 5, with very few in the other volumes (in contrast to Modernist Cuisine, where there were many recipes scattered throughout). I can't wait for the physical volumes to arrive so that I can have multiple volumes open at once, the recipes cross-reference techniques taught earlier quite frequently.
    • By Chris Hennes
      I just got a copy of Grace Young's "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge"—I enjoyed cooking from "Breath of a Wok" and wanted to continue on that path. Does anyone else have this book? Have you cooked anything from it?

      Here was dinner tonight:

      Spicy Dry-Fried Beef (p. 70)

      I undercooked the beef just a bit due to a waning propane supply (I use an outdoor propane-powered wok burner), but there's nothing to complain about here. It's a relatively mild dish that lets the flavors of the ingredients (and the wok) speak. Overall I liked it, at will probably make it again (hopefully with a full tank of gas).


    • By Kitchenista
      At this time of year when you can hoard fresh, local strawberries because they are so abundant, why not freeze them and enjoy them all year long. Then you won't have to buy tasteless, fake looking ones in the dead of winter!

      The best way to preserve them, sugar-free, and have them fresh, year-round is to freeze them. Remember to start with the freshest strawberries possible. Strawberries start to lose freshness and nutrients quickly and will only last a few days in the fridge, so the sooner you freeze them the better. Follow these steps and they will last up to a year in the freezer:
      1. Gently wash them and pat them dry or allow them to air dry for an hour or so. Slice off the tops, including the stem and any white area, then cut them in half lengthwise.
      2. Line one or more rimmed baking sheets (depending on how many berries you have) with parchment or SilPats. Arrange them in a single layer on the sheets. and place them, uncovered, or loosely covered with plastic wrap in the freezer. Allow them to freeze solid, about 12 hours. Once frozen, transfer the berries (they may stick to the parchment a bit, but peel off relatively easy) to a freezer weight plastic zipper bag. Press out as much of the air from the bag as possible before sealing, to minimize freezer burn over time. If you are planning to leave them in the freezer for months, then consider double bagging them. Place the bagged berries in the freezer, where they will keep for up to one year.
      Note: I will warn you that the thawed berries will not be firm and bright like they were when raw and fresh. They tend to thaw out a bit mushier, and slightly darker…but can still be used for anything you would use fresh strawberries for. For smoothies, use frozen.
      Optional: Brushing the berries with a bit of lemon juice before you freeze them will help to preserve their color. While strawberries can be frozen whole, cut or crushed, they will retain a higher level of their vitamin C content if left whole.
    • By boilsover
      My Breville BSO 800XL  just died on it's second birthday, after only *extremely* light use at my beach house.  Just won't power up.
       
      Reading online, I learned that a common failure mode is the thermal fuse blowing -WHICH IS DESIGNED TO BLOW AT <450F.  This is a $3 part at Radio Shack, and there is a detailed instruction on how to replace it here:  http://virantha.com/2014/03/02/fix-your-breville-smart-oven-by-replacing-the-thermal-fuse/
       
      So I guess I'll give fixing it myself a try and report back.  Has anyone here done this repair?  Was it successful?  And why would Breville use a fuse that is lower than the appliance's top heat settings?
       
      Thanks!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×