I must say that Storey Publishing REALLY knows how to put out great cookbooks. Here's my newest favorite by Sherri Brooks Vinton called, Put 'em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling.
For the past year, I've been gathering all the information I can get my hands on about preserving foods. I've spent hours talking with veteran canners (older & wiser women), researching techniques, comparing recipes, and finding the best sources for fresh produce. It's been a sweet high, I must say, to put up delicious tasting, locally grown, fruits and vegetables, knowing full well my family will be enjoying Summer's treats long after the plants are spent and the garden beds lie dormant.
Learning to preserve and actually putting up different foods is not a hobby for me. It's a new life choice. Some of you may already know that I stopped buying products containing high fructose corn syrup. Boy. That decision right there takes 75% percent off the grocery list. Well, some of the first items we missed eating were red plum jam and bread-and-butter pickles. I didn't want to live without those foods, so I had no choice but to make them on my own.
I don't think it's an coincidence that my new lifestyle choice and this new book have come together at the right time. When Storey Publishing gave me this book to review, I took it as a sign that I was on the right track in my thinking.
HERE'S WHAT I ENJOY MOST ABOUT PUT 'EM UP!
* Easy to read format throughout the book.
* Thorough information on the techniques of food preparation and food preservation methods.
* Contains extra big chunks of wisdom regarding "Working in Groups", "Things That Will Surely Get You Into Trouble", and "Things That Look Bad But Aren't Dangerous".
* Recipes are mixed with traditional basics and intriguing ethic delights.
* Recipes are organized by produce that's listed in alphabetical order.
* The illustrations are clear and simple to follow. We're not left guessing or assuming what happens next.
Produce covered in PUT 'EM UP!
Apples, Asparagus, Beans, Beets, Berries, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cherries, Chilies, Citrus, Corn, Cucumbers, Fennel, Figs, Garlic, Grapes, Herbs, Mushrooms, Onions, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Radishes, Ramps and Scapes, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Summer Squash and Zucchini, Sweet Peppers, Tomatillos and Green Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Watermelon
Recipes I've made from this book, so far.
Spicy Peach Salsa, Bread-and-Butter Chips, Pickle Relish and Classic Crock Pickles
Recipes I can't wait to try next. I'll just name a few.
Cucumber Aqua Fresca, Classic Fermented Sauerkraut, Preserved Lemons, Picnic Relish, Pickled Garlic, Herbed Vinegar, Pickled Button Mushrooms, Caramelized Onion Confit, Peach Butter, Strawberry Vinegar, Salsa Verde, Whole Canned Tomatillos, Easy-Bake Tomato Paste, and Watermelon Granita.
No matter whether you've been canning for years or you're just getting started in the art of preserving foods, Put 'Em Up! is a book worth adding to your shelf. It's full of inspiration, incredible recipes, and knowledgeable information you can refer back to again and again.