Preserving fruits and vegetables, whether you’re making strawberry jam or a batch of homemade pickles, is one of the more time-honored traditions in cooking. It is also one that isn’t done quite as much as it used to be, since we can now buy hot-house fruits and imported vegetables all year round. But off season veggies never taste quite as good as those that are harvested in season, at their peak, and that is one reason why it is worth trying your hand at making preserves at home. The other reasons are that it is both fun and delicious to make your own preserves, and with The Art of Preserving, you will have a very good place to start.
The book opens with a quick overview of the equipment that you need to get started and with so tips from preserving pros that will make your journey into preservation go as smoothly as possible. The recipes include jams, jellies, preserves, conserves, marmalades, fruit butters, fruit curds, pickles, salsas, relishes and condiments – and there is literally something for everyone, whether you like more exotic marmalades or something as simple as homemade ketchup. There is a tremendous variety of fruits, vegetables and flavors in the recipes, too. The recipes are very clear and straightforward, so both novice and experienced cooks will find them to be very approachable and non-intimidating. The recipes also don’t make huge batches, which makes them easy to work with when you’re cooking them, as well as easy to use and store in your kitchen without having to dedicate your pantry to one type of homemade jam.
In addition to the recipes for the preserves, the book is also packed with recipes that use them. They are a fantastic addition to the various preserve recipes because it means that you’ll start out with at least one or two recipes that use what you’ve just made. The recipes are both sweet and savory, so you can use raspberry jam in a Coconut-Raspberry Layer Cake or preserved lemons in Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Herbs. As if the preserves themselves didn’t sound delicious enough, the photos of both the preserves and the recipes that use them will get your mouth watering and push you in to trying some of these recipes yourself in no time.