Preserving food at home doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t need a lot of time or years of experience to preserve garden fresh fruits and vegetables. This book has simple step-by-step instructions five you the confidence and know how to freeze, dry, can, root cellar, and brine the abundance from your CSA share or summer garden. Check out my post on how to freeze zucchini and if you really want to start preserving your harvest, keep reading to learn more about this book!
The Beginner’s Guide to Preserving Food at Home
Book Title: The Beginner’s Guide to Preserving Food at Home
Subtitle: Easy instructions for Canning, Freezing, Drying, Brining, and Root Cellaring Your Favorite Fruits, Herbs, and Vegetables
Author: Janet Chadwick
Genre: Cookbook, Preserving
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Paperback: 240 pages
Suggested Retail Price: $14.95
About the Preserving Food Cookbook
You don’t need a lot of time or years of experience to preserve garden fresh fruits and vegetables. Simple step-by-step instructions five you the confidence and know how to freeze, dry, can, root cellar, and brine the abundance from your CSA share or summer garden. Grate and freeze excess zucchini; it will be perfect in quick breads and muffins all winter long. Pick up a crate of less than perfect tomatoes at the farmers’ market and preserve them in jars of spicy salsa. Turn the overflow of green beans from your CSA farm share into tasty dilly beans to eat all winter or give as holiday gifts. These techniques and recipes will have you eating locally all year long.
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In the last few years I have become passionate about eating local and organic food when I can. I found several farmers in my area that are quite skilled at growing veggies, raising cattle, and milking goats. Gardening is still rather new to me. I am slowly learning (mostly by trial and error!) what works and what doesn’t. It is a good thing I have skilled farmers to rely on because my garden doesn’t provide anywhere near enough food to feed my family. Every year, I put in another bed of plants and pray they grow! As I become more successful (I hope!) I will need to know what to do with all the fresh foods I produce and this book will be an invaluable resource!
The chapter on choosing preservation equipment was quite informative. I already own a Cuisinart food processor, dehydrator, and Kitchen aid mixer. Some of the best inventions I have every invested in. The author provides a very detailed list of supplies you will need, down to the ladles and spatulas. She really DOES want the beginner preserver to succeed!
Gardening tips for preserving the harvest
The chapter on tips, hints, and shortcuts was very informative. Staggered planting is one thing I am trying this year…put in your seeds/plants every few weeks throughout the season so they don’t all ripen at the same time. If you have a kitchen full of 40 pounds of green beans you are going to be very grumpy by the time you are finished processing and, as the author stresses, this is supposed to be ENJOYABLE!
Basic Methods of Preserving Foods
The author discusses each of the basic methods of preserving food. She has lists of fruits/veggies that will work best for each one. Drying, freezing, canning, and root cellaring (cold storage) are all covered in detail. There are separate chapters for vegetables, fruits, and herbs and each one is filled with information on everything from A (asparagus) to Z (zucchini) and everything in between. If you want to know how to dry cherries or make pickled beets, that information is in there! At the end of the book you will find numerous recipes for making or using preserved produce.
Plastic Sealer Bags
The only part of the book that I was NOT a big fan of was the recommendation to use the vacuum packing of plastic sealer bags for storing veggies. It may very well be an excellent method of preserving food at home, however I am not a big fan of plastic. I loved everything else about this book and when my garden starts producing this spring/summer (keeping fingers crossed!) I will have a great resource for preserving my harvest!
Have any tips to share about home preservation?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.