Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Making the Most of the Harvest

Every summer there's squash and cucumbers a plenty at our farmer's market.  I have to admit that every week when I go to the market my eyes are bigger than my stomach, or rather my family's stomachs.  Part of my problem is not knowing what to do with the squash and cucumbers.  

This summer I have started using a cookbook that I've mentioned in a few other entries on this blog, Put 'em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton.  I've made some Asian Cucumber Pickles, Cumin and Coriander Beets, and Blueberry Vinegar.  I know that if I have extras this summer--there's something that I can do with them.  

I really was expecting this book to be mostly about jams and jellies.  After all, that's what most people think of when they think of "canning" or "preserving".  But, I'm so thankful that it's not!  Instead, this is a cookbook all about how you can preserve the varied fruits and vegetables of your harvest.

The explanations, illustrations, and general information in this cookbook about how to can are great.  They are easy to read, well formatted, and simple to follow.  For someone like me who has a lot of questions when I try something new, most of the answers are here.  

I did write a few weeks ago that I'd keep you posted about how my blueberry vinegar turned out.  It turned out just fine.  I used it in a salad dressing with tomatoes just the other day!

If you're looking for a canning cookbook that focuses on sauces, pickles, jams, jellies, and other toppings (there's even a lemon curd recipe!), I think this is a great cookbook.  One way that I know whether I really like a cookbook is whether I continually want to come back to it.  I've had this cookbook for two months now and it has been one that I've opened up numerous times--which says a lot to me!

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Storey Publishing.


  1. Would this be appropriate for a canning novice?

  2. Yes, I am a canning novice. That's why I've mostly refrigerated the pickles and sides. I haven't canned them this year. I did buy a canning pot and all the acoutrements, but I have mostly refrigerated my results so far :) There are some jam/jelly recipes, but she uses Pomona Pectin which we can't buy locally. But, there's only a few recipes that fall in this category. And she does give great directions on how to make the jams/jellies similar to the way America's Test Kitchen does. I think most canning cookbooks focus on jams/jellies, so I'm actually glad that this one doesn't :)