Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Book Review: Canning & Preserving

by heather

Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Make Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Chutneys & More Recently I won Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving with Ashley English from The Morris Tribe. I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It is full of recipes and tips for canning your harvest and is written in such a way that makes me totally excited about spending hours in my kitchen preserving local produce.  The way she describes it, it’s more than food storage, it’s an art form. I loved that the author included stories on the history of canning and explained the chemistry behind keeping your canned goods from spoiling.
Here are some of the tips that it included:

  • “Know why you are [canning], and be honest with the work it will require. This ain’t no disco!” 
  •  “Always cook small batches, and always use a wide pan. Also only use the best fruit for preserves.”
  • “Strawberry jam foams. A lot. No, really, a whole lot.”
  • “Grocery stores are a convenience, but there is nothing better than homegrown or homemade food.”
  • “Always remove the rings from my jars when storing; if anything spoils, the lids will come off. Food that is good will hold its seal.”
  • “Can because you enjoy it, never make it a job or task.”
  • “Keep your food preparation area clean, and always sterilize your jars well.”
  • “Canning provides a means of dealing with an abundance of fresh produce. It tastes good, is healthy and saves money. It’s the only way to eat certain foods.”
  • “Always prep extra jars and lids. Yields can very according to the water content of the fruit or vegetable and how tightly they pack into jars.”
  • “The canning process sometimes dictates it’s own time line. You should have a meal plan that simple and easy and have some snacks nearby.”

I’m not a total rookie to canning. I own my own canner and I can make some fantastic salsa and apple pie filling, but I have to say that I learned a lot from this book. After reading it I feel better equipped and more energized about canning. I recommend it to any one who is new to canning, anyone looking for a good canning reference or someone looking for a few new good ideas. (I’m excited to test out her recipe for peach lavender butter when peaches are in season.)

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