Sunday, June 21, 2009

Book Review: Well-Preserved

The flap reads: "Most of us remember our mothers or grandmothers painstakingly canning tomatoes or pickles outside on a sweltering summer day so they'd be able to grab them from the basement pantry come winter. But how can a busy person with limited time and space put up the seasons' delicious bounty to savor later in the year?"

The essence of Eugenia Bone's Well-Preserved is summed up in the subtitle, "Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods." Bone herself lives in a small New York apartment, and if her book is any testament, she can pump out an incredible amount of stuff in a small, limited space.

Covering water bath canning, pressure canning, pickling, smoking & curing, freezing, and oil preserving, Well-Preserved covers a lot of ground in a slim volume. Bone's highly readable tone makes quite a scientific subject engaging and inspiring. Methods for these different types of preservation are well-laid out and the language is accessible. Her recipes look delicious and inventive. When canning time comes around this neck of the woods, I will for sure be making some of the recipes I've bookmarked, like the Strawberry Balsamic Jam and the Stewed Onions with Marjoram.

Bone structures the book around one master recipe, like the Strawberry Balsamic Jam, and then provides a series of recipes that use that one master recipe as a staple ingredient. There are a lot of cool ideas for everything from desserts and main dishes to salads and soups. As one might expect, there is a ton of variety.

So, I am very much looking forward to canning season (which is usually around the end of August in my family), though this book has some great ideas for non-canning preservation methods that I can totally see myself using. I am very grateful for my freezer, I can tell you that!


Elra said...

I always tempted to do canning myself, but the recipe always sound so complicated, so haven tried anything yet. The only thing that I always make and feel confident about making it is the preserved lemon (I do a lot of Moroccan cooking). Anyway, the book sounds like fun, and I must admit I am quite tempted of the strawberry-balsamic jam. Can't wait to see your canning result. So be sure to post about it, k?!

girlichef said...

Looks like one I'd love to read...even if I don't end up using it right away.

Reeni♥ said...

This sounds like a really great book, especially for the small-batch recipes.

Bob said...

I've always wanted to can, but I've never had a kitchen that has enough room for the stuff I'd need (or to store the finished product for that matter). I look forward to seeing what you're going to do though!

Coleen's Recipes said...

I'm definitely going to get this book!! Thanks for the tip.

Cathy said...

I'm going to have to pick this one up. I've always wanted to can and just never learned how.

Anonymous said...

Hi Again WC, WOW...absolutely ! Where have I been to miss out on this ? you will probably NEVER believe this but I was thinking of how fun it would be to make my own preserves and have even collected some lovely jars for the purpose but thought it too overwhelming and so kept postponing ! I will call B&N today ! Your blog is just FAB ! so much hands on advice.... : )


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