Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces from the author of Food in Jars


Seasonal Canning in Small Bites
Marisa McClellan was an adult in a high-rise in Philadelphia when she rediscovered canning, and found herself under the preserving spell. She grew accustomed to working in large batches since most ?vintage” recipes are written to feed a large family, or to use up a farm-size crop, but increasingly, found that smaller batches suited her life better. Working with a quart, a pound, a pint, or a bunch of produce, not a bushel, allows for dabbling in preserving w

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  1. 149 of 152 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Preserving by the Pint, May 5, 2014
    By 
    M. Hill (U.S.A.) –
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces from the author of Food in Jars (Hardcover)
    As an experienced canner I have become skeptical, if not outright alarmed by a number of the recent books on canning that dismiss safety precautions as something unnecessary and old fashioned, when in fact they represent modern methods established to eliminate potential dangers – an improvement of methods that our great great grandmothers used. No point wasting time and money or possibly putting our friends and loved ones at risk. If just starting out or in doubt, check with your county extension service which usually provides safety information and canning information/recipes at no cost designed for the part of the country in which you reside.

    Being safe does not have to be complicated and this book is a perfect example of clear, straightforward instructions that incorporate proper safety methods. I would add that before use jars first be washed, either in the dishwasher or by hand, as an initial step although sitting in hot water would probably take care of most issues.

    Instructions on how to properly preserve food are a necessity and, in this book, done as painlessly as possible, but the fun part are the recipes, and this is where the book truly shines. The author has taken some usual canning recipes and re-invented them. If you look at enough canning books you see many of the same recipes presented almost in identical form over and over again. Corn relish recipe, dilly beans and peach jam are just a few and granted are a good starting point, but now I want more complex flavors than those I was satisfied with when I began canning.

    This book is the perfect example of why I keep searching out new recipes — the author has created interesting combinations like Salted Brown Sugar Peach Jam, Pear Jam with Chocolate and even Pickled Nectarine slices. These are recipes not found in every book on preserving, and they create special canned goods not found sitting on every shop shelf.

    More examples — I have a go-to recipe for a tomato based Mango Salsa that I like very much but tried and liked the one in this book which does not use any tomatoes. The pickled garlic recipe I prepare year around does not use red wine vinegar like the one in this book, so I tested it and found another winner.

    And since the batches are small, so is the risk just in case something is not to the user’s taste. Oh, I did notice the recipe for Blender Salsa did not mention the required head space but the author’s general directions found at the front of the book permit the user to handle any minor problem – and according to those instructions, since this is a thicker product, 1/2 inch head space should be used.

    Note there are a number of refrigerator canning recipes which are preserved and stored in the fridge, rather than the pantry shelf. I appreciated that there was not any weird pectin required that is only available by mail order, or recipes filled with other difficult to find ingredients. Almost everything in this book is readily available when in season.

    About the book — there are color photos sprinkled through the book which is generous and not nearly as important with canning recipes as with other cookbooks where the final appearance of the dish is sometimes hard to predict . Black ink is used throughout the book which makes reading the recipes from the distance of standing height to the counter top possible, although the font size is a small 9 point but mercifully the font is bolded for the ingredient portion of the recipe. The headings a muted red color ink. Reasonably sturdy paper is used but spills should be wiped up quickly because the paper warps almost on contact. A cookbook holder might be a good idea to protect the pages.

    Organized by season the focus is logically on the availability of produce. Canning is not just about the preserving, but also involves the experience of picking your own fruits and vegetables or hand selecting items at farmers markets and farm stands, buying locally when items are in season. So, the user can turn in the book to the appropriate season and search out recipes to try and watch for the items as they appear at market.

    Looking ahead and planning what to make for each season is an enjoyable anticipatory activity. Homemade jam and pickles are favorite gifts to give because people always seem happy to receive a jar, and it is such a small gesture that it seems to avoid any need the recipient might feel to reciprocate. For me, this is the best kind of gift – one without strings. I can show my genuine appreciation or affection and not create any obligation.

    The book is full of fresh and new ideas. The project is obviously carefully crafted and I am so impressed with the final result. Highly recommend.

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  2. 38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Preserves that will actually get eaten, April 14, 2014
    By 
    Kyle (Seattle, WA) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    I love this book. I started canning maybe about eight years ago, starting with the requisite strawberry jam. It was fantastic, but who really wants eight pints of strawberry jam? We live in an age when most of us are no longer feeding large families. And, even though I have a backyard garden, I am unlikely to grow enough of any one thing to need to preserve on that scale. But, I want to be able to pick up produce from the farmer’s market and lay in by, particularly to have something interesting and locally-based for the barren winter months.

    One of the big challenges of canning is that, barring tomatoes, dill pickles, and jams, a lot of recipes for preserves ended up less appealing that whatever you could buy shipped in from the grocery store. So, a lot of work goes to waste. This book, the perfect follow-up to Food in Jars, starts to change that. It’s preserves that you’re actually going to want to dive into, mid-winter.

    So far, given it is just the beginning of the growing season, the only thing I have tried is the rhubarb chutney. This has been such a huge hit that I am going to have to make another batch. My pickiest friend devoured it at dinner last night! If I never made another recipe out this book, this chutney is worth the price of the book. Next, pickled asparagus!

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  3. PatMillDE says:
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Quickly became a favorite recipe book, January 9, 2015
    By 
    PatMillDE (Delaware) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces from the author of Food in Jars (Hardcover)
    This book is terrific. It is written conversationally but the recipes get to the point. Do read all the way to the end of the recipe, as tips are sometimes at the end. Also, there are a few “mistakes” in the book, such as ingredients listed which are not included in the instructions below, times which do not reflect the actual time it took to do the step, and so on. This does not make the book any less useful or fantastic, but it is just a note for people who might want it to be exact and literal. It may take longer to cook down a recipe if the pears I use have more moisture than the pears used by the author, for example.

    I have used two-thirds of the recipes in this book already. Each recipe was as delicious as I hoped. I will use this book over and over, season after season, and have already begun the process of adding my notes and comments from family and friends.

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