Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weekend Cooking - Review of Preserving the Harvest

 Beth Fish Reads sponsors this weekly meme where we foodies can chat about cookbooks, cooking gadgets, recipes, or anything else gustatory. Be sure to stop over there to find other terrific weekend cooking posts.  This week's post has a great new cookbook for kids.....I love it.

 I haven't done a weekend cooking post for several weeks.  I've been too busy reading and cooking and putting up the bounty this year's wonderful weather produced through our fairly short growing season here in Maine.  I didn't even have time to take pictures of the food, and figured jars of jam and applesauce is something you can see everyday, so I decided to forget that part.  Here's my great find.

Author: Carol Costenbader
Publisher/Format: Storey Publishing, LLC (2002),  Rev., Paperback, 352 pages Subject: Various methods of preserving foods
Genre: how-to, Cookbook
Source: my own

This one has it all.  Great recipes (there's a terrific one for Apple Beet puree that Mr. Tutu and I have been scarfing up for the past week), wonderful conversion charts, a glossary of terms, and chapters on every different way of preserving food you can dream up.  There are hints on how to choose produce if you don't grow your own.  How much to buy, how to keep it through the winter, and wonderfully innovative ways to share it with others for gifts.

I for instance had the best crop of basil I've ever managed to grow.  But I've never had much luck before in drying it.  Costenbader gives us several different methods and I think I'm going to try more than one to see which gives me the best results.  The book even shows how to used dried foods, and how to reconstitute dried fruits and vegetables.  Preparing a family "root cellar" never seemed like a possiblity until I read her suggestion to use the stairwell  (inside the bulkhead doors) to our basement!

Canning and freezing chapters offer very clear, well-illustrated directions for a variety of crops.  Pickling recipes run the gamut from the traditional bread and butter to some decidedly new-age chutneys.  There are excellent discussions about what equipment to buy, how to adjust recipes that didn't come out right, and checklists to use emphasizing the latest guidance on healthy practices. 

If you do any "putting up" this is definitely the book for you.  It is one that will be passed down for several generations.


  1. Entry for book giveway, responding to the post.

    'Preserving the Harvest' looks like a great book for Christmas for my sister. She does all kinds of preserving techniques. Thanks for the recommendation, Tina.

  2. preserving things..canning, pickling, freezing...always sounds like a great idea, but I know that I never

  3. I'm so intimidated by food preservation! I freeze things, but canning scares me (I knew someone in college who got botulism from her grandmother's canned soup - she almost died).

    The root cellar idea is cool, but here in Oregon not many houses have basements because of the wet ground.

  4. No new post today it does not look like, but I am commenting for entry in the Stuart book giveaway.


Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Now that you've heard our two cents, perhaps you have a few pennies to throw into the discussion. Due to a bunch more anonymous spam getting through, I've had to disallow anonymous comments. I try to respond to all comments posing a question, but may not always get to you right away.