I plan on doing a lot of 'putting up' this year, especially after my fun and successful tomato canning adventure of 2008, which led to award-winning results (at least among my friends.) And although I was raised by a father who put up a few cases of applesauce and pickles every year, I still feel I'll always have something to learn. So when I spied Well-Preserved in the soon-to-be-published section of Clarkson Potter, I just knew I had to have it.
Why? Well, to be honest, initially I was really taken by the author's name. There's something practical and hard working about the name Eugenia Bone. I felt I could trust what she told me. And, as it turns out, this just might be true. I've only had Well-Preserved for a few weeks now but so far so good. So very very good.
Title & Publisher: Well-Preserved by Eugenia Bone. Published by Clarkson Potter, 2009.
First impressions: Softcover, with end flaps. 224 glossy pages with many photographs, an index and table of contents.
Number of recipes: 117, organized by Fruits; Vegetables; Beans, Nuts and Funghi; and Meat, Poultry and Fish.
The other stuff: The beginning sections on canning, pickling, freezing, smoking and curing, and preserving in oil are gold. Bone also covers both the water bath and pressure cooker methods of canning, which makes this book appropriate for beginners and experienced folk alike. Start with something simple like Strawberry Balsamic Jam and one day you'll find yourself confidently canning tuna and entering your latest batch of Succotash in the state fair.
The angle: It's all fine and dandy to have those rows of glittering jams and preserves, and a fridge stocked with smoked meats and Green Olive Tapenade. But what are you going to do with it? Well-Preserved offers additional recipes and suggestions after each master recipe so that you can enjoy the bounty of your labors and experiment with new flavors.
Recipes for right now: Strawberry Balsamic Jam, Cherries in Wine, Pickled Aspapagus, Fava Bean Cream, Bacon
Recommended? Yes. This is a book you will keep in your kitchen all summer, consulting before and after a trip to the farmers' market. Some recipes require a bit of a commitment to make and process, but others you will be able to whip up in a few minutes and store in your refrigerator or freezer.
Buy the book: Well-Preserved, $15.89 at Amazon
More Information: Eugenia Bone has a wonderful blog with the Denver Post. And did you know she is the daughter of cookbook author Edward Giobbi and that her parents' kitchen remodel was featured in the May 2009 issue of Saveur?
(Image: Clarkson Potter)