Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Top Ten Favorite Canning Books

I love books, there it is my true passion. Books are a collection of thoughts. A chance to crawl into someones head for a while and escape or add to your own neuronet of information.

Long before I moved to Washington state I began to collect canning books. There was a little voice telling me someday they would be useful. I scoured used book stores and book outlets in New England. Although canning was not hugely popular there 25 years ago, it was a good time to find and collect canning books.

I love to read canning books and compare recipes while hunting for the simplest, easiest methods. The pictures always inspire me to get the equipment out, roll up my sleeves, put on my apron and get creative. I have to admit quite often there is a canning book or two in the book shelf I have in my bathroom. Not many people can say that - or should I admit to that?

I am now adding books and canning equipment to my blog. I like the Amazon site because books can be purchased used at a fraction of the price of new copies. I don't mind used books, in fact I prefer them. My books are used, dogeared, stained and loved. Please use my link to purchase books and canning equipment to help support this blog. I would really appreciate your support!

Here is my top ten favorite canning book list. Not all are new, expensive or considered the most popular. These are the cornerstone of my canning education and I will share them with you. I did not list them in order of preference.

1. Blue Ball Book of Preserving- This is a classic that every canner should own. Always buy the most recent edition as it is the bible of canning books and will have the most current information. When I give canning classes, I always recommend that the students purchase this book to begin their collection. If one reads and absorbs the information in this little book, they will have the foundations of the art of canning.

2. Putting Food By by Ruth Hertzbert, Beatrice Vaughan, Janet Greene - Another staple and must have book that covers not only the basics of canning but also freezing, drying, curing, root cellaring. I have turned to this book for basic instructions on urban homesteading many times. Although it does not have pretty color pictures it has the necessary information put forth in a reliable straight forth manner.

3. Putting it up with Honey by Susan Geiskopf - Sometimes looking at the quantities of white sugar called for in recipes makes me wonder what I will really be doing to myself. This book provides an alternative to sugar - natural honey. Great pickled beet recipe.

4. Keeping the Harvest by Nancy Thurber and Gretchen Mead - Another classic that covers many ways to preserve food. I just checked my copy and I purchased it in 1986 used and it was printed in 1979!. Hmm almost an antique now I guess. There are very good black and white pictures and graphics and I would have to say I probably used this book the most when I first began canning.

5. Better Homes and Gardens Presents Canning and Preserving - This is another older book but well worth having. The recipes are simple and easy and are combined with good instructions. I really most books published by Better Homes and Gardens.

6. Canning and Preserving for Dummies by Karen Ward - The inventor of the books for dummies series was a genius. It is like admitting you don't know anything and buying a non threatening guide. I have often given this book to friends and packaged it in a blue speckled canning pot as a gift. Once they get over a good laugh at me calling them a dummy (always done with love I assure you) they usually take up canning and begin to love it. There is nothing as rewarding as making beginners apple sauce or blackberry jam and sending it off to family for a holiday gift.

7. Complete Guide to Canning and Preserving by U.S. Dept. of Agriculture - Yearly the USDA does us all a huge favor and tests recipes for safety. Over the years bacterias and viruses have evolved and become more deadly and virulent. Canning methods foremothers (yes, this word is not in the dictionary but the word forefathers is. Time to use foremothers and make them as important as our forefathers) creating lots of opportunities for people to get sick. The acidic level of some fruits and vegetables have changed and now require more stringent canning methods and care. This book will keep you updated on the latest and greatest findings and recommendations. Be sure to get a copy of this one!

8. The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes To Use Year-Round by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard - Excellent suggestions for items to make in every season without having to can all day. Sometimes it is great to make a batch of something special to give as gifts and this is the book to help you do just that.

9. Joy of Cooking: All About Canning & Preserving by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker - The Joy of Cooking series give an excellent overview of canning recipes of all kinds. If I had to take one cooking book in a hurry it would be my Joy of Cooking book.

10. The Enclyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery - One of my all time favorite books and another one I have also have a very old copy of in my collection. While this book covers many subjects, it also has a good canning section written by someone who lives the life and cans to live. If you don't have this book then you are mission out on a good read!

Check out these books on my links and you will find most of them very inexpensive...of course because I am the Frugal Fraulein.

1 comment:

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