Preserving the Flavors of Summer!

It's officially summer again, and thank goodness because I've been coasting on the remains of last year's apple butter for quite a while! Needless to say, I am super excited that it's time to stock up my pantry with new jams and other goodies again. There's nothing like tasting summer in the form of a canned peach in the depths of winter, or crunching into a tasty pickle when you've been eating root vegetables almost exclusively.

It just occurred to me, though, that with the hot weather getting us going a little earlier than usual this year, I should probably be dusting off my canning books already. If you also want to dig into preserving and would like a bit of guidance, here are a selection of books that that would be excellent for both old-time canners and beginners alike!

Complete Book of Home Preserving

This is it, this is where you start- the holy grail of canning books! Ball will answer all your questions like: What does "light syrup" mean when canning peaches? What's the difference in yield when hot packing versus cold packing your fruits? What the heck IS hot and cold packing? You'll find all of the basics of technique, processing times, measurements, etc. for all the most popular canned goods!

Preserving by the Pint

If you have a small kitchen, nowhere to store tons of canned goods, or just get really small yields of fruits and vegetables from your garden, this is a great book for small-batch canning.

Wild Fermentation

If you're more into preserving things the old-fashioned way, check out this awesome primer on fermenting all sorts of different foods. Sandor Katz has such a nice writing style, and the book is the perfect balance of informative and accessible. It has a lot of detailed, practical advice to get you started on your own fermenting adventures plus just enough history and relevant discussions on the way we eat to get you really thinking. The author is obviously passionate about making and eating fermented foods and I appreciate that!

The Beginner's Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods

Here's another "back to basics" preserving method. I love how this book will work for you whether you have a fancy dehydrator, you want to use your oven, or you want to go as low-tech as possible and just use the sun!