In the dead of winter, no fruit brings a beam of sunshine better than the bright sweetness of oranges. Whether you're working with bitter Sevilles, sanguine blood oranges or sweet-tart cara caras, we've got a bushel of ideas on putting up everyone's favorite citrus.
Winter rains have come to the West Coast, bringing wild mushrooms aplenty. Even if you don't have access to wild, mushrooms are delicious year 'round, and are ripe for putting up.
Citrus is in, and nothing captures the essence of these sunny fruits like marmalade, whether you're making the classic orange or dabbling in other citrus.
Cabbage is your friend! Whether you're working with the Western globes in green or red, or crisp heads of napa cabbage, a little salt, time and patience can turn it into a traditional condiment with a global footprint. From tangy sauerkraut to spicy kimchi and beyond, here's a few ways to make the most of this ubiqutous veg.
Wait, Christmas is when? Don't panic. If your canning pantry is paltry, there's still time to bang out a few DIY food gifts that will delight your giftee. Best of all, each of these can be done in mere hours, requiring ingredients that are readily available this time of year.Read More >
Year over year, the list of amazing DIY books grows. (See our roundups for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.) Over time, we've seen a trend toward books that focus not just on the DIY aspects, but how to apply the products into everyday life. In fact, if anything, we're seeing a trend toward general cookbooks that integrate some DIY elements. I've expanded the criteria of the list this year accordingly, including a couple exciting things that aren't even books. (Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for Amazon.com from which I may derive a nominal amount of revenue.)
This new magazine explores the global history of food preservation, with a strong focus on fermentation specifically. It's erudite, cerebral, and simply gorgeous. The debut issues delves into such arcana as the Mexican corn brew tejuino, the medieval cheese spread kāmakh rījāl, and the Polish fermented grain soup żur. It's hard to imagine how much deeper down the rabbit hole they can go, but I'm looking forward to seeing it.
Batch by Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison
Longtime (as in OG) Punk Domestics contributors and authors of the blog Well Preserved, MacCharles and Harrison have produced a comprehensive and kaleidoscopic tome of recipes for the seven main techniques of preserving: Water bath canning, pressure canning, dehydrating, fermenting, cellaring, salting/smoking, and infusing.
Naturally Sweet Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan
In the third in her series of books, McClellan turned her eye to a particular niche in the preserving space, using natural sweeteners, including coconut, agave, maple, honey and more, in the place of the more common granulated sugar. She took some time out to talk to us.
Beyond Canning by Autumn Giles
Another longtime contributor, Giles serves up her unique sense of flavor combination, like preserved lemons with zesty Korean gochugaru pepper flakes and orange curd with a dash of rosewater.
Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood
Lindamood's book strives to arm the canner with a staple of foods that either turn into easy meals, or turn the humdrum into something special. Read our interview with her.
Preserving Italy by Domenica Marchetti
When I heard of this book, I squealed with glee. And also envy. In short, this is the book I wish I had written. She boldly leads with an entire chapter on foods preserved in oil (sott'olio).
Wild Fermentation, 2nd Edition by Sandor Ellix Katz
The preeminent bacteria farmer returns with an expanded and prettified version of his seminal work on the event of its 15th anniversary.
Can It! by Gary Allen
Explore the rich history of food preservation in this scholarly work, peppered with vintage artwork and recipes.
Food Swap by Emily Paster
Yet another longtime contributor, Paster outlines all the aspects of a successful food swap event, from scouting locations to getting the word out to the sometimes surprising problem of no-shows. Moreover, she helps you think about what makes your contribution a successful bargaining chip.
Eat It Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton
Following up on her triad of Put 'Em Up! books, Vinton tackles food waste with a wealth of ideas on how to use all the bibs and bobs of excess food. Her preserver heart shines through with recipes for chutneys and more.
Forager's Feast by Leda Meredith
Intended as much for the cooking enthusiast as for the survivalist, this book includes recipes that will transform even the most common edible backyard weeds into guest-worthy fare.
The New Wildcrafted Cuisine by Pascal Baudar
Baudar explores the flavors of local terroir, combining the research and knowledge of plants and landscape that chefs often lack with the fascinating and innovative techniques of a master food preserver and self-described “culinary alchemist.”
Many people enjoy receiving a bottle of a nice liqueur as a holiday gift. When it's handmade, it makes it both delicious and personal. Here's a bunch of our favorite DIY liqueurs perfect for gifting.
We've all canned a jillion jars of jam and whatnot, but where the rubber really hits the road in preserving is practicality. Once you've empowered yourself with the ability to preserve the things you really use in the everyday, you liberate yourself from the grocery store shelf. That's what I love about the new book Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood. In the vein of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry and others, this book strives to arm the canner with a staple of foods that either turn into easy meals, or turn the humdrum into something special. See, for example, these zesty marinated mushrooms, delicious straight from the jar or as part of an antipasto plate. The author took time out of her schedule, busy no doubt promoting the book, writing her blog Foodie with Family, and raising her kids, to talk to us.
PD: This book is wonderfully tailored to building a pantry of sensible, applicable items. Like many of us, you went through a phase of canning too much of some things, and too little of others. What is your advice to novice canners when considering what to can, and how much?
RL: It is great to can all the things, but it's a little disheartening when you put all the work into it and it languishes on the shelf. I think the best advice I have for novice canners is to can something you know you like. Are you crazy for jam? Start there. Are you a mustard nut? Make your own. As you gain confidence in your ability not to kill people with botulism, branch out. As for how much to put up? The first year you make a recipe, stick with a single batch until you know you love it, then calculate how much you think you'll eat. For example, the Smoky Roasted Salsa that is in Not Your Mama's Canning Book is one of the items we seem to have to increase every year to keep up with our ability to consume it.
PD: You live in rural Upstate New York, but your recipes pull from a global palate, including Mexico, Korea, India and more. Where do you derive your inspiration?
RL: I was an exchange student in high school and was bit hard by the travel bug. It seemed to me that my biggest human connection moments in all of my travel came when I shared food with people. Some of the global influence comes from my passion for travel, some of it comes from honouring the roots of my my multi-cultural family, some of it is just because food is good everywhere, man. I want to eat all the best the world has to offer.
PD: What preserved item do you turn to most frequently in the kitchen, either for a quick meal or to take a dish to the next level?
RL: Oooh. That's like asking which kid I like best. If I go by volume alone, I have to say we use the Smoky Roasted Salsa the most. We love it as a dip, but I also use it as the cooking liquid for roasts, and as a flavour boost for soups. Whole grain Dijon mustard comes in a close second. I put that stuff on and in everything.
No other fruit embodies the flavor of fall like cranberries. With their bracing acidity, they form the backbone of all manner of preserved foods, and have applications well beyond the Thanksgiving table. Here's a bunch of ways to use these lovely ruby orbs.
Knobby, hard and fuzzy, quince won't win any beauty contests, but their intoxicating perfume lures you in. Once you know how to conquer these rugged beasts, their heady flavor -- and substantial pectin structure -- make them a preserver's dream.