We thought 2011 was a banner year for DIY food books, but this year brought volume after volume -- and the level of quality was unsurpassed. Here's a handful of our favorite books that crossed our desk this year.
The Art of Fermentation
From the inimitable Sandor Ellix Katz (a.k.a. Sandorkraut) comes the definitive volume on all things fermentation. This is one for the ages -- the only book you may ever need for fermenting everything from veggies to grains to meats.
Food in Jars
Marisa McClellan's much-anticipated book from her popular canning blog took the preserving world by storm this year with its straightforward approach to small-batch preserving that can be done in even the tiniest urban kitchen. I had the pleasure of sitting with Marisa for a video chat earlier this year. Check it out!
The Preservation Kitchen
Chicago chef Paul Virant captures the bounty of the season in a variety of methods, going beyond workaday jams and pickles into more intriguing condiments, like aigre-doux and mostardas, then pays them forward into compelling dishes to grace your table. I have a lot of pages earmarked in this book.
Making Wine, Liqueurs and Cordials
Fancy a wee dram? If you've never made liqueurs or cordials before, they're a simple, fun way to capture the essence of fruits, herbs and more. Whether you're looking to make a basic limoncello or even ferment your own fruit wines, this book is full of fun projects.
The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook
We always like to finish on something a little sweet, and we're sweet on this book that instructs on how to make just about any kind of candy you can dream up. Creamy, chewy, sticky, crunchy, chocolatey -- it's all in here.