Review and Giveaway: "Preserving With Friends" DVD

Preserving With FriendsLooking to further explore the world of preserving and canning (and in particular, fermentation) I sat down with a copy of "Preserving With Friends," a DVD that covers pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about preserving food. Host Harriet Fasenfest ("A Householder’s Guide to the Universe") takes you through the basics of water bath canning and making a few jam recipes before hauling out the big guns: Her friends. Harriet has hand-picked her friends who are experts on various subjects ranging from pressure canning to pickling to fermentation. All of her guests (and Harriet herself) are very knowledgeable and I learned quite a bit more than I originally bargained for.

Several chapters really jumped out at me, including "The Alchemy of Jam Making," in which Harriet explains all the elements of making a really good jam and how they work together. She follows this up with a great recipe for homemade pectin using crabapples. She further explains how to can whole fruits and vegetables and the different methods for each.

The most intriguing for me were the chapters on fermentation featuring Sandor Ellix Katz (Wild Fermentation) and his hearty “Lemmy” beard. This guy really know his fermentation! After a brief history and science of fermentation lesson, he dives into the recipes. After watching his careful instruction, I was able to start my own containers of fermented pickles and sauerkraut.

Along with the education and instruction comes a plethora of recipes including refrigerator pickles, sauerkraut, raspberry jam, strawberry jam and kimchi. The recipes are all included as printable extras on the DVD. Also included are various addenda like a pectin and acidity levels charts, jam making tips and how and when to use home made pectin.

There is a ton of information packed in this three-and-a-half hour DVD. Even Harriet, an experienced canner in her own right, learns a new thing or two. While it’s probably not a DVD you will pop in and watch the entirety of in one sitting, I found myself returning to certain chapters several times to check on bits information and clarification. I would highly recommend this DVD for anyone who is interested in learning and going beyond “Canning 101.” After  watching Harriet and her friends’ lessons, you’ll feel like you just graduated from Canning U.

We've got one copy of "Preserving With Friends" to give to a lucky recipient. All you need to do is to leave a comment on this post recounting something you learned while preserving with your friend(s). For a bonus entry, click to tweet this post. Entries will be open through midnight PDT on Sunday, July 31. Go on, you know you want it. 


Learning this year actually, and it is not as hard as it sounds!! Loving it!!


The only other person I've canned with is my mother, back a few summers ago. She made a blackberry "jam" that ended up being something much closer to syrup in consistency (as well as a couple other genuinely successful recipes, to her credit). That experience taught me to be patient with my jams when trying to achieve a set, but more importantly, that salvaging one’s culinary mistakes is always worth a try. The syrup was delightful over vanilla ice cream!

Never canned before.....

but I would love to learn! It would be awesome to have this DVD and share the joys of canning with my pals!

Things I've learned

The best way to make spaghetti sauce is in a crock pot.
Anything I can, my mother in law has already canned (and did it better than me!)
Most berry jellies will turn into berry leather in a jar if you add pectin the way the books tell you to!
Pickles are much more complicated than "cut up some cukes and dump them in vinegar with some spices".
Canning is ALWAYS better with friends!

I would actually LOVE to do

I would actually LOVE to do some canning with friends. Most of my friends are not into the domesticated thing, maybe because Im younger? Im not sure, but Ive been recently teaching some girlfriends the ways of the domesticated woman :) hehehe... And they are loving it! Im telling ya, theres something special about empowering women by showing them the ways of a domestic goddess. Its love from the soul!!! Its funny because this subject of wanting to learn more about canning yummy edibles came up after a friend and I were chatting it up at the farmers market! What a great way to make quality friend time by sharing this gift of canning know-how! Cheers to canning with the Amigos!!!

Love a copy!

I learned that my pressure canner is my very best friend!

Love a copy!

I've learned not to be scared of the pressure canner, which is now my very best friend!

Friends and Canning

I have canned with friends for many years. I have learned that the more friendly hands that help prepare the harvest, the better the final product tastes. When I open my canned product during the year, I remember my friends and their contribution to my family's meal.

Would love to learn

Growing peppers and would love to learn how to can them!

Sounds great!

I grow a vegetable garden at home and have thought about canning many times but have always been too afraid. I read your article on CNN about canning, followed the links, and ended up hear. This DVD sounds like just the thing I need to give me the confidence to actually start canning.

Just getting started canning!

I just started learning to can and have made several batches of yummy strawberry jam. My worst fear is forgetting ingredients and causing my canned food to go bad.


So far, I've learned that I know nothing about canning. I tried it out once, intending to give apple-pear butter as holiday gifts. Unfortunately, I convinced myself that I would kill all my nearest and dearest if I gave them away. I am eager to learn, though!

Now is the time!

I've yet to can anything on my own, but maybe winning this DVD would give me a good start? =)

New at this...

Sorry I don't have any stories to tell, I have yet to can anything on my own. My mom used to can alot when I was little but stopped when I got older. Unfortunately she passed away last year and I never got to learn the tricks of the trade for her. I have gotten plenty of books but I'm a visual kinda learner. Your DVD sounds like its exactly what I need...thanks for the opportunity to win one!

Learned that I really need a

Learned that I really need a SCOBY to start making kombucha, tried without and made vinegar instead.

I've learned...

I've learned how to can pickles with a friend and I've been hooked on canning since. YUM!

I've learned that starting

I've learned that starting the water for a hot water bath first will keep me from waiting when all my cans are full of cucumbers for pickling! I've only canned pickles thus far, but I love reading and dreaming about canning all sorts of food!!!

I've learned that starting

I've learned that starting the water for a hot water bath first means I'm not waiting for water to boil once I've got my cans full of cucumbers for pickling! Pickles are all I've tried so far and I'm loving reading and dreaming about canning all sorts of foods!!!

Learned to can with a friend!

I grew up with a corporate-workaholic mother who couldn't cook, sew a button on, or keep a plant alive, much less can anything! I have had to teach myself the various domestic arts as an adult, but canning was a big, scary animal. A good friend invited me over a few years back and taught me everything she knew. I couldn't remember it all of course, but it was a great way to jump into something about which I knew zero. I continue to read about canning and experiment on my own, but would LOVE a copy of this DVD to have on hand! There is so much to remember with canning!

My two roommates and I are

My two roommates and I are all cooks. As are all 3 of our respective others. So that makes 6 cooks in one house to get down to preserving together. Because of the hours that cooks work, this rarely happens, but last time it did, I learned that pickled mackerel is the tastiest thing on the planet.

Canning with friends

I learned to use my pressure canner. Very scary the first time - I LOVE it now. Opened up a whole new world for me.

Sign me up!

I've learned that canning alone isn't as fun as canning with friends...and that you can't double up jam recipes and expect them to set...


I learned that labeling is important... Dill pickles, sweet pickles, garlic pickles... Look all the same a few months later....

Loner Canner

Not going to lie, I would lose my mind if someone else were in the kitchen canning with me. I have learned that it is a zen state for me that can only be broken by other people, or burning marmalade.


I learned that lacto-fermentation isn't scary! In fact, I discovered that fermented tomatillo salsa is delightfully addictive to my taste buds.

Help me if you can...

I am a complete n00b. I would love to have a copy of this DVD.

Sounds great

I wish I could find a friend or two who would join me for a few canning seasons. Learned to make jam from mom, but she lives too far away now.

I learnt I really need to

I learnt I really need to remove all the aphids from the dill seed heads before I put them in the jars when I am making pickled cukes. Pickled aphids not so tasty.

I want this!

I am a new canner, mostly self-taught, and havent been able to can with friends yet...i would really love this dvd to learn more tricks and techniques and just be able to expand my repetoire in general.

One of my favorite kitchen activities!

I haven't yet canned with friends, but I just began canning last year. The whole process is so fun and satisfying that I got a little carried away babbling about my new hobby. Now I have a friend who really wants to learn, and he and his fiancé are visiting next month so I can teach them what I've learned so far! I'm more excited about sharing canning than I was about learning how in the first place!

Learning all over again from

Learning all over again from Tracy what canning Tomato sauce REALLY means!!!!What a "best friend" type of giveaway!!

love preserving

but one thing I've learned(like the immortals in the Highlander series) is that there "can only be one"-in this case, main cook or creator. All others must be helpers especially if the others are kids and hubby.

Canning with friends

My fav recent memories of a group canning experience was with a few women from my permaculture group. Two of us gleaned grapes from our neighborhoods to make a batch of grape jelly. It took several hours of consulting books to realize how to get the skins off, just squeeze! Between that setback and the amount of grapes, the entire process was twelve hours, ultimately shared between three of the four that started. Since, the trio has shared an additional canning experience, equally as long and memorable. The bonding betwwenthe different generations and personalities was magical and present in each bite I take of my purple, jeweled jars.

My Grandma

I've never canned with friends but my fondest memory is being in the kitchen with my grandma while she did. I always loved her kitchen ... we all did.


I think the most important thing I learned is that FREE is what it costs me to take the canner lid/guage down to my local hardward store once a year and they will recalibrate it while I wait... To make sure I always am up to the real correct pressure. Since then I have also learned that our local extension office will do that for us - but it's not same day service :) But it's still a good service!

Preserving Giveaway

I'm new to canning and preserving. This is my first season of trying. I would really love this DVD to expand my knowledge. Thanks so much. Connie

I'd love a copy of this. I

I'd love a copy of this. I learned to can from my best friend - my mom! We would sit together prepping produce for hours. Now I look forward to sharing the knowledge with my future children.

Canning w/ friends...

I've learned to give better instructions and to help newbies the first time. Not everyone grew up canning like I did :)

Preserving With Friends giveaway

I actually have never preserved anything (other than freezing the occasional extra meat that was purchased). Would love to learn.

Canning..... :-)

Canning is an ultimate joy!!! you must slow down, relax and enjoy the process. The process, through its trial & tribulations, brings joy to anyone who partakes in the finished product. Do all trials come out good? heck no!!! but when they do......... rejoice & be glad.

home canning

The first thing I learned as a beginning canner is that glass-topped ranges and those old-fashioned, black and white spatter enamel canning pots are not friends. You can wait for the water to boil until the cows come home. I also learned that if you stir and cook your potential thimbleberry jam too long, it will seem fine at first but eventually congeal into a solid, tooth-breaking lump in the jar, and will have to be discarded, and possibly wept over a bit. Would love a copy!

Could use this CD to help me learn the ropes!

I learned to protect my hands with olive oil or gloves when preserving hot peppers- OUCH!

Canning with friends

Last year my husband and I tried canning for the first time. The tomatoes I canned went right into sauce the first couple months! I am a beginning canner so this book should be great.

While visiting my aunt on my

While visiting my aunt on my family farm, she taught me how to can vegetable soup straight from the garden.

My friends and I are really

My friends and I are really getting into canning, fermenting, and preserving. I would love a copy of the DVD!!

Last summer I learned that if

Last summer I learned that if you start making peach jam just after your friends arrive for a cherry pitting party, you may not have to pit cherries. Instead, you can tell your friends that much as you'd love to, you simply cannot pit cherries because you are covered in jam!

While preserving with my Mom

While preserving with my Mom who is one of my best friends I learned how to relax and take time to enjoy the simple things in life :)

Water Bath Canning

Well, my husband and I are beginning canners - (i'd love this DVD).
my mother, a master canner (i made that up, i think) is brilliant at pickles, vegetables and jams and this weekend, we tried grapefruit marmalade.
I learned, after trying of course, that you don't need to fill the canner up so full of water. only enough to cover the lids of the jars, so my mom said.
it was a wet lesson but i'm looking forward to trying it again!
next up - pickled cauliflower!

Innate Zest and Zeal for Preserving

I'd LOVE a copy of "Preserving With Friends" !!!
I have such a passion for food and eating and preserving and last time I was "teaching" a couple lady friends I realized that not everyone has the same innate zest and zeal for preserving like I do and it has to be encouraged out sometimes. It's fun searching for the ways to bring that light out in others!
I now have two or three new recruits for 60lbs of peaches next weekend. :)


Oh yes...canning with friends is how I learned the skills! I am one of those for whom dabbling and observation are much more useful than JUST reading a book; although this book looks like it has much to offer someone comfortable with the basics of food preservation. Very nice! :)

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