Shelf staple: Cookbook recommendations from the community

Cookbooks

The internet may be the greatest resource for home cooks of all stripes, but I think most of us take solace in consulting our tried-and-true cookbooks from time to time. This is especially true with food preservation, where details matter. When you're just making dinner, there's a lot of room for improvisation, but when you're preserving, omitted details or alterations to recipes can create problems down the road. Luckily, Punk Domestics like to curl up with a cookbook or three; I got a few of their favorites.

A few volumes bubbled up to the top, with multiple recommendations. Several of us love Karen Solomon’s Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It ; @GobbaGobbaHey loves it for its simplicity, and @Fallon_Hills puts it in her top three along with The Joy of Jams, Jellies and Other Sweet Preserves and Glass Pantry (pictured above). Ms. Solomon’s book has a special place in my heart as well, and not just because she’s a personal friend -- a review of the book on Eat Me Daily was the inspiration for the name of this site.

On Facebook, Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard was cited by a couple people; fan Sue notes that it has the “best strawberry jam recipe ever.” Fellow fan James also calls out Perfect Preserves by Hilaire Walden. Jennifer plays both sides of the coin, noting So Easy to Preserve for “safe, reliable, all-American recipes” but Christine Ferber’s Mes Confitures for “unsafe, creative, all-French recipes (which can easily be modified to USDA standards if you know what you're doing.)”

Sometimes you gotta go old-school. Sue also referenced the classic Ball’s Complete Guide to Preserving , and @ssallgood adapted the Ball Blue Book recipe for apricot jam by adding fresh ginger. “Just opened 1st jar ... OMG!” Among the other classics, Rachel “earned how to make preserves without added pectin from the Joy of Cooking . It was a great springboard into learning how to develop my own recipes.” Another fan, Carol, gave high fives to River Cottage Preserves .

New books are cropping up all the time; recent releases include Sherri Brooks Vinton’s Put ‘em Up! , Williams-Sonoma’s The Art of Preserving and the soon-to-be-released The Complete Guide to Food Preservation . Will any of these become the go-to tomes for food preservationists? Only time will tell.

What are your favorite books on preserving?