Canning’s comeback can be seen in the new crop of cookbooks that come across my desk every year now.
Here are a few recent titles that I found intriguing:
• “Preserving: The Canning and Freezing Guide for All Seasons,” by Pat Crocker (William Morrow, 2011, $30). An encyclopedic volume on preserving everything from strawberries to pumpkins. It is organized by season, starting with apricots and ending with winter herbs. This book contains recipes for hot water bath canning and pressure canning, tips on freezing and cold storage and recipes for what to do with your preserved food. This extraordinarily thorough book would make a good addition to the library of an eager beginner or a practiced canner.
• “Homemade Preserves & Jams: Over 90 Recipes for Luscious Jams, Tangy Marmalades, Crunchy Chutneys and More,” by Mary Tregellas (New Holland Publishers, 2012, $24.99). This book is a whimsical volume for the Anglophile. The London-based author has packed it with recipes that have a vintage feel: strawberry and red currant cordial, orange curd and greengage plum, apple and walnut chutney. It’s divided into chapters with such names as Luscious, Tangy, Tropical, Wholesome, Aromatic and Wild. Tregellas offers not only recipes for the jams, jellies and chutneys but for dishes such as summer trifle, mango chicken, and mushroom cranberry and pine nut tart.
• “The Pickled Pantry: From Apples to Zucchini, 150 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, Chutneys & More,” by Andrea Chesman (Storey Publishing, 2012, $19.95). This is for the pickle fanatic – someone who not only wants to make the occasional jar of refrigerator pickles but will do the work for fermented pickles and may enjoy exploring recipes for salsas, relishes and chutneys. Chesman even includes short profiles of pickle makers and an entire chapter of recipes to use your pickled goods, including kimchi fried rice and pickled German potato salad.
• “Jean Anderson’s Preserving Guide: How to Pickle and Preserve, Can and Freeze, Dry and Store Vegetables and Fruits,” By Jean Anderson (University of North Carolina Press, 2012, $24). This reprint of Anderson’s 1976 volume will come out in mid-August. Anderson, a James Beard-award winning cookbook author who lives in the Triangle, brings a reassuring voice to what can be an intimidating undertaking. She schools beginners in the basics of food preservation, including freezing and water bath canning, and may intrigue the ambitious with her instructions on building a root cellar. Her book offers advice on how best to preserve various fruits and vegetables, with recipes, including summer squash souffle, avocado ice cream and sweet potato pie.