Monday, July 20, 2009

Speaking of Preserves...

Seems like a whole host of folk that I follow in blogland and Flickr are talking about their gardens - so far, I have not been brave enough to try to put in a raised bed garden in my back yard - the yard is quite small, and currently landscaped liberally with cactus. Also, having grown up in the northern Midwest, I can't seem to wrap my brain around the growing season down here in the desert. For those that don't have gardens, I've been enjoying hearing about their local farmers markets as well.

The abundance of produce, inspiration from others has made me more intrigued by preserving foods - the only method that I have tried my hand at is dehydration (mostly due to the hiking and backpacking activities - though I have to admit to really enjoying the convenience of prepackaged freeze-dried meals).

Well-Preserved appears to be a nice introductory book in trying one's hand in small-batch preserving. The book touches on several varieties of preserving fresh foods including canning, pickling, freezing, preserving in oil and curing/smoking. The book is further broken into sections for fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and fungi, and meat, poultry and fish (the last six being grouped together into two separate groups of three).

Within each of the chapters are several recipes, followed by three recipes in which to use to the master recipe as an ingredient. In most cases, the putups for the master recipes range from 3-4 pints once prepared. While not all of the recipes include a photo, the photos that are present are beautifully done and certainly make me want to give several of the recipes a try...perhaps I should join the local CSA after all!

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