it’s june in michigan and that means… it’s time to start canning or “preserving”. every single year i go bananas thinking i’m never going to get to taste a single strawberry ever again and i can like a mad woman. like seriously if the apocalypse comes, head to the farm i have jam to feed the 5000.
it’s no secret i’m a complete and total hoarder of many collections so why don’t we just add cookbooks to the list. i have a library of over 400 cookbooks from canning to grilling and everything in between. i have about 10-12 canning books that are all good but these 4 are my favorites year after year. most of the recipes are simple but some can eek into complex (and overnight steps) (which I never read far enough ahead for) (i know i know).
naturally sweet food in jars by Marisa McClellan. i found her via her website. i actually bought her book not knowing that she was the author of my absolute favorite tomato jam. (don’t knock it until you tried it) . her tomato jam has been on her website and i’ve been making it since 2010. my friend dann had us for dinner that year and served this with goat cheese and black pepper crackers. it’s to die for. it also makes a great pizza sauce (with goat cheese and some spicy meats). her recipes are simple and easy to follow.
Batch by Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison. this book is a little more on the complex side but it’s not too bad so don’t be intimidated. it has really unique savory ideas and some amazing relishes. i always like to start with fruits because they’re so easy but once you get the hang of that don’t be too afraid to move on to the “next level”.
Put em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton. this was my very first canning book. i bought it at william sonoma after my friend aimee and i took a canning class there. we came home with all the equipment (giant canning pot, wire rack, utensils etc). i canned blueberries the rest of the weekend. i would say this is my most beginner book i have but it has some fantastic recipes. it is sorted alphabetically by veggie/fruit and has about 2-3 recipes per fruit. it also has a great step by step canning guide and also step by step photos of the canning process. if you are just getting started i would highly recommend this book. (ps if you are local we also sell it at the found cottage)
Jams and Jellies by Better Homes and Gardens. this is one of the best canning special magazines out there. it houses my absolute favorite jam recipe (triple berry champagne jam) and a new favorite that i tried last year (peach bellini jam). it is reissued each spring and i’ve seen it around locally at barnes and nobles as well as readers world. if the berry champagne jam is in it, it’s the same magazine. they also have some back issues on amazon. i make at least 2 – 3 recipes from this magazine every year.
if you are afraid of canning, don’t be! it’s very simple if you follow the steps. a lot of people tell me they’re scared of botulsim. here are
- don’t navigate away from the recipe. it’s not a time to ad-lib when it comes to canning especially if you are a beginner. all of the published recipes have the right amount of goodies in them to keep bacteria at bay.
- keep your kitchen and supplies clean
- if your jar doesn’t seal within 12 hours it’s ok to put it in the fridge and eat it within a few weeks.
there are great on-line resources but i found it super helpful to take a class at william sonoma (and it’s free!) but the put em up book like i said has an awesome resource.