Top positive review
62 people found this helpful
The Best Home Canning Cookbook!
on July 28, 2002
This book is wonderful! The recipes are outstanding and the selection is impressive -- from jams and jellies to ice cream toppings and pie fillings, and everything inbetween. The text at the beginning of each recipe chapter and the separate chapters on tools and ingredients are very interesting and informative. I appreciate the author's attention to detail and her emphasis on using proper canning techniques so that the food you prepare for your home table will be both delicious and safe to serve.
I have made dozens and dozens of recipes from this book and they have all turned out great -- outstanding flavor with beautiful color and perfect texture. The Salsa Jam, Banberry Jam, Cherry Marmalade, Peach-Pineapple Preserves, Jalapeno Jelly, Strawberry-Raspberry Jelly, Asian Marinade, Basil Marinara Sauce, Pineapple Upside-Down Ice Cream Topping, and many more have become family favorites.
I never had much luck with jams made using the long-cook method, or homemade pectin. They took forever to make, it was nearly impossible to figure out when they were done, and they just never worked right. My jams ended up being either thin and watery or overcooked and hard as rubber. So, I really appreciate the wide variety of traditional and exotic soft spread recipes the author offers that use packaged pectin. Now, my jams turn out perfect every time and they are very quick to prepare. For people who still prefer to make spreads using the long-cook method, there are several chapters in this book filled with many other wonderful recipes that make it well worth the purchase. There are recipes for butters, curds, fruit, juices, vegetables, pickles, sauces, vinegars, syrups, liqueurs, pie fillings and ice cream toppings.
I had never thought about entering my canned goods in a fair competition but, after reading this book, I just might try it myself for fun. It was interesting learning how judges use the USDA standards to evaluate the entries plus the flavor and texture criteria that are used to choose the winners. I now understand the reasons why it is so important to only use the approved, modern methods of canning and processesing, not just for fair competitions, but also for the foods I will serve daily to family and friends.
This is an excellent cookbook and I highly recommend it for both experienced home canners and those who discovering the fun and joy of home canning for the very first time.