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on July 25, 2014
I like the simplicity of the recipes, which are great for a beginner. The problem is that this is the most poorly edited book I have ever seen. I have tried 2 recipes so far, and both have had errors.

The Cherry Preserves recipe lists vanilla in the ingredient list, but nowhere in the directions does it tell you where to add it!

In the Pickled Green Beans recipe, there is no sugar listed in the ingredient list, but in the directions, it reads to boil the vinegar and water until the salt and sugar dissolve. Should I have added sugar or not?

I saw another reviewer who mentioned this problem, but ordered the book anyway because overall, the reviews were so great. When you are a beginner, the last thing you want is to find an error once you have started cooking. I had to consult other recipes online just to decide what to do next.
0Comment85 of 85 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 3, 2013
I think canning is a great idea, I freeze lots of food in my deep freezer but an extended power outage pointed out the problem with that solution so I thought about canning. Having no experience at all, I needed a book that would lay it out step-by-step and this is the book for me.

The book is divided into two sections for water bath and pressure canning (I didn't even know the differences until I read this book) with equipment lists, appropriate usages and recipes for both types. The author points out practical and safety factors to consider when buying your canning equipment (new/used, sizes, etc) that I wouldn't have thought of myself. Now I'm less afraid of canning and feel that I can do it without risking my family's health!

The book has many recipes to try from the expected items such as jelly, jam and spaghetti sauce to things I never realized you could can such as ground beef and chicken to have on hand as the base for a variety of meals. Great tips to set up a pantry full of canned items and be prepared for the next multi-day power outage!
11 comment80 of 82 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 21, 2013
When I tried canning the first time, I thought I could find the information I needed for free on the Internet. What I found was not as complete as the information included in this book. For example, the author here describes in detail how to prepare jars, lids, and bands for the canning process; this was something I was unclear about the first time I tried to can on my own.

The list of recipes is pretty extensive and includes pickles, jams, and apple butter. Also included are things I didn't know you could can, like chicken soup and chili. It also explores the differences between water bath canning and pressure canning, and lists all the supplies needed for both.
0Comment55 of 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This book has excellent explanations of both water bath canning and pressure canning. It goes over Botulinum clostridium, the bacteria that causes botulism poisoning (and also provides the botox for face-freezing wrinkle treatments.) It's important to understand about acid environments, that some bacteria produce toxins and grow without oxygen, and can cause fatalities even with a small serving. After you read this, you'll be able to realize what foods can be water bath packed (acid foods, high sugar fruits) and what foods need pressure canning (soups, vegetables, low acid fruits, etc.)

Some recipes are high in sugar because the sugar acts as a preservative. So some fruits have sugar syrup and jams have sugar to let the gelling process happen with pectin. (The ratio of sugar to pectin is important.) There are some great recipes like honey-pear jelly (finally a use for a lot of pears.) But I got this more as a reference for canning rather than for the recipes. It is truly for beginners to understand about canning.
1111 comments40 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 6, 2014
There are a couple "unsafe" canning recipes in here. The use of flour in canning is not permitted in canning. Clear jel is the only approved thickening agent in canning.
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on September 30, 2013
On my road to healthier living, I have discovered a whole new, and colorful, world. Upon researching infusion, I found out about canning! This is brilliant. I have jars from juicing and so I figured why not?

There is so much more to canning than simply having jars, and this book was a great, and SIMPLE, aid holding my inexperienced hand through it. What attracted me most to it were the low sugar jams and the salsa; however, with the garden in the backyard producing a massive tomato harvest and winter coming soon, I jumped at the chance to can my tomatoes! I can honestly say I didn't think it would be this comprehensible and guided. Truly for novices!
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on September 22, 2013
Whether you are a local food movement enthusiast or just starting out on the food preservation journey, this is the resource to have. The instructions for preparing the food are detailed and thorough, and the accompanying pictures will make you want to dive right in.

The acidity charts help you choose between using either a water bath canner or a pressure canner. This book simplifies the process with lists of supplies and detailed, step-by-step instructions. Whether you are looking to save some money or wanting to develop a fun family tradition, Canning and Preserving for Beginners will show you how.
0Comment15 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 26, 2013
I am still traumatized by the week long power outage we had last year. For me, it is now before the outage (BTO) and after the outage (ATO). I lost about $300 in groceries that outage. I had just had my groceries delivered earlier that very day.

Since that time, I have been researching solutions to prevent such a major loss, and for me the solution has been canning at home. To be quite frank, I am not a cook, so canning was clearly not on my bucket list, but I am so glad that I discovered the book "Canning & Preserving for Beginners" by Rockridge Press. What a life saver! In addition to simply being a wonderful way to preserve freshness, create tasty dishes, and store foods, canning your foods in advance will help you survive power outages with little or no problems. Your foods won't spoil since they do not rely upon power.

Now my BTO and ATO are not so remarkable any more. I know that I have the foods that I need, should this event re-occur, and I won't have to worry about recovering from financial catastrophes.
0Comment13 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 5, 2014
I made a soup out of this book,.. No times given for pints, only quarts. The book is black and white! I didnt expect that.... Who prints photos of colorful food in black and white?
0Comment10 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 1, 2013
This book reviews the history of home canning and reasons behind the current resurgence including economics, knowledge of food source, and the social aspects of processing healthy foods with family and friends. It then explains, with enough detail for the layperson, the two methods of canning and when to safely use each. The book provides charts, lists, and tips--along with easy-to-follow, delicious sounding recipes--that help the beginner know what to expect and eases them into the home canning world without committing too much money up front.
11 comment7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse