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Ana Micka taught herself to can several years ago. It only made sense—in the cold climate of Minnesota, canning is the only way to eat fresh, locally grown food outside of the short harvest season. Since then, Ana has been giving demonstrations on how to can for the Minnesota Horticultural Society. She lives and cans in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
I am a long time canner and enjoy reading new books on the subject both to find recipes and to identify good reference books to recommend to others. The Fresh Girl's Guide to Easy Canning and Preserving is a very basic book on canning and is designed as a starting point for a beginner. The author details the fundamental steps in canning and preserving.
The book is organized into the following chapters: Getting Started; Hot Water Bath Canning; Pressure Canning; and Around the World in 40 Jars. At the back of the book is a good index so a particular section or recipe can be quickly located. There are approximately 70 canning recipes included in the book. Most are basic although there are some delicious variations like the Cranberry Sauce. I prepared the recipe and used the author's suggestion to use ruby port in place of water which rendered a delicious distinctive flavor. And, the Around the World in 40 jars section includes some more sophisticated recipes. General categories of canning from hot water processing jams, pickles and sauces to the pressure canning products of low acid vegetables, meat, soups, chili and stews are covered.
The Getting Started chapter contains a helpful Growing a Canning Garden section which provides guidance for those wishing to grow produce suitable for canning. This taps into a current trend toward food self-sufficiency and quality control, as evidenced by, among other things, the current proliferation of suburban chicken coops and gardens.
I watched the included DVD from beginning to end, all one hour and thirteen minutes of it. The idea for the DVD is a good one -- seeing some of the canning processes may help alleviate fear for interested but intimidated potential canners. Unfortunately, the execution is flawed.Read more ›
This is not the book to get if you are an expert canner and are looking for new delights.
However- it IS solid book on the safe basics of canning.
I got it because I'm pretty experience3d these days with hot-water-bath canning... but have just got a pressure canner and it scares me. The instructions here- especially for canning basic stocks/broths- look reliable and solid, and I plan to do my first stock batch (turkey stock) in the pressure canner tomorrow.
It's not anything brilliantly intriguing! but it IS solid directions for starting canning in areas one might not have explored yet.
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This book has been a wonderful find. I grew up with my Mother and Grandmother preserving and caning and never learned how now that both aer gone and I find myself interested... I needed help figuring it out this book is aces!
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