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Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving Hardcover – June 25, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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With the present obsession among consumers for locally grown fruits and vegetables, the practice of putting up foods has undergone a renaissance. As West points out, the real goal of home canning, pickling, and preserving is to retain for future enjoyment the special flavors of foods freshly plucked from the earth or snatched from trees and vines. West’s recipes, clearly written, cover everything from dill pickles to complex marmalades. Antique fruits appear as well as fiery kimchi. In addition to his recipes, West has scattered through the text reminiscences, anecdotes, and reflections on personalities associated in some way to the world of canning and preserving. As is the case with any discussion of canning, West takes great pains to be sure his readers appreciate the critical importance of safe technique to avoid any risk of contamination and food-borne illness. For those with the requisite access, storage space, equipment, and motivation, West’s guide will prove invaluable. --Mark Knoblauch
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307599485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307599483
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Like the reviewer above, I am not into lengthy anecdote heavy cookbooks.
Just give me great recipes and let me be on my way.
I bought Mr. West's book on a whim. I had bought a wonderful small batch mango curry jam at an out of town farmers market that I could no longer find and thought I might try to make my own.
I will admit I am a huge cookbook snob.
But other than my Zuni Cafe cookbook and Sunday Suppers at Luques, I am really not interested in the "filler".
Not so with Saving the Season. This is a beautifully written book. It's evocative - reading about the authors' youth in the south makes you feel as if you are there.
I haven't tried the recipes yet, which is a HUGE compliment from me, as I am just enjoying the read so far.
I will be back to review specific recipes.
Oh. I should mention I have NEVER felt inclined to write a review on Amazon up until now. This is my first one after 13 years of purchasing hundreds of books on this site.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not typically a cookbook reader. I'm a recipe scanner and someone who enjoys cookbooks as objects, or "coffee table" books. With the exception of a Nigel Slater volume, I have never read a book about food from beginning to end. That changed with this book. Once I read the first few pages, I knew this book was something special and one I would come to cherish in short order. Kevin West is a wonderful writer and his personality shines through from the start.

On page 343, for example, West writes "(c)ooking is work that encompasses joy, and good recipes should guide the former in order to deliver the latter". What's remarkable is how much West delivers on that promise in the 532 pages of this book. The recipes cover a huge range of preserves, jams, jellies, chutneys and so much more that it would take a solid year (which is probably what West intended, given that the book is arranged by season) to prepare even half of them! But, what an incredibly fun endeavor. This book has given me some amazing tips and techniques, but it's much more than a master class on home preserving. I felt like a friend was sending me recipes and stories, as well as enthusiasm and a subtle push to explore the range of flavors and textures available to us in a land of plenty. I've recommended this book to just about everyone I know, and I can't say enough good things about it. And, no, I don't know the author nor am I employed by the publisher.

All of this is enhanced by West's own charming photographs. As I write, my first batch of "Sunshine Pickes" (p.155) are cooling, and I can barely wait to try more recipes in the coming months.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Last year I went on a canning frenzy and upgraded my kettle,utensils,and cookbooks. I purchased 6 or 7 recent books & used them all. When this came I opened it,felt overwhelmed,waited for quiet time to go page by page..this is a fabulous comprehensive book LOADED with ideas and well written recipes. Can't wait to get canning this year w/this added to my arsenal.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
you can read this book & enjoy its literary quotes over a glass of wine. or you can use it, stain it, dog-ear it, as i have every week this summer. it's kind of shameful how much produce (money) we've saved by using these recipes. what your grandmother once did instinctively starts to strike you as genius. looking forward to winter now!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many cookbooks out there. This is perhaps one of the most useful and beautiful ones.
For over a year I read Kevin West's food blog and enjoyed the clear and simple directions and
comprehensive information on the food being preserved. At my age it is good to say I've learned
something from someone younger! The last three weeks I've spent cooking and experimenting with
quince, and have spilled onto the pages of this book. The jelly is lovely, and tastes like
an exotic honey. The membrillo is a new flavor, and combined with West's suggested manchego
cheese has made autumn nights quite extravagant. This week I'm turning the page, and will
experiment with something new. I highly recommend this book for cookbook readers, food historians,
or simply cooks looking for inspiration. Jammers and canners will appreciate his flavorings
and explanations of techniques and wry humor. The photographs are eye candy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Such a wonderful preserving book. Everyone in my family has a copy and we're all making recipes and sharing results.

Delicious recipes that run from traditional to modern. Appealing photography, wealth of interesting and informative information.

Should become a classic in this genre.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book yesterday in the mail and it has been such a surprise. First off the book itself is built like a text book. A very solid binding, heavy well constructed hard covers, and when you open the book to a recipe or story the book stays laid open, just like a text book.

Second, the inside is beautiful. The pictures, paintings, poems, stories and histories of the food are elegant. I loved the poem on blackberries. I can not wait to read all of it, just like a book. Mr. West has included the story and the history behind his recipes to make that connection from reading another recipe to making that recipe personal and creating a "friend".

I love reading cookbooks, and I really value when the stories are included. I have fallen in love with this book and can not wait to try all the recipes for each season so that I can save the season.

Well done Mr. West!
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