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Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything Paperback – May 3, 2010


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Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything + Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Herald Press (May 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836195124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836195125
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A must-have follow-up to Simply in Season, Saving the Seasons takes eating locally and seasonally to the next step beyond fresh. Now one can eat locally and seasonally year round with the knowledge of how to preserve or save the seasons. With the aid of the simple steps and photos, the novice will feel quite comfortable saving the seasons, and the experienced will learn new tricks. All will have wonderful recipes to try.
--Mary Beth Lind, co-author of Simply in Season

With the voice of a trusted friend, Saving the Seasons offers comprehensive guidance and easy-to-follow instructions to the lost art of food preservation. It's the next best thing to having Mom or Grandma in the kitchen with you possibly even better (sorry, Mom).
--Cathleen Hockman-Wert, co-author of Simply in Season

As a mother-daughter team with many years of farming between them, including both rural and urban agriculture, the Meyers are well-placed to present this updated guide on preserving food. They provide simple instructions and a great selection of recipes, from basic jam, pickles, and relish to international favorites like kimchi and chutney. Their tips offer terrific extra tidbits geared toward beginners while useful notes are included on foods for babies and kids.
--Kristi Bahrenburg Janzen, organic, sustainable, and local food/agriculture writer



Saving the Seasons is the newest cookbook from the publishers of the trifecta of beloved Mennonite cookbooks: Simply in Season, More with Less, and Extending the Table. This new work lives up to and expands the ideals of its predecessors.

In the nearly 35 years since More with Less first appeared on the scene, American kitchens have undergone some big changes, and not just in the shift from autumn harvest appliance colors to stainless steel. In much of the country, the locavore movement is in full swing, folks are prioritizing where their food comes from and how it gets to them. They are looking for farmer's markets and buying up farm shares. Vegetable gardens, chicken coops and beehives are popping up in urban neighborhoods, and with the current DIY climate, and the financial necessities many families are facing, the More with Less approach to homemaking has new relevance.

The upsurge in interest in various arts of domesticity and homesteading means this book comes out at exactly the right time for a new group of novice gardeners who are wondering what exactly they are supposed to do with the 10 pounds of pickling cucumbers they accidentally grew.

It is wonderful to have the basics of canning, freezing, stock making, drying, pickling and basically any method of preserving you might think of laid out simply in one place. The volume of information could be overwhelming, as in larger encyclopedic style cookbooks, but the easy style, lovely photography, and directness and simplicity of the instructions take away the intimidation factor. The book begins with a Guide to the Harvest that lays out produce alphabetically, with photos, descriptions, notes on season, recommended preservation methods and an index to recipes in the book.

--Kristi Bahrenburg Janzen, organic, sustainable, and local food/agriculture writer

Each following section is interspersed with notes on preserving in general, some of which are particularly helpful, such as the commentary on what kinds of produce work best for preserving baby foods, and which crops tend to be sprayed more often with pesticides on commercial farms. The authors include the approximate yields you can expect for canning and freezing specific fruits and vegetables, which takes some guesswork out of the process, when you are first getting started. There are brief notes troubleshooting common problems for novice canners, or sharing --Kristi Bahrenburg Janzen, organic, sustainable, and local food/agriculture writer

Each following section is interspersed with notes on preserving in general, some of which are particularly helpful, such as the commentary on what kinds of produce work best for preserving baby foods, and which crops tend to be sprayed more often with pesticides on commercial farms. The authors include the approximate yields you can expect for canning and freezing specific fruits and vegetables, which takes some guesswork out of the process, when you are first getting started. There are brief notes troubleshooting common problems for novice canners, or sharing the origins of recipes beloved by the authors. In addition there is a comprehensive troubleshooting chart for canning problems at the end of the book.

Throughout the book, I appreciated the focus on the genuine basics and necessities for canning. It's no more than I should expect from a book with this book's Mennonite pedigree, but the simplicity of the instructions definitely distinguishes this guide from the other books out there. There is no nitpicking about perfect techniques, and no insistence on using specific new products or trendy cookware. And yes, there is such a thing as trendy canning equipment.

Whether you have a couple of acres of tomatoes or simply an urge to try making Apple Cake in a Jar (59), this book has something for you. The blueberry jam recipe was delicious, the strawberry freezer jam was indescribably easy, and so far the only fault my family has found is with the salsa recipe. We are born and bred Texans though, and have very specific ideas about what constitutes good salsa. Our dissatisfaction probably has more to do with the fact that the lovely authors, based in Pittsburgh and Ohio, haven't been raised on habañeros and probably still have their taste buds intact. Next time I make that particular recipe I may leave the jalapeno seeds IN.

Overall, this book is a useful addition to the library of experienced canners and preservers, and absolutely indispensable for novices.
--Englewood Review of Books --Kristi Bahrenburg Janzen, organic, sustainable, and local food/agriculture writer

As a mother-daughter team with many years of farming between them, including both rural and urban agriculture, the Meyers are well-placed to present this updated guide on preserving food. They provide simple instructions and a great selection of recipes, from basic jam, pickles, and relish to international favorites like kimchi and chutney. Their tips offer terrific extra tidbits geared toward beginners while useful notes are included on foods for babies and kids. --Kristi Bahrenburg Janzen, organic, sustainable, and local food/agriculture writer

About the Author

Mary Clemens Meyer and her husband, Ron, raise certified organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed beef, and pastured poultry on their farm near Fresno, Ohio. They also sell produce at a local farmers' market and run a 35-household CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group. Mary and Ron often field questions from CSA members and market customers about cooking and preserving fresh produce. They are members of First Mennonite Church in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Susanna Meyer works for the nonprofit organization Grow Pittsburgh, growing organic produce and seedlings in the city for restaurants and residents. She also educates children, teenagers, and adults about growing their own food, and will be happy to direct them to this book when their gardens overflow. She and her husband, Neil Stauffer, live on a quiet wooded block in Pittsburgh; they started preserving produce on their own during the years they worked as co-managers for Mildreds' Daughters Urban Farm, also in Pittsburgh.


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Customer Reviews

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Like most preserving books, this one covers more ground than just canning.
The Local Cook
Her opinion is that is a great book for beginners - clear directions, good explanations, The step by step pictorial directions are easy to follow.
Anne
This is a great resource for anyone looking to start "putting up" their homegrown and local fruits and vegetables.
Deborah Sprncer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By The Local Cook VINE VOICE on May 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is by the same publisher as Simply in Season, which I am cooking my way through on my blog. Unlike the other books in "the Mennonite trilogy" (Simply in Season , More-With-Less , and Extending the Table), though, Saving the Seasons doesn't include little anecdotes and essays about living simply and how eating is impacted by our faith.

What is does have is lots and lots of beautiful photos, which are inspiring and also show step by step instructions, which are great for those just learning how to preserve food.

Like most preserving books, this one covers more ground than just canning. Topics include

* A guide to the harvest (various fruits and vegetables, when they're in season, and best methods for preserving)
* Canning (individual fruits and vegetables as well as vegetables, meats, and soups; herbed vinegars; pickles and relishes; jams, jellies and spreads)
* Freezing (vegetables and herbs; fruits; meats, poultry, and fish; baby food)
* Drying
* and an appendix which covers canning troubleshooting and helpful and inspirational resources.

The herbed vinegars and introduction to baby food caught my attention, as I haven't seen these in some of the other books.

The verdict: If you already have a boatload of canning and food preservation books, you might want to pass as none of the recipes are super unique (unless you're a cookbook junkie like me and want to get it just for the photos and light reading). But if you're just starting out, Saving the Seasons will inspire you and provide enough guidance to give you confidence to start a lifetime of preserving.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Mennonite community has long been known for its self-reliance, hard-work, and appreciative exploitation of the crops they grow and the animals they raise. As in all rural agricultural societies an emphasis was placed on preserving foods for use in the winter months through the processes of canning, dehydration, and freezing. Now those practices and laid out in a particularly impressive instruction manual from Herald Press: "Saving The Seasons: How To Can, Freeze, Or Dry Almost Anything". This profusely and beautifully illustrated, 288-page instructional guide is the collaborative work of Mary Clemens Meyer and Susana Meyer. Informed, informative, and thoroughly 'user friendly', "Saving The Seasons" will enable even the most novice of kitchen cooks to successfully utilize their own gardens and local farmer's markets to preserve fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more! An invaluable instructional guide, "Saving The Seasons" is a very strongly recommended addition to personal, family, and community library food preservation reference collections.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Smotherman on August 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best canning books I have found. The recipes are clear and precise and easy to make.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
When I was a kid, my grandma always made jam and jellies. My mom learned how, but I never did. I wish I had. I've honestly been very intimidated by canning. So, I have been looking for a good cookbook to help me learn how. Two years ago I reviewed a canning cookbook published by Storey Publishing. The recipes were good and it had a ton of information, but many of the recipes used Pomona pectin--which happens to be quite expensive. One of my prerequisites for a cookbook I'll use over and over is that the recipes use affordable ingredients. That one didn't fit the bill. So, I've continued to look for a solid canning cookbook that would fit easily on any cookbook shelf (since the cookbook space in my kitchen has filled up) that would help me feel like I can tackle canning jam and be successful at it.

So, I was excited to discover that the publisher of Simply in Season, Herald Press, published this cookbook. It's a nice size. It is a thin volume, but it's just the right size for all the information that I found on the pages inside.

I asked a friend of mine to look it over and give me her opinion of the cookbook. She is an expert canner who is well known in my church for her jams, jellies, salsas, and condiments! She liked it. She loved the pictures and was very interested to find out who the photographer was. She was tempted to purchase the cookbook just for the photographs! Her opinion is that is a great book for beginners - clear directions, good explanations, The step by step pictorial directions are easy to follow. The recipes are a good selection and are almost identical to the recipes she already uses--which have worked well for her for years. She also thought there was a good selection of tomato based canning recipes.
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