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on May 7, 2003
Being a beginner canner, I have picked up many canning books, this is an excellent book. The book is organized well, and has great tips in each section. It offers information on all types of preserving and storing, from the canning to root cellering, it has been an extremly helpfull book. I know it is a reference I will use forever. Also includes many great recipes.I suggest this for anyone who is interested in canning.
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on August 30, 2007
I just bought this book today, and made the tomato sauce freezer recipe with all of the tomatoes from my garden. Let me tell you, the tomato sauce is so delicious, it could pass for a yummy tomato soup. There are other many delicious-sounding recipes in this book that I am eager to try, and I know I will definitely get my money's worth from it.

I love that the author is just as concerned as I am with what goes into her food. Too many commercially canned foods are loaded with tons of sodium, high fructose corn syrup, and other unpronouncable ingredients. If you are health-conscious and want to serve your family only the best, high-quality preserved food, this book is for you.

Also, I do not agree with the author in not doubling the recipes. Some of the recipes are so small, and there is no way I will not double them to save time. I have made very large batches of jams and jellies for years without any problems, and cannot understand why the author would state not to do so. I also don't agree with the author in not changing the ratio of sugar in the jams and jellies recipes. Most recipes for jams and jellies contain way too much sugar, and I have had no problems halving the sugars in my jams and jellies as long as I have enough fruit pectin added to compensate. If you don't mind tons of sugar in your jams and jellies, then this shouldn't be a concern.

Overall, this book is excellent, and is one of the best canning and preserving sources I have read. I believe beginners as well as advanced canners would find this book very helpful, if not, at least the delicious recipes will be a great addition!
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on August 31, 2004
I love the fact that this book covers canning (pressure and water bath) drying, and root cellaring all in equal detail. I have been searching for a good jerky marinade for about 6 months now with many flops inbetween. This book delivers. I LOVE the marinade for beef jerky in it. I have also made the peach jam, very tasty. It was interesting to read about creating a root cellar, and got me thinking into how I can incorporate that method of preservation into my lifestyle. Very good book!
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on September 14, 2009
I've started building a pretty good library of canning books. Some have amazing information, some have essential safety tips, some have both. I bat my eyelashes at those ones and take them off the shelf more often than the others. This book doesn't really have either. The information is hard to find due to awkward indexing and the recipes are a bit lackluster. I've used the book as reference for canning times and scanned the recipes but I don't know if I've ever made a straight recipe from this book. It's not the worst preserving book out there but it's certainly not the best.
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on January 15, 2004
I have been canning and pickling for about 25 years. I bought this book a month ago and was pleasantly surprised that there could still be a book that could start in me the tickling and energy to start immediately and try all the preparations in the book. Along with Canning by Sue Deeming, they are the best books in Canning and Pickling I have encountered.
The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest has many advantages. It has a lot of recipes. Not only how to can in water and a little salt, but delicious recipes. Each page is so well organized, that it becomes so easy to follow the steps. The variety is unique. The Freezing and Drying Chapters are not dry and frozen, but very alive with opportunities of relishing in scrumptious food delights. More surprises: each recipe has a Nutrition Chart at the bottom of the page. What more can one ask for?
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on July 27, 2006
This is a good book for the beginner with a lot of fine details. I have enjoyed reading the book and using a couple of the receipes but I find it a very close copy of the Ball Bluebook of Home Canning, etc. In fact, many of the receipes are quoted from the Blue Book. It is one I will use many times again though.
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on January 28, 2007
"The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest" is a refreshingly concise how-to for beginners and experts alike. Great illustrations for the directionally-challenged, lots of useful charts. Those include charts for processing times in water bath AND pressure cookers, quantities of produce needed per quart jar, sugar substitutes, etc. Then, there are the simple recipes for fancy foods. This book is a great leasure read or a satisfying quick reference tool, surely a wonderful gift for anyone who enjoys working with food.
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on July 7, 2003
I was a little disappointed with this book. I got much more out of an old, old, old canning book I picked up at a garage sale. You'll miss a lot of important details and trouble shooting if your are just starting out canning/jam making and this is your only reference.
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on August 16, 2009
With all of the trendy food preservation & canning books out there, it's easy to overlook this book. It doesn't have a super-snappy name and no fancy photographs, but this book delivers exactly what it promises: good, solid instructions for how to can, freeze, and dry all kinds of fruits and vegetables. It's an excellent reference book for newer and more experienced canners alike. For people new to canning, there are detailed sections that cover the questions you should ask yourself every time you're preserving food to make sure you've covered all of the food safety bases. For more experienced canners, it has tables for different fruits & vegetables on processing times & prep methods, so you can go beyond the recipes in the book. And for everyone, it has plenty of good recipes for actually preserving food.

I find myself reaching for this book every year, without fail. The reasons for consulting the book vary - maybe I need a good recipe for tomato jam, or maybe I've got a recipe from somewhere else with unclear instructions and I want to know what exactly a specific term means. I never fail to find the answers in this book.
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VINE VOICEon June 5, 2011
The title of this book is very accurate - it's a recipe book, not a reference book. Though it has many charts, illustrated instructions, etc. tucked in its chapters, it is primarily a collection of recipes that can be canned, frozen or made using dried foods.

If you're looking for a reference book to turn to for canning, this will not be a great choice. If you're looking for unique, specific recipes at add to the your repertoire (soups, chicken a la king, chili, etc) and keep in the pantry, then this is well worth checking out. I didn't find a lot of recipes that appealed to me personally, but for someone with different tastes I can see it being a real favorite.
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