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85 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding source of recipes for people who want to experiment with preserving and making their own condiments. I disagree that it's not a true "preserving" cookbook, but I will say this: if you are looking for a book with 500+ "canning" recipes this may not be your book. Also, I would caution those without a lot of preserving (or canning, for that matter) experience; the recipes work, but the cook needs to be comfortable with processing, etc. becasue the authors don't provide a lot of detailled instruction on it. It's very intimidating to work with hot jam, glass, boiling water, etc. if you've never done it before. This book provides the user with a good overview on how to process, but nothing too detailed. Also, they don't stress enough that users shouldn't alter recipes. If a recipe calls, for example, for whole strawberries, and the user slices them in half, the user will end up with more liquid than what the amount of pectin specified in the recipe will gel. So, you end up with a really good ice cream topping instead of jam! Oh well, try again!
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185 of 198 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is a great idea but not very well executed. The recipes are smaller which is nice but I was disappointed that many of them are supposed to be stored in the refrigerator. That's leftovers NOT food preservation. There are several better books out there--The new Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is absolutely the best and most reliable book and has many small batch recipes included. If you can find copies of Sunset Home Canning (1993), The Food Lover's Guide to Canning (1997) or Canning by Sue and Bill Deeming (1983) you will have a wealth of reliable, creative canning recipes.
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85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I checked this out from the library rather than ordering it initially because of the mixed reviews. I have loved it so much I kept renewing and finally had to order a copy because I couldn't bear to part with it. This weekend I made the blueberry spiced honey jam and it is FABULOUS! Same for the red onion relish, the jalapeno mint jelly, the pasta sauce....everything I've tried has been a hit. There's an Indonesian Satay Sauce that I'll be making as soon as my own book shows up. I haven't even gotten to the section on freezing!

Quantities are small, but it's simple to double or triple a favorite recipe. One of my favorite parts of the book is the final chapter which has recipes for using some of the more unusual items.

If you're looking for traditional canning recipes, there are probably better books out there, but if you're looking for the unusual in quantities that are manageable, this is a great book!!!

One other thing you may wish to know: all the canning recipes are for water-bath canning, so you won't be disappointed to find out that all the recipes you want to make call for a pressure canner.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have made several recipes from this book, and so far, all of them have turned out very nicely (the brandied cranberry conserve is excellent). I do agree with the above reviewer that many of the recipes in the book are meant to be kept in the refrigerator, and are not really "preserving". When I preserve something, it's so I can get it OUT of my fridge or freezer. I love the unusual combinations and the variety of recipes, though some of them could be written a bit more clearly. For example, one recipe says to use one orange, while another calls for one orange, peeled and seeded, and another call for an orange, unpeeled. So, is the orange in the first recipe meant to be used with the peel or not? I also wish that the recipes all made at least two jarfuls (so I can have one jar to eat and one to save or give away), and that the instructions for processing matched up with the amount made (the roasted vegetable pasta sauce makes 3 1/2 cups and has instructions for processing quart jars).
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I love this book. I have had it for several years now and have used many recipes from it. The recent upswing in the trendiness of preserving has created a deluge of books on the subject. Their general lack of quality has made me realize just what a fabulous resource this is and has compelled me to write this review. This book has hundreds of recipes, and, sure, I was initially disappointed that a couple of sections were devoted to "preserving" things in the refrigerator or freezer, but most of the recipes are traditional water-bath canning recipes. Additionally, the newer books I've seen on the subject (of small-batch preserving) lack recipes in general and have a much higher proportion of "preserving" things in the fridge or freezer than this does. I would generally have deducted a star for the freezer and refrigerator recipes, but after having used this for several years, I have found that the breadth and quality of the recipes makes up for it.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've been canning for years. Yes, some of the recipes you definitely have to use your head (like the strawberry one). I've made over half of the recipes in the book and liked them all. Those that weren't entirely what I expected--they just got named something else. If you want to try your hand at preserving and don't want bushels of stuff in your kitchen--get this book!
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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was disappointed to find that many recipes in this book are not for preserving at all -- one whole chapter was for items that must be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few weeks (some a lot less, such as 1 day! How is that preserving??). They might be good recipes, but that's not what I was looking for in purchasing the book. The recipes that really are for canning (or other means of preservation) look fine, but not much different than you find in other books. This would probably make more sense as a regular cookbook with a few chapters devoted to preserving. If you're looking for a lot of recipes for preserving, buy something else.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
The title to this book is "blah blah blah SMALL-BATCH Preserving" not small container preserving. There isn't anything misleading about this book in the least. As someone who has canned huge and small quantities of fruits, vegetables, meats, sauces, chutneys, vinegars etc etc for more than 40 years, I know my way around the canner and the cookbook. This is a great book if you have just a bit of this and that or want to make your own chutneys for example. The chutneys in the store aren't fresh and are full of preservatives. You can gather up the ingredients fresh and in one short afternoon, have yourself some wonderful jars of condiments etc to share with your family and friends. This is a good book-you won't be disappointed if you are looking for recipes that will provide you with 2-3-4-5 half pints etc of whatever it is you are putting up. If you are a large scale canner like me but aren't interested in small quantities, this isn't the book for you. It's also great for just experimenting with new recipes you can develop into larger quantities later if you decide you like them
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am not a "canner" -- putting up 40 quarts of plain green beans just doesn't do it for me -- but I am intrigued by unusual recipes that make good use of my harvest and this book delivers in that regard. Sure, it's not the canning bible that details the process ad naseam, but you can find that info in many other (even free) places, and true, some recipes call for refrigeration or consumption within the week, but those recipes (some salsas, oils and vinegars) are the exception in this book.

Where this book really shines is in the condiment area and honestly wouldn't you rather have a recipe for Indonesian Satay Sauce or Summer Sizzle BBQ Sauce than yet another (yawn!) dill pickle recipe?? For the record, yes, there are MANY pickle recipes in this book too, but you probably already have a favorite one of those, so branch out a little!

I don't have an enormous garden so the small batch sizes eat up just enough produce to keep up with my harvest yet not leave me 2 or 3 pounds short of something vital. I also like the small size of the finished batch because it makes it fun to experiment without the fear of wasting my entire tomato harvest on something I don't like. I have enough to taste, keep for winter, and still have a jar or two to give away. In fact this year I'm basing my entire gift giving season around my produce and this book.

If you have no sense of adventure in food, are canning for your family of 12, or feel the need to process anything within a 5 mile radius just because you "can", then this book is probably not for you. If, on the other hand, you want to do more with tomatoes than pasta sauce or more with plums than jam, then I highly recommend this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
There's a reason these recipes are for small batches, they're not your ordinary fare. I misunderstood that when purchasing this book. I was looking for a smaller batch translation of what people usually fill up the cellar house with - peaches, pickles, corn. What a delightful surprise. This is the book you pick up when you're tired of the every day fare. This easy to read digest of 4-6 jar type batches is chock full of things you'd only make a few of and impress everyone with. Fancy mustards, vinegars, chutneys, relishes, and syrups. In short, the spice of life in a book.
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