135 of 141 people found the following review helpful
Making pickles now belongs to that class of human activity that has lost its original raison d'etre and exist now chiefly (or is that chefly?) as an art form, done for its own sake. Pickling has become for cook or gardner what a manual transmission is to the driving enthusiast, or, more retro, horses. Or what calligraphy is to a letter writer in the age of email and texting. You do it not for the easy and unthinking way of coasting through your days.
We had to pickle in the days before refrigeration. Now it is done for the sake of special flavors that can be had with salt and vinegar over time. There are not many real books on the subject. You see far more on canning and preserves. The Joy of Pickling is a slightly tongue in cheek title on the best book I haver ever seen on the subject. It helps to have a faintly daft teacher such as Ms. Ziedrich in these briny arts. She is a monomaniac with a mission, sustained now well over a decade. As with Madame Curie, her calling was not a result of selfish pursuits. She never even cared much for pickled vegetables (cucumbers are only the beginning) herself, but ushered in by the cares of close ones that has taken over her life.
For us novitiates, Ms. Ziedrich begins with basics -- helpful discussions of vinegar, salt, spices, tools and equipment. She understands the chemistry of pickling, therefore presenting things as simple proportions. Then off we go into Part 2: Fermentation, covering twenty-five applications after a few more basics. You can pickle from just a pint at a time, for those of you daunted by visions of vats, barrels and $400 crocks (I kid you not). This second edition updated a sturdy working original of ten years past. The addition of the venerable Lower East Side "Full Sour" dill is reason enough, but she has added many relishes and other fine points. She also took considerable pains to clarify the recipes and the discussions of mechanics. We are ever more assured of success across a broad array of tasty bits.
Part 3 is devoted to Fresh Pickles, meaning, not fermented. For those of you who must minimize salt use, this is the domain of vinegar.
Part 4 conquers cabbages. I still remember the dressing down when my father discovered I poured out the sauerkraut juice. Now I know why.
Part 5 takes us from Kimchi into the deep waters of Asian Pickling
Part 6 is Sweet Pickles. If you guess nothing is here for you, 2/3 of this section is for fruit.
Part 7 is Quick pickles of all sorts in two or fewer days. Do some of these while waiting for fermentation to kick-in on day three.
Part 8 is completely new to me: Freezer Pickles. Just six sweet recipes for a year's storage, even if only in freezer bags.
Part 9 is her beefed-up relish section. I am an old-fashioned relisher of these. They were popular so long for reasons only recently undone by tired and gooked-up store bought stuff. Time to revive:
- Corn relishes
- Mango chutney
- Walnut ketchup
- Chili Sauce
- Prepared Horseradish (hi-test)
All tried and true powerhouses to amplify or accent your food.
Finally, Part 10 leaves off the leaves and goes for meat, fish and eggs.
To the tune of Catch a Falling Star:
"Catch a Pickled Herring
Put in in a Barrel
Save it for a Rainy Day
Never let it Rot Away..."
Ms. Ziedrich will encourage the timid and satisfy the accomplished. Corned Beef is your PhD dissertation. You want souce? You have a delightful, achievable one here. Once you get going, you can push the barrel. Recommended ages 13 to 93.
63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Here in New England late summer harvest is in full swing so The Joy of Pickling, Revised Edition: 250 Flavor-Packed Flavor-Packed Recipes arrived last week right on time to be put to good use. And put to use it has certainly been - with luscious results.
One thing our Grandmas knew was that pickles sparked up dull winter fare like nothing else could, so much so that our Pennsylvania Dutch Grandmas were famous for serving "seven sweets and seven sours" on their dinner tables! What they might not have known is that pickles are good for you, loaded with Vitamin C, and sometimes the B vitamins. Now, if you're looking for 101 varieties of pickles like your Grandma and her Grandma used to make by the bushel, then there are better - or at least more extensive - books to be had and you'll find a multitude of recipes for them in just about every general American cookbook to boot.
However, if what you are looking for is the unusual, then send The Joy of Pickling straight to the head of the class. Whether you are looking for Polish Pickled Mushrooms (big jar sitting in the fridge) or Korean style Pickled Garlic (Mrs. Kim's - sitting on the counter) or the Pickled Limes featured in Little Women, you'll find the recipe here.
Perhaps what you want is Moroccan Pickled Lemons? Or would you prefer the sweeter Indian version? Some Pickled Blueberries to set off your Thanksgiving meal? Or perhaps some Thai Pickled Carrots that you can serve with dinner an hour from now? (We had that two nights ago - yum!) Linda Ziedrich gives us recipes for a world of pickles - pickles from Russia and Japan, from India and Italy and about every place in between. These are the lost recipes your Grandma brought from the old country, the right pickles to go into the bento box, to provide the real flavors of "elsewhere." All of them easy, nothing complicated. And a good many of them that can be ready to eat tonight, tomorrow or at least by the end of the week.
And because she does, The Joy of Pickling makes my very short list of books that live on my kitchen counter, that move in my hands rather than the 17 boxes I'm still unpacking. This is a book that I will pass on to my daughters along with Mastering The Art of French Cooking, the Joy of Cooking and Charleston Receipts. Kudos for a job extremely well done. If I could give it 6 stars, I would!
158 of 183 people found the following review helpful
I first got this authors new Jams & Jellies book, which I love. I've made a lot of homemade jams and I appreciated the organization of the book (by ingredient) and and recipes.
This book just didn't live up to the same. Perhaps it is different, because I've never pickled before I was far more careful reading this one's introduction section. But I found it less useful.
I have two main gripes.
At the beginning when explaining the types of pickles she fails miserably at actually explaining the difference. She says "there are two kinds of pickles, ones preserved with vinegar, and ones preserved with salt. But the salt ones contain vinegar sometimes and the vinegar ones usually still have salt. " I'm paraphrasing of course but that is about it.
Well, I was confused, and I continued reading, and I continued being confused. Then, Alton Brown's Good Eats had an episode about pickles and he answered it in about 10 seconds what she couldn't do in an entire chapter "Pickles are preserved with acid, with vinegar pickles you add the acid in the form of vinegar, with fermented pickles lactic acid produced during fermentation provides the acid."
Far more useful, far more informative. I get the feeling the author either had the wrong information, or was just trying to be clever with her phrasing and the accuracy suffered. It wasn't vinegar or salt, it was vinegar or lactic acid. Salt isn't an acid.
My second gripe is that she talks about pickled brussel sprouts a few times in the opening chapters, and this excited me because I had a bounty of sprouts from my garden at that time, and then, not a single recipe. Anything you mention in the introduction chapters should have a recipe in the back.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2010
First of all I can't gripe about a book that costs $13.00 and has 250 recipes.
This is is a recipe book and not a narrative novel and at many points the directions get buried inside the author's prose. As an example, the author describes three kinds of canning and spends paragraphs talking about "how your grandmother did it" but don't do it that way! The directions are wordy, convoluted and rambling when the actual execution is pretty darn simple. The next edition would be much more user friendly if the author would provide bullet point directions to canning (and other projects) for those who want to get to work cooking rather than read a book.
Again, worth the coin, but worthy of a content editor to tighten things up.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
As part of my quest to become the ultimate domestic goddess, I was excited to pick up a copy of "The Joy of Pickling." Let's face it, in this economy, do-it-yourself preserving is hot right now, and the combination of high unemployment, a foodie culture, and eco-consciousness means that more of us are growing our own food than in decades past. With all of this, it seems like everyone and their personal trainer has taken up making jams and jellies. But pickling? Hmmm....
Let me tell you something. If you want to spark nostalgia, interest, and cravings among your friends and families, tell them you have taken up pickling. Seriously, in the days when I first announced my foray into the world of acid-preservation, I had swarms of comments. Older relatives fondly reminisced about grandma's sweet pickles; foodie cousins compared recipes (and sparked some competition); pregnant friends immediately began demanding half-sours and dills, NOW.
What I love about this book is that to each of these comments, I had a response. Bread-and-butters like Grandma, coming right up! Pickled watermelon rind? Um, sure, OK! Pregnancy cravings? You handle the ice cream, I've got the rest. From the familiar to the fancy, this book has a recipe for every taste and every occasion. So far, I have made the aforementioned bread-and-butters (yummmm) and dill spears, pickled peaches (surprisingly tart), and freezer cilantro pickles (easy, fresh, and delicious). From there, I made the leap into modifying my own recipes. A suggestion for pickled whole blueberries in red wine vinegar became the impetus for a balsamic-strawberry pickle that is simply divine. A basic pickled shallot morphed into an onion relish, perfect for barbecues and picnics.
So on the strength and variety of the recipes, I give this book full credit. However, this is not just any cookbook. We're talking about food preservation here, and that leads to a whole other realm of food safety issues. And on that basis, I am frankly a little more reserved about this book. Here's the problem: The author, Linda Ziedrich, is clearly an expert who knows exactly what she's doing and doesn't really need to think about it anymore. The rest of us noobs, however, need quite a bit of guidance when it comes to things like canning, brining, freezing, and otherwise ensuring that the food we are setting aside for weeks or months doesn't come back and kill us. Unfortunately, Ziedrich's instructions are often vague, too casual, or poorly organized. While I'm sure all the proper procedures and precautions are in this book, somewhere, the fact remains that unless the aspiring pickler sits down and reads the entire book, cover to cover, and then re-reads the entire first chapter every time she sets out to make a new recipe, I worry that a nasty case of botulism is just lurking around the corner.
My other nitpick has to do with the audience of this book, particularly when it comes to the serving size of each recipe. OK, there's actually 2 issues here. First, many - perhaps most - of these recipes assume that you will be pickling items pulled from your own garden. But not just that, they assume you are pickling items from your huge, vast, incredibly varied garden. I'm talking recipes for 12 pounds of cucumbers, or quarts and quarts of tomatoes, along with dozens of herbs. Now for some of the more popular recipes, Ziedrich does include brief proportions if you don't happen to have a bushel of zucchini on hand and just want to make a couple of pints. Still, it's much easier to size a recipe up than scale it down - I would have preferred that she write her recipes with a much less ambitious yield in mind. Second is the bizarre fact that while some recipes make gallons, they are placed right next to recipes that make only pints or even cups. This isn't really bad, it's just weird. It makes it hard to compare recipes, for one thing, and just goes back to the whole poorly organized thing.
Still, organization and some level of vagueness aside, I have to say that I really enjoy and appreciate this book. It has sparked a whole new level of culinary creativity, and has prompted me to think about veggies in a new way. For those cooks with time, patience, and ambition, "The Joy of Pickling" will give you hours of satisfaction in the kitchen, and months more satisfaction on your table.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
I like this book generally. Someone bellyached because too many recipes were oddball. Those are just the ones I am interested in; I LIKE pickled turnips, and I fully intend to try the pickled cantaloupe recipe. The problem I have with the book is that the amounts that the recipe is supposed to result in don't always match up with my results, and I don't think it's me, because I don't have this problem with the recipes in other books. For instance, Pickled Plums with Red Wine gave me not 3-1/2 to 4 quarts but 5 PINTS--and that was using an extra pound of plums. Pickled Pears was supposed to make 3-4 quarts; I got 4 PINTS. Pink Pickled Turnips was supposed to give me 2 quarts; I got 2 pints. One thing I learned from all these errors was that one pound of veggie generally gives one pint of pickle. But it has made me distrust the stated results of the recipes of this book and I wondered just how many of these recipes the author has actually made.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
We already have the Joy of Jams, Jellies, and other Sweet Preserves & absolutely love it! So when I saw that the same author had a book on pickling, I couldn't resist!
I am not disappointed! This book meets the high expectations I had of it due to my delight with the book mentioned.
If you can think of it, she has a pickling recipe for it! She also goes into fermentation & that is something we are always trying & interested in. As usual the beginning of the book provides the reader with essential information that you should of course read before following any recipes.
To give you an idea of some of the recipes offered there are: Robert's Tea Pickles, an assortment of Dill pickles, pickled apples, turnips, radish, mushrooms, onions, tomatillos, tomatoes, artichokes, grapes, peppers, mangos, pickles in rice-bran mash, ginger gherkins, quince, pears, baby corn, carrots, onion rings, and more. Plus freezer pickles, chutneys, salsas, meat, fish, and eggs!!! This only names a few...yes a few! I told you, if you can name it, I think it's in here! There are enough recipes to keep me pickling our farm fresh crops & eggs as well our local farmers market delights for years as well as giving me ideas for new things to plant come Spring! YUM!
Bottom line, if you love pickling or know someone who does it will make a valuable addition to your library or a much appreciated gift! Highly recommend!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It is a joy to pickle, and owning the book The Joy of Pickling, Revised Edition: 250 Flavor-Packed Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Marketis a delight. Preparing and enjoying food is taken to the level of art in this book. I have not yet tasted a pickle I didn't like. It would take years to try all these recipes. They all sound delicious.
There's plenty of helpful information in the book besides how to make pickles, such as an explanation of the history of corned beef and the process of preparing it. Also there is an explanation of different types of vinegars. Anyone who likes to prepare food or eat it would find this book fascinating.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2012
The two items I have made from this so far, the pickled turnips and preserved lemons, are absolutely fantastic! However, I spent an awful lot of time struggling with the narrative format of the cookbook. I prefer my cookbooks be laid out in a more "technical manual" type format; this book attempts to tell a story with food that I really don't care about.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2013
This book covers just about everything a home preserver would want to about pickling. It covers fruit vegetables and meats. It covers freezing to hot canning. It covers Asian, European and American. I have pickled cucumbers, turnips, beets and green beans. using this book and I plan to try many more recipes.