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Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving Paperback – June, 2004
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All of the above is true, but what they don't tell you is that many of the recipes require you to buy Ball pre-made/pre-mixed spices; they are not going to tell you all the ingredients you need. For example, if you want to make the Red Hot Sauce recipe, you have to purchase Ball Mixed Pickling Spice. If you want to make Beet Pickles, you need to have Ball Pickle Crisp.
So this guide to canning and preserving has many very good recipes and instructions on pickling, you have to buy their products to make the recipes work. Seems like a cop out/marketing ploy.
If you are a newbie to canning, I would highly recommend this book. I kept hearing about "head space" but didn't know exacty how to measure that out. Well...this book shows you what it looks like.
In addition, there are so many recipies for canning, both hot water bath and pressure canning. Not to mention they go over freezing, dehydrating and curing.
There is a real nice index in the back so looking stuff up is a breeze.
One of the things that caused me to delay buying the book was several reviewers saying how flimsy the pages are. I kinda see what they mean. It is not regular "book strength" paper, but it is not as flimsy as "magazine paper". It's a little bit stronger than that. It is glossy so you can wipe it off. Being a canning newbie and having this book in my hand, I would absoutely recommend this book to anyone starting out in canning. Do not let the nit-picking reviews stop you. This is a very good foundational book.
One word of warning about The Good Will however, I bought my copy through a third party seller, paid about six dollars. It was from The Good Will, the book was listed as Very Good Condition. When it arrived, it was crusted with food. The book had a crust, it was gross. It's the second book from The Good Will I've purchased, and both were listed as Very Good Condition, and both had something wrong. The other book had dead roaches smashed inside the cover and the cover was sticky. The cover of that book was actually white, and not antique brown like I originally thought when it arrived. Apparently to The Good Will, Very Good also means Very Dirty.