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The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes to Use Year-Round Paperback – Bargain Price, March 16, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Sample recipe from Chapter 6: Pickle Perfection

Multi-Colored Ginger Pickled Peppers

Allow these pickles to sit for several weeks for the full flavor to develop. Serve them with cold cuts or roasted meats and salads.

    1 sweet green pepper, sliced lengthwise
    1 sweet red pepper, sliced lengthwise
    1 sweet yellow pepper, sliced lengthwise
    2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
    1 2-inch (5 cm) piece gingerroot, peeled and thinly sliced
    1 1/2 cups (375 mL) rice vinegar
    1/2 cup (125 mL) water
    2 tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar
    1 tsp (5 mL) pickling salt

  1. Place peppers and gingerroot in a shallow bowl. Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt; stir well to dissolve. Pour over peppers. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
     
  2. Drain peppers, reserving liquid. Remove hot jars from canner. Pack peppers into jars.
     
  3. Bring drained liquid to a boil over high heat. Pour over peppers to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of rim (head space). Process 15 minutes for half-pint (250 mL) jars and 20 minutes for pint (500 mL) jars as directed on page 133 (Longer Time Processing Procedure*).
     
    Makes 3 half-pint (250 mL) jars.
* In addition to an overview of the purpose, procedures and equipment needed for canning in the main Introduction, the book also includes detailed, illustrated and simple directions, complete with a convenient timing schedule, for processing as part of the Introduction to each of the two main sections: Sweet Spreads and Condiments of Choice.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ellie Topp is a Professional Home Economist and a Certified Culinary Professional (CCP) by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She holds a Bachelors degree in Home Economics from Northwestern University, a Masters degree in foods and nutrition from the University of Wisconsin and was a research associate in the Department of Food Research at the University of Illinois . Ellie writes a monthly column, 'Food Bits', for a local newspaper and has authored eight cookbooks. With support from Canola Information Service and in collaboration with Health Canada, Ellie developed a safe method for making flavored oils, the results of which were included in The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving (Firefly 2001, 2007) and published in Food Research International (Topp, E.B., F.J. Cook, G.C. Topp. "Heating oils with fresh vegetable inclusions: modelling and measurement of heating pattern." Vol.36 [2003] 831-842).

Ellie is an active member of the Ontario and Ottawa Home Economics Associations, the International Association of Culinary Professionals and Cuisine Canada.

Margaret Howard is a Registered Dietitian and a Professional Home Economist. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Science, with a specialty in Home Economics from University of Western Ontario and interned in dietetics at Toronto General Hospital. Margaret has authored 15 cookbooks including several for people with diabetes published in cooperation with the Canadian Diabetes Association. Testing recipes and writing for consumers in magazines and cookbooks is an ongoing professional activity. As a former Consumer Services Manager for Thomas J. Lipton, Inc responsible for the Test Kitchen and Customer Relations, Margaret brings a background knowledge of consumers needs into her writing. As a media spokesperson, Margaret has given numerous TV, radio and press interviews in both Canada and the U.S.

Margaret's professional associations include: Dietitians of Canada, Ontario Dietetic Association, Cuisine Canada, Ontario Home Economics Association and Home Economists in Business.

(20010503)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books; Enlarged 2nd edition (March 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554072565
  • ASIN: B007R9055W
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Allen 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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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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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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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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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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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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