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Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving Hardcover – November 3, 2014
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“A beautifully produced, encyclopedic guide to preserving and canning.”
- Corby Kummer, The Atlantic
“Brings warm-water canning and pressure canning together for the modern kitchen… An excellent primer and reference with many recipes that put the preserved fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and cheese to good use.”
- Michael Ruhlman, Wall Street Journal
“A terrific compendium…with clear instructions and an authoritative, non-preachy voice.”
- Washington Post
“Don’t think of this book as a how-to-make-jellies-and-jams book but rather a thorough primer on small-scale preservation of all the foods we keep, one that deserves to be in home and restaurant kitchens alike”
- Michael Ruhlman, author of Soul of a Chef and Ratio and coauthor of Charcuterie
“Barrow has set out to present ‘putting up’ not as a hobby, but as a smart way to supply yourself year-round with better ingredients.”
“A friend in the kitchen is a pleasure, but a friend who’s a mentor and a master is even better. A Mrs. Beeton for the DIY generation, one who guiltlessly inspires you to make all your kitchen staples from scratch, Mrs. Wheelbarrow is a household expert who’s about to become a household name.”
- Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, cofounders of Food52.com
“Cathy Barrow’s is an essential voice in the new conversation we are having about the way we eat. Authoritative and comprehensive, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry brims with sound advice and precise recipes all delivered in the reassuring tone of someone who knows her way around a water bath.”
- Spike Gjerde, chef/owner, Woodberry Kitchen, Baltimore, Maryland
“I came to this book for its clear, accurate, and unintimidating instructions on all aspects of food preservation. I will keep coming back time after time for Barrow’s lifetime’s worth of delicious recipes for jams, sauces, pickles, and cured meat. They will make my pantry the happiest corner of my kitchen.”
- Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
“A must-have… [a] carefully written book with stunning photos.”
- Lee Svitak Dean, Star Tribune
About the Author
Cathy Barrow is the author of the food blog Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen. She has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Garden and Gun, Southern Living, and NPR, among others. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, Dennis, Louie and Morty, the two terriers, and an all-white cat.
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The book covers a wide range activities to load up your larder; well, freezer and fridge too. Water bath canning of jams, jellies, pickles and sauces is the first chapter. Then comes pressure canning for those low acid items, like stock, beans and meat. Chapter three will have you making your own bacon as it's about curing brining and smoking. The last chapter is cheese making.
What's really remarkable about the book is how approachable and doable Mrs. Wheelbarrow makes something like making cheese. She's wisely picked items like bacon and whole muscle curing that are on the easier and safer side of Charcuterie.
The recipes are concise and easy to follow. There's additional info in the head notes and the chapter introductions. And there are bonus recipes to use the items you've preserved. Make some crème fraîche and she'll have you make a beautiful kale and potato galette with it.
Those photography is first rate too. I love that the cover is printed.
Cathy starts us out easy -- seasonal jams, sauces and such that allow you to put spring and summer on your shelf. Her bonus recipes send you back to your burgeoning pantry so you can put those seasonal treats back on your table after the first fall freeze -- think Jam Tarts, award-winning Sour Cherry Pie at Thanksgiving and Inside-Out Samosas to go with Mango Chutney on a wintery Sunday evening.
You'll move on to pressure-canning -- stocks and soups, for example -- and meat and fish preservation. Yes, you can make your own Pancetta, Gravlax and Canned Tuna. The book concludes with a chapter on cheese-making: homemade ricotta, sour cream, cream cheese and other dairy wonders are within your grasp.
From the cover photo to the step-by-step photos that take you through making fruit preserves to the finished products put to perfect use, photographers Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton bring Cathy's clever recipes and trusted techniques to life.
I've made several recipes: Strawberry-Mango Jam, Apricot Jam with Ginger and Rosemary -- and the bonus recipe for her foccacia, which features that marvelous apricot jam. I made her Bacon-Onion Jam after making her divine Maple-Bourbon Bacon, too. Her Figgy Marmalade is wonderful on toast and even better in her Grilled Cheese, which include Manchego and Fontina Cheeses.
While the bonus recipes feature the basic recipes from each chapter, it's easy to make them by substituting high-quality store-bought ingredients. For example, I bought a container of Creme Fraiche and made Cathy's Kale and Potato Galette with Duck-Fat Crust to comfort us when Daylight Savings came to an abrupt end.
I'll be cooking from Cathy's book year-round and using it as a reference on canning and preserving best practices, too.
I had to purchase this because copying all of the pages I wanted to save would have cost more than the book.
The photos also are a great guide to each process besides being among the best I have in re: food.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book. It's already proven itself to be invaluable as a resource and everyone I know who smokes foods as well as BBQ's has asked to borrow it.
I am not easily this impressed. I think you would be too.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a must buy if you love to cook.