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Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation Paperback – April 4, 2007
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About the Author
Deborah Madison is a freelance writer and board member of the Foundation for Bio-Diversity and the Seed Savers Exchange, among others. As a freelance writer she has contributed to Cooking Light, Williams Sonoma's Taste, Vegetarian Times, Gourmet, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Garden Design, Fine Cooking, Organic Style, the LA Times, Orion, and others.
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The chapters on Root Cellaring and Drying are not as detailed as some might like, but there are dozens of books on those topics and anyone that has gardened or homesteaded for any time is very familiar with these techniques.
Where the book really shines is in the chapters on the lesser-known (and ages old) techniques of brining, lacto-fermentation and preserving in solutions such as oil, vinegar and alcohol. I attended a class on brining and lacto-fermentation where we were given taste samples of the brined and fermented food. The taste, color and texture are stunning! After tasting brined green beans--bright, crisp and still tasting garden fresh after 4 years in a jar--I could never go back to colorless, tasteless, soggy home-canned green beans. Family and friends go nuts over my sauerkraut and mixed vegetables brined one jar at a time. (It was this class that led me to this book.) I love that I can use non-canning jars with this process. This saves me on my food budget, keeps more out of the landfill and I don't have to worry about getting valuable jars back when I give the food away.
One reviewer worried about the lack of food safety in these methods. No need to worry. These are ages-old techniques, used for centuries before home canning was ever thought of. They do not create the anaerobic environment that botulism thrives in. If one uses good-sense--wash your hands and clean all work surfaces and start with clean, sterilized equipment and jars--these methods are every bit as safe as any other food preservation.
This is one of very few books that get my complete, unreserved endorsement. Trust me, you WANT this in your home library. [...]
Oh, and she does use canning techniques just not 'pressure' canning. So there are recipes for jams, preserves, pickles and the like that are canned. In fact one I did use somewhat after a few changes was the Apple with Raisin Jam. I had never thought of adding a vanilla bean to the pot luckily I have them on hand.
As I said, a good book but not a first go to for storing up or stocking the pantries, I would say a second go to and well worth having. If you don't have any experience this might not be a good starting point.