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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

4.3 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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  • Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation
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  • Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables
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  • Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, 2nd Edition
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Editorial Reviews

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.

Eliot Coleman has over thirty years' experience in all aspects of organic farming, including field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of cattle and sheep, and range poultry. He is the author of The New Organic Grower, Four-Season Harvest, and The Winter Harvest Handbook, as well as the instructional workshop DVD Year-Round Vegetable Production with Eliot Coleman. Coleman and his wife, Barbara Damrosch, presently operate a commercial year-round market garden, in addition to horticultural research projects, at Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; New edition edition (April 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933392592
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933392592
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the most part, I really like this book. I have lots of ideas that I am dying to try when my garden starts to bear. I have a ceramic-invection cooktop so I am wary of putting a fully loaded 30 quart pressure cooker on top of it.

I would consider purchasing an additional book if you are unfamiliar with food safety and home food preparation. I gathered that the contributors and the authors are aware of these practices, but did not really elaborate on them very much or stress crucial points necessary for food safety, like cross-contamination or not washing the vegetables well. The book does stress the importance of not using chlorine-treated water so it must be filtered in some way to remove it. Don't want to kill the good bacteria, I suppose.

I'm not sure how well these concepts would work if you have a very small kitchen or don't have a keeping room or cellar. Instructions are given for digging out a small keeping area and topping it with a large flat rock you can slide off. I just gathered you need a good work and storage space.

Directions for making drying racks with screen are given. I have heard of using a discarded screen door for large amounts of drying.

I often do not have huge amounts of fruits and vegetables on hand to do massive canning. The amounts here seem to be very manageable, as well as easy to try out the different types of preservation on the same item to see which you prefer.

I didn't quite know what to make of the jelly/sugar section. The blueberry recipe sort of bewildered me as you are to mix fresh blueberries with what is left of last year's blueberry mixture (not pure blueberries).
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Format: Paperback
This is a really good reference, with discussions of fermenation and brining, that go beyond the superficial. Good recipies as well, we are now enjoying our salted lemons in salads and in other dishes. This would be in the top ten I would recommend for getting by in a pinch. Also they, for the most part require little or no gas or electric use.
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As some other folks have noted, this book is very much for people who already have some decent experience with food preservation. There are some interesting ideas but a complete lack of details and some just plain dangerous suggestions. For example, the notion that you can throw some raw garlic cloves into a bottle of olive oil and leave it to stew in the sun for several months is beyond irresponsible. If you don't know why I'm saying that, you shouldn't buy this book. Instead you should go google "garlic in oil".
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Format: Paperback
This book provides great information on traditional food preservation techniques that are fast being forgotten. The recipes yield some incredible tastes--try the pickled garlic--and practical ways to extend the life of your garden produce with its beneficial nutrients intact. Definitely a must for the serious organic gardener!
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I ordered this book a bit over a month ago. I received it very promptly and read it front to back the same day. I was totally amazed by the varied methods of preserving- from using root cellaring to fermenting to using salt and oils and even making jams and jellies! This book is teaching me a lot of methods that I remember my grandmother telling me and my cousins about. Up til now they were lost to time as she died when I was young and too little to remember everything she did. The most exciting thing for me is first making sauerkraut and then the dandelion wine recipe. I have already started the wine, and once I bottle it (next week) I'm using my crock to make some kraut. I can't wait. I'm also anxious to try making some jam. I really like the idea of not using high-temperature canning, since I've always thought that it changes the flavor. When I taste before canning, I love the fresh flavor, but after having been canned, its just off somehow. My mom tells me I'm nuts, but we'll see when I try out one of these recipes that doesn't use that method. I'm sure the freshness will come through.

I read some other reviewers saying that the recipes aren't concise enough, not giving exact amounts, etc.. I find this to be a lot of hooey. The recipes are as concise as they need to be. Sometimes you seriously need to use some common sense. Its not too far fetched to see these mothers and grandmothers from the Terre Vivante just adjusting recipes to their own taste. Thats all you need to do when you are questionable about amounts. Adjust them to meet YOUR standards. After all, when all is said and done what they did doesn't matter, it matters what you do and what your tastebuds tell you.
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Format: Paperback
The usual book on preserving garden produce assumes boiling or freezing vegetables or fruits will take place - but Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Stage, and Lactic Fermentation uses little-known French techniques for storing and preserving edibles, is newly translated into English for American audiences, and uses less costly methods featuring locally grown, minimally refined fruits and vegetables. It's a cut above your usual 'how to preserve' title and a 'must' for collections strong in either cooking or ecological living.
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