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We Sure Can!: How Jams and Pickles Are Reviving the Lure and Lore of Local Food Paperback – August 23, 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review


The humble art of canning has resurfaced and captured the attention of a new generation of cooks. Sarah B. Hood joins their ranks with a new book that veteran canners and newbies alike will prize. —Today's Diet & Nutrition

For novices and experienced canners alike, We Sure Can! offers plenty of ways to enjoy the harvest year round and is an important resource for the ever-growing ranks of home canners. —New York Journal of Books

Canning isn’t just for grandmoth­ers anymore, as anyone can tell by the plethora of blogs devoted to putting up ... The book is full of a wide range of recipes for compotes, conserves, and preserves, as well as jam, chutney, and pickle recipes that range from basic to complexly flavored creations … a nicely curated collection. —Bust

A comprehensive guide to preserving — from the “Bare-Bones Cheat Sheet” on the front flap and details on attending a canning/spiritual retreat in upstate New York to a back section on styling the fruit of one’s jars with labels and tags. —National Post

About the Author

Sarah B. Hood explores the culture of food, fashion, urban life, environment and the arts with passion and curiosity in her books as well as in her other print and online writing. She has served as editor of three national Canadian magazines, and published hundreds of articles in dozens of periodicals, including Canada's National Post, to which she contributes the regular column "Clerk". She has been shortlisted for both the National Magazine Awards and the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards for business writing. Her preserves have been awarded ribbons by Canada's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the Culinary Historians of Canada.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551524023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551524023
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 8.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,098,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I do a lot of canning-- easily in the range of 300 jars a year. So I was extremely excited to get my hands on a copy of this book. Along with the intriguing variety of recipes, the book is packed with canning information ranging from basic instruction like how to set up a boiling water bath to information that was new to me, such as how to make your own pectin from green apples. Brilliant.

The recipes sound amazing. Yes, there's your classic raspberry jam -- always a delight. But then there are amazing sounding concoctions that I'd never think to put together on my own. Three that I have bookmarked to try soon:

--Strawberry Jam with Black Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar (serve slightly warm over vanilla ice cream)
--Chive Blossom and Sage Jelly (a nice accompaniment to turkey, pork, or hamburgers)
--Vanilla Blueberry Jam (described to be great in yogurt)

The lovely photography was a treat. I also liked reading about the various people who contributed recipes to this book. All in all, I'm thrilled with this book. It is basic enough to help the beginner through his or her first batch of jam, and sophisticated enough to allow a serious cook to wow friends with some amazing party offerings.
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Format: Paperback
"The new breed of canner is motivated as much by politics as by practicality. A desire to eat locally and regain control over what goes into our food is fueling a resurgence in farmers' markets and backyard kitchen gardens. Many see canning as a necessary step toward having year-round access to produce from their own region." --Hayley Mick

If you are into local food, slow food, slow money, re-localizing the food web, homesteading, self-sufficiency, food sovereignty, etc., you'll enjoy the forty-page first chapter, which is devoted to "How [and why] Jams and Pickles are Reviving the Lure and Lore of Local Food," as per the subtitle. Personally, I loved this.

If you're not into all that stuff, and just want to make some very tasty, seasonal jams, jellies, marmalades, conserves, pickles, and sauces (and maybe even win a couple of blue ribbons at the county fair along the way), simply skip to chapter 2 and start from there. The recipes in this book range from the basic jams, jellies, and pickles, to sublime gourmet delights that will make foodies' mouths water just reading them.

The second chapter covers the basics of water-bath canning: acidity and food safety, canning tools, how to tell if your jelly has set (including not only the three usual methods, but also 7 other clues that other cookbooks rarely mention), choosing fruits and vegetables (including tips and etiquette for foraging), food prep tips (including Ten Tips for Prize-Winning Jelly for the County Fair), different kinds of pectin, sugar and other sweeteners, types and sizes of canning jars and lids.

The third chapter is divided into five sections: recipes for each season, and recipes for anytime.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Overall I did enjoy making preserves from the cookbook We Sure Can. My one major complaint is having to leave the page of the recipe to go to the other pages on either canning or setting point. I love that there is bare-bones sterilizing cheat sheet on the jacket of the book that can be used as bookmark, a very clever idea, but each recipe seemed a little different in how you make the preserves so it sometimes contradicted other information within the book. When that happened it left me confused and unsure of what to do. This is the only reason it did not get 5/5.

If you want to know just about everything about canning and learning from the many people interviewed in the book about their passion for making preserves, this is the book for you. Sarah travels all over learning what she can from canning enthusiasts and shares their wisdom with the reader. The photographs are lovely but are not necessarily the finished product of each recipe. In fact, the recipe section is quite text-heavy but the layout is extremely clear which I appreciated so much. I made mostly classic recipes but there are many adventurous ideas such as picked wild leeks and lavender peach preserves with Kirsch.

I will be using this book in the future now that I feel more confident about making jams and jellies thanks to Sarah B. Hood who was incredibly helpful. I was nervous about canning and she guided me through the process in both her book and through emails, what a sweetheart! I feel I have only just begun with this cookbook and can not wait to try more recipes.
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By Erin on August 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed reading the stories in this book as much as I have enjoyed the recipes. We are just gearing up for the majority of our canning here and I am so glad I have this to add some extra 'spice' to our shelves in the winter. I think that it is a very well put together collection of recipes for someone who already has several other canning books ( I have at least 12). If you are a first time preserver this book should have enough information for you to safely get yourself going too.
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