Read an Excerpt
From The Preface
Taking The Mystery Out Of Preserving Food
By Mary Clemens Meyer and Susanna Meyer
Until recently, preserving food was in danger of becoming a lost art. From the early days of "putting up food" for the winter, canning was a familiar practice in the scrimp-and-save Great Depression and war years of the 1930s and 1940s, and the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s.
The 1980s and 1990s brought cheap canned goods to grocery store shelves. Women joined the work force in unprecedented numbers, and had little time for homemaking "extras." Fewer people had time or interest to grow gardens or buy extra produce to store. The process of canning and preserving food seemed like a mysterious art from the pastnot relevant or efficient for modern times.
Things began to change in the early 2000s. There was a sharp rise in farmers' markets and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription farms, along with a greater demand for organic foods, the growth of local food and slow food movements, and the planting of urban and community gardens. All of these things illustrated people's desire to reconnect with their food.
At the same time, the children of the 1980s and 1990speople who grew up learning about care for the earthreached adulthood and began making lifestyle choices. Many are choosing healthier and less processed foods. They want to buy "fresh and local" and grow at least some of their own produce, even if it's one pot of tomatoes on the balcony. They want to feed their babies wholesome meals without additives. They want to be part of the whole experience of food, not just opening a can of tomato soup or a box of flavored noodles.
But, for many, preserving food seems like a mysterious art. How do you can, dry or pickle produce? What implements do you need? Where do you start?
That's where Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything comes in. We wrote it to show that preserving food is not a mysterious art. With clear steps, photos, and easy-to-follow instructions, we show how anyone can pickle, can, freeze, and dry almost anything. With a little practice, the process will become second nature and lead to years of satisfying experiences and good eating.
There's nothing more satisfying than seeing a row of colorful, home-canned jars on your shelf, or serving your friends and family homemade applesauce or strawberry jam in the winter. Preserving your own food also brings peace of mindyou know the quality of the ingredients and the care taken in processing. Best of all, the flavor is even bettera generous helping of taste for just a little effort.
Through Saving The Seasons, anyone can learn to preserve food, and also get the answer to the big question that comes from abundant CSA boxes and home gardens: "What do I do with the extra?" The answer: "Enjoy it all year long, from your shelf or freezer!"
From the Preface to Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything by Mary Clemens Meyer and Susanna Meyer.
Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything is available from Mennonite Publishing Network at www.mpn.net/savingtheseasons or by calling 1-800-245-7894 x 278 (U.S.), 1-800-631-6535 (Canada). The cost is $24.99 USD/$28.99 CAD.
Herald Press is the book imprint of Mennonite Publishing Network, the publishing ministry of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada.