Learn how to preserve a summer day — in batches — from this classic primer on drying, freezing, canning, and pickling techniques. Did you know that a cluttered garage works just as well as a root cellar for cool-drying? That even the experts use store-bought frozen juice concentrate from time to time? With more than 150 easy-to-follow recipes for jams, sauces, vinegars, chutneys, and more, you’ll enjoy a pantry stocked with the tastes of summer year-round.
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About the Author
Food writer Carol Costenbader has cooked and preserved homegrown fruits, herbs, and vegetables for more than 35 years. Besides The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest, her books include Storey's Well-Stocked Pantry Series: Mustards, Ketchups & Vinegars and Preserving Fruits & Vegetables. Second in command of the family vegetable garden and a volunteer cook at Christian Ministries Homeless Shelter, Carol is founder of The Health Adventure and Friends of the Health Adventure, a good health teaching facility. Carol and her family divide their time between central Florida and the mountains of North Carolina.
Read an Excerpt
A trip to England produced this recipe. Try it instead of the more familiar orange marmalade.
3 pounds (about 18) large Persian limes, peeled, zest cut into thin strips 2 inches long
9 cups water
6 pounds (13 1/2 cups) sugar
Note: My British exchange student's family advised softening citrus in a microwave for 10 seconds per fruit to make it easier to peel or juice.
1. Cut the peeled limes in half and squeeze the juice. Set the juice aside.
2. Scrape the pulp and seeds from the lime halves. Place in a cheesecloth bag.
3. Place the cheesecloth bag, zest, juice, and water in a 6-quart saucepan, then cover them and soak overnight, or for about 8 hours.
4. Bring the water mixture to a boil and cook about 2 hours, until the peels are soft.
5. Remove the cheesecloth bag.
6. Add the sugar to the pan and stir to dissolve.
7. Boil, stirring often, until a cooking thermometer reaches 220ªF.
8. Ladle into clean jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Cap and seal.
9. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water-bath canner. Adjust for altitude, if necessary.
Sweet Pickle Relish
Colorful and delicious, this remarkable relish will delight your picnic guests.
3 quarts cucumbers, scrubbed and chopped
3 cups green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
3 cups red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
8 cups water
4 cups ice cubes
+ cup salt
4 teaspoons ground turmeric
4 teaspoons whole allspice
4 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon whole cloves
6 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups sugar
1. In a 12-quart saucepan, combine the vegetables, water, ice, and salt; let stand for 4 hours. Drain and re-cover with fresh ice and water for 1 additional hour. Drain thoroughly.
2. Combine the spices in a cheesecloth bag. Place the spice bag, vinegar, and sugar in a nonreactive 4-quart saucepan and heat to boiling.
3. Pour the vinegar syrup over the vegetables and refrigerate for 24 hours.
4. Heat the mixture to boiling and ladle into sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head-space. Cap and seal.
5. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water-bath canner. Adjust for altitude, if necessary.
Note: A food processor can be used to chop the vegetables in batches by pulsing the motor.
This recipe makes a large quantity, so plan to give some as gifts.
6 quarts cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
+ cup fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup whole allspice
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
3 tablespoons celery seeds
3 tablespoons turmeric
2 tablespoons mace
1. Combine all the ingredients in a nonreactive 10-quart saucepan.
2. Heat slowly, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
3. Pour into two 1-gallon jars, dividing the spices evenly. Cover and let steep for about 3 weeks in a cool, dark place.
4. Strain through a coffee filter into six sterile quart jars. Cap, seal, and store in a cool, dark place.
Yield: 6 quarts
Table of Contents
IntroductionChapter 1: Choosing IngredientsChapter 2: CanningChapter 3: DryingChapter 4: FreezingChapter 5: Jams & JelliesChapter 6: Pickles, Relishes & ChutneysChapter 7: Vinegars & SeasoningsChapter 8: Cold StorageChapter 9: Gifts of Preserved FoodAppendix A: Glossary of TermsAppendix B: ResourcesAppendix C: Table of EquivalentsAppendix D: Converting U.S. Recipe Measurements to MetricIndex