One day I walked into the produce section of the grocery store and saw "gherkin cucumbers" for sale. Who would have thought that would be the singular event that got me into canning? I was like "I love pickles, I'm going to make some!" and just bought a bunch with near zero plan. At the time I didn't even know refrigerator pickles existed, but thanks to a great recipe in the Food in Jars recipe index I made my very first batch of pickles. It was easy, fun and damnit those pickles were SO good. Marisa did and does a great job of showing you that canning isn't something to be intimidated by and the results can be amazing. I got her first book, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year Round and I've posted about a few recipes, here is my first pickle experiment, chunky fig jam and dilly beans. I've used that book a lot and like the recipes so much that I actually write notes to myself in it. For me, that's insane. It is with zero question my favorite cookbook.
Well Marisa has come out with a new book and I was lucky enough to be able to meet her and buy a copy at her Reading Terminal Market book signing this past weekend! It was really cool to meet her and ask her about her favorite local produce markets. This new book seems like it would be the absolute perfect book for anyone who wants to test the waters of home preserving, it's called Preserving by the Pint. It was written for people who have CSAs they have trouble using up each week, people who have tiny garden plots or people who just like getting small amounts of fun things at farmers' markets. The recipes are for small quantities and basically serve to keep you from letting good produce go to waste by preserving them quickly and easily. As a side benefit the recipes aren't too labor intensive, so no blanching 20lbs of tomatoes here. Another thing I really like about this book is that it's organized by seasons, so at a quick glance you can see all your options for what you have on hand.
With recipes like Salt-Preserved Herbs, Single Quart Sauerkraut, Maple Sweetened Apple Butter and Pickled Hot Pepper Rings how can you lose? This year that head of cabbage as large as a basketball isn't going to waste! I absolutely cannot wait to pickle some hot pepper rings, my Grandpa is going to be so amped to get some homemade snacks. Super excited about this one guys, definitely worth checking out.