I occasionally get frustrated by how complicated and scary that certain books or articles make preserving sound. I’m not a renegade (I’m one of the more cautious people I know when it comes to these things) but we sometimes make preserving sound like a near-seat activity with warning labels larger than we place on alcohol or cigarettes.
I’m also cautious when it comes to haphazard writing that encourages people to contravene standards set by science, safety or common sense.
Marisa’s book weaves a wonderful path away from both extremes. Although her instructions and eyes to safety will keep you on the right track it’s the tone of her writing that I adore the most. When reading the book it’s easy to imagine that you’re sitting on a stool at a farmer’s market discussing jam with her.
This is the follow-up book to Food in Jars (named after her incredibly popular and well-respected website of the same name). It’s focus is small-batch preserving; most of the recipes are 1-2 pints. This makes the recipes quick to make and easy to store.
- Once again the book is beautiful. The photography is great and the design elements are sweet.
- It’s seasonal. Each of the 4 sections are almost equal in length which thrills me. Winter recipes aren’t an afterthought that were thrown in to make things work; this book is absolutely useful all year long.
- There are multiple techniques. Fermenting, freezing and water bath recipes can all be found in it.
- The recipes are simple. Although they’re easy to follow, it’s the confidence in simple ingredients and flavours (many of the recipes have 3-5 ingredients) that make her recipes shine here.
- The small batch concept. I know I’ve mentioned this above but this is a great resource for showing how easy preserving can be and for saving small batches of food that you might otherwise lose.
As I read through the book I was floored to read a mention of Dana and I and WellPreserved. Marisa and I have been online friends for the last few years and we had chatted about my ‘Blueberry Crack’ recipe (it’s made of wild blueberries and maple syrup) and she had made a tweaked version of it. She used her version of the recipe in her book and went above-and-beyond by sharing us as the influence behind it. I am beyond thankful.