Although it’s customary to review books the moment they come out, I just couldn’t do a review of Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry when it came out. We were in the heart of writing our book at the time and I was avoiding all writing about preserving in order to keep focused on what had to be done for it and didn’t want to accidentally influence it by reading the work of others. It was a self-imposed cone-of-silence that I couldn’t wait to break.
Mrs Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry was worth the wait – and more! We adore Cathy and her book.
Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s book is a tome. 400+ beautiful pages that lives up to the promise of the title of the book – this is an accessible exploration of preserving food and cooking with it.
Did I mention it’s beautiful?
5 Reasons Why We Love Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry
- It’s accessible/ not intimidating. Sure, it’s a large book but it’s not an encyclopedia. It’s easily digestible into small bits and even new preservers can start at a random page and not be lost.
- It has multiple techniques. Cathy has lots of jams and pickles but goes beyond them and explores water-bath canning, pressure canning, preserving meat/fish (i.e. curing and smoking) and fresh cheese making.
- It’s beautiful. I know I’ve said that 3 times. The photography is truly stunning.
- It goes beyond the pantry. Cathy shares recipes that show you not just how to fill a pantry – but how to empty it (and isn’t that the fun part?)
- It’s technical without being overwhelming. This book will show you how to preserve meat, pressure can fish and make cheese – and Cathy keeps her instructions simple and easy to follow.
I had the chance to spend a few hours with Cathy when she was travelling with her book. Her passion is infectious and it’s easy to read within the pages of her book. You can sample her writing on her site (check out “5 Days to Corned Beef. Just Do It” to see how simple she easily removes the mystique around a possibly difficult topic) or order her book here.
Did I mention that it’s beautiful?