We lived on my grandparent’s farm so I grew up and watched my grandmother, my aunts and my mom freeze, can and preserve food. I remember sitting on our back porch shelling peas and lima beans and shucking corn for freezing. I also helped peel peaches for canning. In addition, my mom and aunts used to make jelly, ketchup, can pears, tomatoes, and so many other things. They entered their products at the state and county fairs and have tons of ribbons.
When I got my own home, I also started a garden and would freeze things after I got a freestanding freezer, and can tomatoes and tomato sauce. Passing the tradition on one year, I helped my sister-in-law can peaches and later when my nieces visited that summer, we canned dill pickles. I had such a small kitchen the smell became too much for them and we still laugh about it.
I have been impressed with the Atlantic Publishing Group’s Back to Basics series and looked forward to reading The Complete Guide to Food Preservation: Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Freeze, Dry, Can and Preserve Food by Angela Williams Duea. She wrote a user-friendly book up that takes you through the steps of canning very clearly so if you are new to food preservation this is the perfect guide. She also gives information on troubleshooting canning problems. Chapters on freezing food, smoking and preserving meat, juicing and other preservation methods are included. The Appendix has recipes for each category, such as fruit, tomatoes, vegetables, meats, seafood and a section on recipes for dried food.
Throughout the book charts, diagrams, and some black and white photographs are included that help explain the procedures. This book is readable and the newbie to food preservation will find a very helpful guide but the more seasoned cook will also find helpful hints and wonderful recipes.
In this economy and with people wanting organic fruits and vegetables more families are gardening today. This book would be a helpful reference to food presentation when you end up with an overabundance of tomatoes, or your local farmer has a surplus and you want to save some money. I highly recommend it.