Book Review: Preserving by the Pint

preserving by the pintFor many gardeners, canning is a way to say, “Winter — take that! I will continue to enjoy my garden no matter how much snow you throw at me.” And, there’s a great satisfaction in seeing a long row of canned jars of pickles, tomatoes or applesauce.

But not everyone has room to can or store large amounts of food, and it’s for those folks that Marisa McClellan wrote Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces (Running Press, 2014). This is McClellan’s second book on preserving and it’s a treasure trove of unusual recipes for year-round preserving, from fermented radishes in spring to citrus curds in winter. She also operates the website Food in Jars.

McClellan begins with a quick review of canning and pickling procedures and a few thoughts on equipment. (You only need three basic pans.) All of the recipes she provides are pickled without processing or use the boiling water canning method, which is the simplest way to preserve food and works only with acid foods like tomatoes, fruit and pickles. The bulk of the book is a seasonal collection of recipes for pickles, jams and other sweet and savory condiments.

In fall, for instance, she offers recipes for Fig Jam with Thyme, Pickled Hot Pepper Rings and Green Tomato Salsa, among others. Most recipes make only two or three small jars, and I have to admit that I was tempted to double or triple a couple of recipes in order to get more — the results sounded that tasty.

This book would make a great gift for a beginning canner or the foodie in your life who wants to try Garlic Scape and Arugula Pesto or Chocolate Pear Jam. It’s available at the MSHS Bookstore for $23.

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