My favorite summer hang out is not the beach or the mountains, but the local farmers' market. The fresh produce has me dreaming of the delicious meals in my future and how can I save it for the fall, winter and early spring.
As the great grand-daughter of farmers, I learned at an early age about freezing, canning and preserving the summer harvest for winter. Early childhood memories include picking tomatoes in grandma's garden to shelling peas on the porch to visits to the farm stands in New York State and coming home sitting between a bushel of broccoli or cauliflower on the right and a bushel of corn on the left. Today, my mom and I still make jam, freeze the extra vegetables purchased at the farmers' market and reminisce about our own childhoods learning a lot about my mother and her family.
These books are what I believe to be some of the "best of the best" on the subject of food preservation. I reviewed newer and older editions alike and thoughtfully considered the information relating to food safety, the how-to's of the particular processes, and the recipes themselves. And though some of them are older, I believe that they still best represent the topic of canning and preserving.
I hope that you, too, will be able to enjoy some homemade jam or freeze a few bags of green beans this summer.
Search by county for the farmers' market. Pick a farm, apple orchard or road side farm stand near you. Learn when certain fruits and vegetables are harvested.
Here is a list of books about canning and preserving. Additional titles can be found by searching canning and preserving; drying food; and food preservation. Canning supplies can be purchased at your local hardware store, large grocery store or specialty kitchen store.
Found some beautifully fresh vegetables that you just could not pass up at the market? Flip through one of your favorite cookbooks for dinner ideas or try one of these which are my current favorites.
Public Relations and Adult Programming Coordinator, Paramus Public Library