Wow. Thank you, Saveur!
SAVING THE SEASON: A COOK'S GUIDE TO HOME CANNING, PICKLING, AND PRESERVINGby Kevin West
This cookbook is unlike any other on my shelf. West approaches his topic—home canning and preserving—with a reporter's attention to detail and a poet's sensibility; it's less a canning tutorial and cookbook than it is a collection of absorbing personal essays, literary excerpts, explications of culinary history, and friendly advice, all of which happens to be punctuated by appealing, easy-to-follow recipes. That's not to say the book isn't suitable as a practical guide for the canning novice; you'll learn the differences between jam, jelly, and marmalade, how acid and salt affect the pH balance of your preserves (keeping botulism at bay), and what fruits are naturally high in pectin. But you'll also read about the first time West picked wild ramps, the literary history of the Thanksgiving meal, and how to make killer blackberry molasses. The text dances on, its cadence dictated by the season, and while there are more than enough spring and summer recipes to keep you busy every weekend from now through the end of August (I, for one, can't wait to make my own Maraschino cherries), West's engaging stories will probably have you reading ahead, looking forward to homemade pumpkin butter and blood orange marmalade. —Cory Baldwin
Purchase Saving the Season