Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything

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9780836195125: Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything

From the Preface:

Welcome to the world of preserving food! There's nothing more satisfying than seeing a row of colorful, home-canned jars on your shelf, or serving your friends and family homemade applesauce or strawberry jam in the winter. Preserving your own food brings peace of mind—you know the quality of the ingredients and the care taken in processing. And the flavor is even better—a generous helping of taste for just a little effort.

Until recently, canning was in danger of becoming a lost art. From the early days of putting up food for the winter, canning was a familiar practice in the scrimp-and-save Great Depression and war years of the 1930s and 1940s and the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s.

When Mary married in 1975, her mother gave her a canner, glass mason jars, and the Ball Blue Book Easy Guide to Tasty, Thrifty Canning and Freezing. She remembers the scary feeling of canning for the first time, carefully following the rules step by step. Soon, though, the process became second nature and led to years of satisfying experiences and good eating!

Not everyone continued preserving food at home, however. The 1980s and 1990s brought cheap canned goods to grocery store shelves. Women joined the work force in unprecedented numbers and had little time for homemaking extras. Fewer people had time or interest to grow gardens or buy extra produce to store. The process of canning and preserving food seemed like a mysterious art from the past—not relevant or efficient for modern times.

But something was missing. In the early 2000s, a sharp rise in farmers' markets and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription farms; a greater demand for organic foods; and the growth of local food and slow food movements, urban and community gardens all illustrated people's desire to reconnect with their food.

At the same time, the children of the 1980s and 1990s who grew up learning about care for the earth reached adulthood, and began making lifestyle choices. Many, like Susanna, are choosing healthier, less processed foods.

Today these young adults and others are taking charge of their food. They want to buy fresh and local and grow at least some of their own produce, even if it's one pot of tomatoes on the balcony. They want to feed their babies wholesome meals without additives. They want to be part of the whole experience of food, not just opening a can of tomato soup or a box of flavored noodles.

The good news is that preserving food is not a mysterious art. With variations on a few basic rules, you can pickle, can, freeze, and dry almost anything! With clear steps, photos, and easy-to-follow instructions, this book shows you how. It gives the answer to the big question that comes with abundant CSA boxes and home gardens: What do I do with the extra? The answer is, Enjoy it all year long, from your shelf or freezer!

Happy canning, pickling, freezing, and drying!
—Mary Clemens Meyer and Susanna Meyer

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About the Author:

Mary Clemens Meyer and her husband, Ron, raise certified organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed beef, and pastured poultry on their farm near Fresno, Ohio. They also sell produce at a local farmers' market and run a 35-household CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group. Mary and Ron often field questions from CSA members and market customers about cooking and preserving fresh produce. They are members of First Mennonite Church in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Susanna Meyer works for the nonprofit organization Grow Pittsburgh, growing organic produce and seedlings in the city for restaurants and residents. She also educates children, teenagers, and adults about growing their own food, and will be happy to direct them to this book when their gardens overflow. She and her husband, Neil Stauffer, live on a quiet wooded block in Pittsburgh; they started preserving produce on their own during the years they worked as co-managers for Mildreds' Daughters Urban Farm, also in Pittsburgh.

Review:

A must-have follow-up to Simply in Season, Saving the Seasons takes eating locally and seasonally to the next step beyond fresh. Now one can eat locally and seasonally year round with the knowledge of how to preserve or save the seasons. With the aid of the simple steps and photos, the novice will feel quite comfortable saving the seasons, and the experienced will learn new tricks. All will have wonderful recipes to try.
--Mary Beth Lind, co-author of Simply in Season

With the voice of a trusted friend, Saving the Seasons offers comprehensive guidance and easy-to-follow instructions to the lost art of food preservation. It's the next best thing to having Mom or Grandma in the kitchen with you possibly even better (sorry, Mom).
--Cathleen Hockman-Wert, co-author of Simply in Season

As a mother-daughter team with many years of farming between them, including both rural and urban agriculture, the Meyers are well-placed to present this updated guide on preserving food. They provide simple instructions and a great selection of recipes, from basic jam, pickles, and relish to international favorites like kimchi and chutney. Their tips offer terrific extra tidbits geared toward beginners while useful notes are included on foods for babies and kids.
--Kristi Bahrenburg Janzen, organic, sustainable, and local food/agriculture writer



Saving the Seasons is the newest cookbook from the publishers of the trifecta of beloved Mennonite cookbooks: Simply in Season, More with Less, and Extending the Table. This new work lives up to and expands the ideals of its predecessors.

In the nearly 35 years since More with Less first appeared on the scene, American kitchens have undergone some big changes, and not just in the shift from autumn harvest appliance colors to stainless steel. In much of the country, the locavore movement is in full swing, folks are prioritizing where their food comes from and how it gets to them. They are looking for farmer's markets and buying up farm shares. Vegetable gardens, chicken coops and beehives are popping up in urban neighborhoods, and with the current DIY climate, and the financial necessities many families are facing, the More with Less approach to homemaking has new relevance.

The upsurge in interest in various arts of domesticity and homesteading means this book comes out at exactly the right time for a new group of novice gardeners who are wondering what exactly they are supposed to do with the 10 pounds of pickling cucumbers they accidentally grew.

It is wonderful to have the basics of canning, freezing, stock making, drying, pickling and basically any method of preserving you might think of laid out simply in one place. The volume of information could be overwhelming, as in larger encyclopedic style cookbooks, but the easy style, lovely photography, and directness and simplicity of the instructions take away the intimidation factor. The book begins with a Guide to the Harvest that lays out produce alphabetically, with photos, descriptions, notes on season, recommended preservation methods and an index to recipes in the book.

--Kristi Bahrenburg Janzen, organic, sustainable, and local food/agriculture writer

Each following section is interspersed with notes on preserving in general, some of which are particularly helpful, such as the commentary on what kinds of produce work best for preserving baby foods, and which crops tend to be sprayed more often with pesticides on commercial farms. The authors include the approximate yields you can expect for canning and freezing specific fruits and vegetables, which takes some guesswork out of the process, when you are first getting started. There are brief notes troubleshooting common problems for novice canners, or sharing --Kristi Bahrenburg Janzen, organic, sustainable, and local food/agriculture writer

Each following section is interspersed with notes on preserving in general, some of which are particularly helpful, such as the commentary on what kinds of produce work best for preserving baby foods, and which crops tend to be sprayed more often with pesticides on commercial farms. The authors include the approximate yields you can expect for canning and freezing specific fruits and vegetables, which takes some guesswork out of the process, when you are first getting started. There are brief notes troubleshooting common problems for novice canners, or sharing the origins of recipes beloved by the authors. In addition there is a comprehensive troubleshooting chart for canning problems at the end of the book.

Throughout the book, I appreciated the focus on the genuine basics and necessities for canning. It's no more than I should expect from a book with this book's Mennonite pedigree, but the simplicity of the instructions definitely distinguishes this guide from the other books out there. There is no nitpicking about perfect techniques, and no insistence on using specific new products or trendy cookware. And yes, there is such a thing as trendy canning equipment.

Whether you have a couple of acres of tomatoes or simply an urge to try making Apple Cake in a Jar (59), this book has something for you. The blueberry jam recipe was delicious, the strawberry freezer jam was indescribably easy, and so far the only fault my family has found is with the salsa recipe. We are born and bred Texans though, and have very specific ideas about what constitutes good salsa. Our dissatisfaction probably has more to do with the fact that the lovely authors, based in Pittsburgh and Ohio, haven't been raised on habañeros and probably still have their taste buds intact. Next time I make that particular recipe I may leave the jalapeno seeds IN.

Overall, this book is a useful addition to the library of experienced canners and preservers, and absolutely indispensable for novices.
--Englewood Review of Books --Kristi Bahrenburg Janzen, organic, sustainable, and local food/agriculture writer

As a mother-daughter team with many years of farming between them, including both rural and urban agriculture, the Meyers are well-placed to present this updated guide on preserving food. They provide simple instructions and a great selection of recipes, from basic jam, pickles, and relish to international favorites like kimchi and chutney. Their tips offer terrific extra tidbits geared toward beginners while useful notes are included on foods for babies and kids. --Kristi Bahrenburg Janzen, organic, sustainable, and local food/agriculture writer

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Herald Press (VA), United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Many people today are buying and cooking local food, including the over 85,000 who have bought Simply in Season: A World Community Cookbook. But one of the challenges of cooking and eating locally is how to find the items you need when they are out of season. That s where Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything comes in; cooks can find ways to preserve their favorite seasonal items for use in different parts of the year. This colorful book, full of photographs and clear pictures, shows how to can, freeze or dry various kinds of food. Colorful page borders divide the book into easy-to-find sections. Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything is edited by the mother-daughter team of Mary Meyer and Susanna Meyer, both of whom are involved in sustainable and organic agriculture. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780836195125

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