Since canning my first batch of meyer lemon marmalade last month, I’ve been in a total canning frenzy. I’ve made salt preserved lemons, Indian lemon pickles, lemon curd, strawberry butter, strawberry jam with Thai herbs, strawberry and lemon preserves, strawberry syrup with chamomile, zucchini pickles, and cucumber relish. Whew. I’m running out of room in our tiny pantry and summer has barely started!
All of the recipes that I have used have come from Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff. I picked up a stack of books on canning from the library and quickly decided that this was my favorite so I bought a copy for myself. There are several aspects to the book that make it the best, in my opinion. The first is that the recipes really do have bold, modern, and interesting flavors. While plain jam is delicious, I will admit to being a total foodie in that I’m always interested in trying something new and different. This book delivers. It also gives suggestions for different ways to tweak the flavors yourself which opens up all sorts of room for experimentation in the future.
While containing plenty of inspiration for those familiar with canning, it also walks through every step for people new to it. Even better, it tells you why certain steps are important. Most canning books will just tell you that you need to acidify everything that isn’t canned in a pressure cooker. This book breaks down all of the elements that prevent botulism from growing and explains which parts of canning prep minimize each of those elements. As a scientist, I like to know why I’m doing certain things instead of just being told that I need to do them.
Canning for a New Generation only has recipes for water bath canning (which anyone can do on their stovetop). You have to be really into it to get a pressure canner (and I’m just not there yet) so I was glad that all of the book is useable.
I’ve read reviews that criticize this book for doing things the hard way – the author doesn’t include store bought pectin in the vast majority of her recipes. However, I like that. It’s simple to get the pectin you need out of pith and rinds and some apples tossed into particularly needy recipes. I’m fine with doing a little bit of extra work for a more natural product. Every recipe that I have used turned out delicious, so I sure believe the author knows what she’s doing!
Please note, I was not compensated for this post. I just think that this book is an awesome resource and I wanted to share! The amazon link is an affiliate link, but you’ll probably be able to find this book at your library, so check it out!