One of the things that struck me in France was that there were still lots of preserved things on the shelves (and I’m not talking about Bardot), not just in the jam aisle. Although the jam aisle was definitely crammed with interesting flavours that you don’t necessarily get here.
Preserving certainly fits in with the grow your own, credit crunch vibe, and really allows you to extend the season of your hard grown produce. So, here’s a round up of my five choices to preserving your best:
1. The Good Housekeeping Complete Book of Home Preserving – this is my go to book on the subject. Covers everything from jams to chutney, bottling to drying and smoking, if you want a primer for preserving this is it. My original copy show a price of £8.50, Amazon Marketplace sellers have it from £11.59, which is not enough to tempt me to sell!
2. Mes Confitures: The Jams & Jellies of Christine Ferber – I guarantee you did not know there were so many jam flavour combinations in the world! Everytime I open this book I want to make another one! Organised by season so you can make the most of what’s around, the recipes and photographs are wondeful. A definite keeper.
3. Keeping the Harvest – one for all the allotment owners, I think this is an update really to the first book, with similar subject matter, although doesn’t cover meat products.
4. Preserved by Johnny Acton and Nick Sandler – new out in paperback, this is a very attractive book with great photography and covers a wide variety of preserving methods, including making your own sausages and salami (assuming you have a pig to preserve). There’s also a useful guide to building your own smokehouse. In case the fancy takes you.
5. WI Book of Preserves – of course we know there’s more to the Women’s Institute than jam and Jerusalem, but if you don’t think there’s more to jam than the WI then this is the book for you!