Booklist Reviews

With the present obsession among consumers for locally grown fruits and vegetables, the practice of putting up foods has undergone a renaissance. As West points out, the real goal of home canning, pickling, and preserving is to retain for future enjoyment the special flavors of foods freshly plucked from the earth or snatched from trees and vines. West's recipes, clearly written, cover everything from dill pickles to complex marmalades. Antique fruits appear as well as fiery kimchi. In addition to his recipes, West has scattered through the text reminiscences, anecdotes, and reflections on personalities associated in some way to the world of canning and preserving. As is the case with any discussion of canning, West takes great pains to be sure his readers appreciate the critical importance of safe technique to avoid any risk of contamination and food-borne illness. For those with the requisite access, storage space, equipment, and motivation, West's guide will prove invaluable. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

Journalist West, who is certified as a master food preserver by the University of California Cooperative Extension, explores the various preserves available through the four seasons. Each base recipe includes variations to please any palate; the recipe for Black Mission Fig Jam offers directions to flavor it with Syrah, Madeira, or Smoky Black Tea. While the cookbook's four-season concept skews toward the availability of fruits and vegetables in Southern California's long growing season, appendixes of peak seasons by region and tables of fruit varieties provide extensive information for cooks in any region. More than just recipes, the book also contains stories of the author's travels throughout the States, as well as regional preserving traditions. VERDICT A lot of information is packed into this not-so-little cookbook, covering the basics of preserving along with easy to advanced recipes. The combination of recipes and musings makes this a great read both in and out of the kitchen.—Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Lib., Easthampton, MA

[Page 95]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

This cookbook by West, journalist and home-canning blogger, venerates the art of "putting up" seasonal bounty of regional hillside orchards, forests, and gardens. Southern roots and childhood memories of home canning with grandparents inspire West's passion for capturing the taste of the seasons in a jar. In an impressive practical guide rich in storytelling and culinary information, this self-described urban dweller who doesn't garden provides a thorough compendium of essential techniques for preserving the harvest. Including recipes reflecting timely produce, West instructs readers on how to make jams and jellies, pickles, canned tomatoes, and condiments like relish and salsas. Spring recipes feature asparagus and ramps, as well as sour cherry preserves made with mint and honey; summer is time for a smoky tomato jam with paprika; fall canning includes grapes, pears, and apples in jams and jellies and pumpkin or persimmon butters; winter preserves citrus in syrups, curds, and cordials and in a wide variety of marmalades. An appendix charts peak dates of ripeness and details about produce varieties. Because "nature's bounty is abundant but fleeting," West shows home cooks how to save the season through the tradition of canning. Agent: David Kuhn, Kuhn Projects. (June)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

PW Annex Reviews

This cookbook by West, journalist and home-canning blogger, venerates the art of "putting up" seasonal bounty of regional hillside orchards, forests, and gardens. Southern roots and childhood memories of home canning with grandparents inspire West's passion for capturing the taste of the seasons in a jar. In an impressive practical guide rich in storytelling and culinary information, this self-described urban dweller who doesn't garden provides a thorough compendium of essential techniques for preserving the harvest. Including recipes reflecting timely produce, West instructs readers on how to make jams and jellies, pickles, canned tomatoes, and condiments like relish and salsas. Spring recipes feature asparagus and ramps, as well as sour cherry preserves made with mint and honey; summer is time for a smoky tomato jam with paprika; fall canning includes grapes, pears, and apples in jams and jellies and pumpkin or persimmon butters; winter preserves citrus in syrups, curds, and cordials and in a wide variety of marmalades. An appendix charts peak dates of ripeness and details about produce varieties. Because "nature's bounty is abundant but fleeting," West shows home cooks how to save the season through the tradition of canning. Agent: David Kuhn, Kuhn Projects. (June)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC