Canning, preserving, putting up – storing your own food has become a hip and trendy thing to do again. Of course, the last time that putting food in jars for preservations was part of the norm, it was out of necessity to sustain large groups of people through the months that fresh food was not readily available. Families are much smaller now and the recipes for putting up bushels of produce are no longer practical. Amy Bronee’s book, The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes, dishes out a series of creations that will fit in almost anyone’s pantry.
This book contains traditional sweet and savoury preserves and uses strictly powdered pectin. I appreciate that Amy has stuck to one method throughout the book. As a publication that is aimed at beginners, simple is best. Amy also uses modern measurement terms when referencing which size jars to use. While more experienced canners might easily remember and translate quarts, pints, and half pints to one litre, two cup, and one cup measures, having one less thing to worry about is just another step towards preserving success. The photography also gives a close up of what to expect from your end product. I would caution those just starting out on their canning journey that achieving the red found in some of the pictures is not entirely realistic. While pectin-based jams and jellies do require less cooking time and therefore don’t dampen the natural fruit colouring as much as long-boil, non-pectin based recipes do, some degradation does occur.
The strawberry sundae sauce in The Canning Kitchen is a good example of a simple, no fuss recipe that is great for beginners. It has only two ingredients and makes up a very manageable 5 jars of sauce.
The Canning Kitchen does a very good job of providing simple, clear instructions for anyone wishing to put up practical, familiar foods. The format is especially useful for beginners. I sincerely hope Amy has the chance to compile another series of more advanced techniques in the future.
Strawberry Sundae Sauce
- 6 lb strawberries
- 5 cups white sugar
Wash, hull, and half the strawberries into a large, heavy bottom pot.
Lightly crush with a potato masher.
Stir in sugar
Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Remove from heat and gently remove the fruit scum
Ladle into 5-2 cup jars, leaving 1/4 head space
Water process 15 minutes.