Does Canning & Preserving Fruit Interest You?
When I started my gardening last spring (something I never thought I would ever be into) I started to feel an intense love for everything that I produced. When I didn’t pick in time and the produce went bad (i.e. my cucumbers who succumbed to a pickleworm infestation) I felt like all my hard work was just.. wasted. I keep thinking, if only I had picked them in time, maybe the pickleworms would not have found (and killed) my cucumber plant.
But, back then I had no idea what to do with the multiple huge cucumbers that I had on a vine. I had picked a few earlier on but they went bad before I could get around to eating them. Again, wasted food.
What I should have done then, but had no knowledge of, is the various fruit recipes and a way to preserve fruit. I had no idea about how and I needed canning help.
Then I stumbled upon this book, Put ‘Em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook by Sherri Brooks.
Could this be the answer to my gardening woes this upcoming spring and summer harvest?
Put ‘Em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook Summary
A preserving guide and cookbook all in one! This creative collection has 80 inventive recipes for preserving all kinds of fruit, from apples, berries, and cherries to lemons, quince, and tomatoes, but it also has 80 recipes for using those preserves (or ones you buy at the store) in main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and cocktails.
Make Quick Peach Jam and then use it to make mouthwatering Sweet and Sour Chicken, or make Grapefruit and Sultana Conserve and use it in Sauteed Greens with Grapefruit Dressing.
The flavors are fresh and contemporary, and the instructions are thorough and easy to follow. Putting up the harvest has never been so delicious!
My Book Review of Put ‘Em Up Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook
Put ‘Em Up Fruit consisted of 80 ways to not only preserve fruit, but how to use the preserved jellies, jams, and marmalades. This cookbook and preserving guide was much more than I had anticipated. I didn’t expect to find recipes for salad dressings, marinades, and desserts.
I had only expected to, maybe, learn a few methods of preserving food at home. What I got with Put ‘Em Up Fruit was much more than I ever could have expected.
The book is separated into two different sections.
Part One – Getting Started
Part one consists of a very thorough guide on how to use the book. We learn how to spot good fruits for preserving, the various definitions, how to follow the directions (because admit it, you’re not very good at doing that), preserving pointers, and some troubleshooting methods when our sweet preserves go sour.
The definitions really helped me as I honestly had no idea the difference between jelly, jam, and preserves. Sherri Brooks Vinton explains in great detail:
- Fruit Cheese
And yes, you can pretty much expect to learn how to make all of these in part 2 of Put ‘Em Up! Fruit.
Part Two – Recipes
This is the super exciting part. Author Sherri Brooks Vinton gives us recipes for using everything from apples, blueberries, strawberries (and the usual) to preserving with grapefruit, quince, rhubarb, tomatoes and everything in between. Part two is separated by fruit so you can skip forward to whatever type of fruit you enjoy and go from there.
When reading this book, I thought a lot of my daughter Kate and her food intolerances. I paid special attention to her safe foods which included apples, cherries, peaches and pears. Because I was already familiar with how to make applesauce, I really enjoyed learning how to turn my applesauce into applebutter.
Other recipes in the apple section included learning how to make apple cider (and apple cider vinegar!) The apple cider vinegar was something I was especially excited to learn how to do as apple cider vinegar has such amazing health and home benefits. The recipe states that you should expect to get 1 quart of cider for every 4 pounds of apples using the hot pressing method (as explained earlier in her book) or 8lbs of apples using the cold pressing method. 3 cups of the apple cider is expected to turn into 2 cups of apple cider vinegar.
Now, I know that the cost of 4lbs or organic apples turns out to be quite expensive for just under a quart of apple cider vinegar. You may be able to try and convince yourself that you can easily go and get a gallon of store brand apple cider vinegar for much less, but believe me, you get what you pay for. A natural homemade unprocessed PURE apple cider vinegar is probably one of the best things you can have in your home, year round. It is worth the price of 4lbs-8lbs of apples for a quart. Plus, where is the self satisfaction in just going to the store and purchasing it?
Now, I don’t want to go into further details about the various recipes, but I assure you — this is a must have book for anyone who is interested in living a more natural, self-sufficient life or simply if you love to cook! Your efforts will surely go noticed.