Winter is coming.
And who wants to eat beets and beans and tomatoes by opening a can?
Best idea: can, preserve, enjoy your crops.
As Cathy Barrow writes in her introduction, “A walk through the weekend farmers’ market is a chance not only to shop for the week ahead but also to plan for the winter months.” Preserving is the only sure way to live locally and sustainably, and Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving (W. W. Norton & Company, $35) shows what home cooks can do to turn the fleeting abundance of the farmers’ market into a well-stocked pantry full of canned fruits and vegetables, jams, stocks, soups and other incredible edibles.
With more than 150 color photographs of finished dishes and produce in season, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry begins by showing the basics of pressure and water-bath canning, supplying readers with the know-how and instruction to create jams, confiture, preserves, chutneys, sauces, and conserves. Further chapters introduce dry-cured, salt-cured, and smoked meats, including homemade bacon as well as canned tuna and salmon. Readers will learn the pros and cons of pectin, the essential technique of brining, and the comforting fact that they can make cheese in their own homes.
Present throughout each chapter are Bonus Recipes, which use ingredients from that pantry of goodness—tomato soup from canned crushed tomatoes, brined pork chops with garlicky bok choy, rugelach made with apricot preserves, kale and potato galette with duck fat crust from homemade crème fraîche and duck confit.Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry is about putting up fresh fruits and vegetables, curing meats, canning beans, and smoking fish. It’s also about supporting your local economy and reaching toward a more sustainable way of life based on the food you consume—and the produce you grow. Tips for choosing the best produce at the right time of season and finding the right equipment for your canning and cooking needs—along with troubleshooting tips to ensure safe preserving—will keep kitchens vibrant all year round.
With astonishing photography and detailed process photo spreads, this is the most practical kind of cookbook, and users will keep it in their kitchen for years, not only for its indelible and delicious recipes but also for the pleasure to be had from its breadth of information. Cathy may even convince you that you need to stop buying Heinz and make your own ketchup. From the strawberries and blueberries of late spring to the peaches, tomatoes, and butter beans of early fall, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry shows you how to create a fresh, delectable, and lasting pantry—a bountiful grocery store in your own home.
Winter is coming.