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The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch…

The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Delicious… (edition 2001)

by Ellie Topp

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337654,830 (4.02)None
The easiest and safest methods for making delectable preserves in small batches -- all year long. "Takes the pressure off cooks who don't have much time... but still want to savor the season's bounty." -Chicago Tribune (Review of the prior edition) The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving takes the guesswork out of home preserving. Both beginners and pros can make the most of fresh fruits and vegetables when these are readily available and inexpensive. Because these recipes require a minimum of time and fuss, home cooks will enjoy creating the preserves almost as much as everyone will enjoy tasting them. Included are both traditional and new recipes. Detailed instructions provide the safest and latest processing methods. Some recipes are suitable for microwaves. A brand new chapter features freezer preserving as an alternative to the traditional methods. The more than 300 enticing recipes include: Jams, jellies and low-sugar spreads Conserves, butters and curds Pickles, relishes and chutneys Salsas, mustards and marinades Flavored oils Dessert sauces, syrups and liqueurs. With delectable recipes and professional tips, The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving is the ideal guide for anyone who craves home-made preserves but doesn't want to spend all day in the kitchen.… (more)
Title:The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Delicious Recipes
Authors:Ellie Topp
Info:Firefly Books (2001), Hardcover, 351 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes to Use Year-Round by Ellie Topp


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It's exciting to find a canning book written by a food scientist. This book is "considered a safe canning book by many informed, experienced canners, as Topp has a Masters degree in food science (University of Wisconsin), where she did a major in experimental foods with a minor in microbiology on organisms causing foodborne illness. She was then a research associate in the Department of Food Research at the University of Illinois." (Healthy Canning website) And the information on equipment, processes, and set-up is sterling.

This book is definitely a keeper for the canning reference shelf!

However, this isn't going to replace my Ball Blue Book. There are a lot of fancy flavour combinations, but few that I really want to make in quantity. Good thing it's a small batch cookbook. (Gingered Pear Apricot Conserve? Plum Conserve with Maple Syrup? They sound really good, but breakfast is a time for standard comfort food; these might shine on the afternoon tea table!). I thought I'd found a reason to love the book in its pages of mustard recipes, but none of them were actually preserved; all said "keep up to two weeks in refrigerator" -- that's a lot of mustard to eat in two weeks, unless I was cooking for a large commune! I did find some very attractive jams, but I was slightly discouraged because many of the recipes involve lengthy cooking to reach the "gel" stage. And some of the recipes puzzle me because I don't know the author's cultural background -- does Ms Topp's taste in Oriental ginger or pickled daikon align with mine? How authentic are these recipes? (When there's soy sauce in the pickled ginger, I am fearing not entirely.) The Indian chutney "along the lines of ... Major Gray (sic)" doesn't have any of the same major (Grey) ingredients. And the Satay Sauce recipe uses peanut butter, usually on the do-not-can list, so I wish she'd given her reasoning or research as to why it's an exception to the general rules. ( )
  muumi | Aug 6, 2019 |
I'm a little in love with this book, which covers jams, jellies, marmalades, conserves, pickles, chutneys, salsa, flavored oils and vinegars (the latter two I'll never make). By far this one is my favorite canning cookbook I've read so far, ever.

It focuses on small batch water bath canning - exactly what I'm looking to do. Make small batches of food, using ingredients mainly from my garden, with maybe a couple of things added (like peppers, because my garden right now is just not producing peppers). Another reviewer mentioned the book had a "vintage" feel to it - the recipes, that is, not the book itself - which is probably why I like the recipes so much.

There are a lot of freezer / fridge "canning" in here, but the name of the book is small batch preserving, not small batch canning, so it's to be expected that there's a variety of prserving methods included. ( )
  anastaciaknits | Oct 29, 2016 |
Excellent recipes! This is one of my go-to books when canning small amounts of veggies and fruits. I have discovered chutneys, and loads of recipes to use with the fruits foraged and harvested from our yard, neighbors, and friends, this past year thanks to this book! ( )
  Sundownr | Jan 26, 2011 |
I'm trying to like this one but I can't see how it's much better than the Ball Book, for example. ( )
  lemontwist | Oct 28, 2010 |
Well, I sort of read it. I went through and read the information at the beginning about canning and preserving in general, then the chapter introductions as I came to them, and of course the recipes. It starts with jams and preserves - sweet spreads with fruit in them. I found quite a few recipes I want to try. Then jellies - sweet spreads made just from juice (sometimes with flavoring things - herbs or spices - put in when they're canned). Then - I think marmalades were next (mostly citrus-type jams with peel in them, sweet-tart), then conserves (sweetish spreads with both fruits and nuts). Then it got onto odd stuff - chutneys and relishes and salsa, mustard, sauces of various sorts from butterscotch and fudge to blueberry lime, and pickles of many kinds. The pickles included pickled ginger; the salsas had a mango variety. There were also ketchups, including a mango one. And pickled tomatoes. And lots of stuff, most of which I'd never eat so I wouldn't make it. But the sweet spreads, the marmalades, and the sauces had many interesting recipes. I don't know how well they work, since I haven't actually made any yet, but they're very simply presented. The information on canning - the step-by-step process for short-time processing, the information on why you take particular steps and how they help preserve the food, and the general information about ingredients were all very useful - I learned things that had puzzled me for some time. There's also a recipe for homemade pectin from apples, which looks useful. However, it was a little annoying that the authors used a variety of pectins in their recipes and said at the beginning that the various types 'were not interchangeable' without explaining why not or what sort of conversions might be possible. So the homemade pectin can be used in about 10 recipes listed right with it, and not with any of the hundreds of others in the book. I will, of course, figure out how to use it by trial and error, but they could have made it much more useful with just a little more information there. Overall - good basic information, lots of recipes ranging from basic to pretty exotic, and - in the back of the book - just a few recipes for using some of your newly canned products. Fun. ( )
1 vote jjmcgaffey | Nov 26, 2009 |
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