Saving the Season | A post by Head Book Buyer, Sherri Gallentine

by Rachel on July 16, 2013

Learn about canning, pickling, and preserving and celebrate summer all year long!

Today's post comes from our Head Book Buyer, Sherri Gallentine.  Sherri has wonderful taste in books and food, so she knows a great cookbook when she sees one!

Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving
by Kevin West

I’ve been perusing Kevin West’s Saving the Season and decided to devote a morning to putting up some pickles and jam.  If you’re at all interested in canning, West’s book is a must.  Not only is it chock-full of all the information required to make a batch of jam, it is also filled with personal stories and anecdotes.  This book has tons of gorgeous photos to inspire you and is organized by season so that no matter what time of year it is, you can head into the kitchen and get started.

I decided to start with dill pickle spears and peach jam.  The pickles must first be submerged in brine overnight. This is how they looked after 24 hours in the brine:

The cucumber spears are then packed into jars with garlic cloves added.   The brine is added back to the jars along with some vinegar and they’re ready for the processing in a hot-water bath.

Next, on to the peach jam!

The peaches must be macerated with sugar and lemon juice for 30 minutes.

The jam was ladled into sterilized jars and off to the hot-water
batch for processing.

At the end of my morning I had 12 pretty jars of pickles and peach
jam that taste as good as they look!

Because Saving the Season is comprised mostly of recipes for small-batch preserving, I didn’t have to spend too much time to get wonderful results.   This is the perfect time of year in Southern California to head to the farmers market, or your backyard, to gather beautiful produce and make some preserves to enjoy later on.