It is no secret that I am a fan of Canning and preserving my own foods. Even though my kids have rolled their eyes when I have asked them to help (which I think they inherited from me....I used to do that too), several of the items we have canned are preferred items. A Case in point was when I made a batch of Strawberry jam. My youngest son ate 3 jars before warning me that I needed to make more because it wasn't going to last the winter. The goal is always to have your Food Storage and Food Preservation last the winter...and a bit beyond.
Anyone who has ventured into the world of canning inevitably has had a few questions. That is certainly the case for me. That is why I was really glad to read and review this new publication by Daisy Luther entitled "The Organic Canner". (Ms. Luther gracious provided a copy of her work for me to review)
The Organic Canner....
I always wondered how folks canned or preserved items before the likes of our modern 'thickening' agents that are used in things like Jams and Jellies. I also wondered how to ensure that you have removed all the pesticides that may be on your produce.
Additionally (and professionally), I work with families that have children with feeding and swallowing disorders. Many of them are on some type of elimination diet due to Gastrointestinal or Allergic reasons. These families quickly learn how to cook from scratch as prepared foods just don't meet the special needs of their little ones.
These, along with other reasons are why I was interested in reviewing this book.
Points of Interest:
- Ms. Luther explains why she has objections to "Genetically Mutated Organisms". She even has her own "Manifesto" which explains her views.
- She gives 'doable' mentoring on how to water-bath and pressure can at home.
- She sheds light on how to make your own Jams and Jellies without "the box". It is straightforward and I plan to try it as soon as berries are in season. By using her method, you actually get 2 products....the jam and fruit syrup.
- Canning meats is also discussed, which is a personal favorite of mine. She highlights the serious leftovers we all often have during the holidays. Canning the extra Turkey or Ham is a great way to extend their use.
- Did you know that you may preserve Nuts such as Pecans, Walnuts, and Hazelnuts? I once had a disaster with nuts in my pantry. I won't go into it, but I learned a painful lesson. I had always thought that I would need to seal nuts in jars with my dry-pack canning device. However, I learned that you can also do this with Water-bath canning. Yea! I'm going to try it!
- There are many recipes that I have 'dog-eared' the corner of the page because I want to try them. Here are just a few to pique your interest: Beef stroganoff, Marinara with Meatball, Cajun Jambalaya, Sloppy Joe Filling, Deep South BBQ, Vegetables and Fruits with a twist, Random Pickled Veggies, Honey Vidalia BBQ Sauce, Taco Sauce and many more.
- She has a section dealing with canning your own recipes. She gives thoughtful advice on how to determine the method and time needed for your favorites.
- The only 'glitch' is that she refers to page 237 for directions on "Removing Pesticide from Produce" which actually appears on page 231. This is not a big issue in my view.
I love this portion of her Disclaimer: "Ultimately, though, you bear the responsibility for your own food and safety practices." Overall, that is true for any food activity we participate in and is something we really need to be thoughtful about. If you are concerned about what is in your food and how it is prepared, then this book may really fit the bill for you.
If you are looking for a way to preserve your food more from a 'ground up' approach, you should consider "The Organic Canner". As of this writing, the price is $16.75 on Amazon. You most likely will spend more than that going out for dinner and a movie!