“Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving” edited by Judy Harrold
Jarden Home Brands, $11.95
“Better Homes and Gardens Complete Canning Guide: Freezing, Preserving, Drying” edited by Jan Miller
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co., $29.99
482-page hardcover ring-binder
“Preservation Society Home Preserves: 100 Modern Recipes” by Camilla Wynne
Robert Rose Inc., $24.95
Home gardeners sometimes find themselves with too much of a good thing. What to do with that overabundance of vegetables and fruit? They might share summer’s bounty with friends and neighbors. Another good option is canning and preserving.
Summer also is when publishers market books on preserving and canning. Among the latest are Jarden Home Brands’ 37th edition of “Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving” edited by Judy Harrold; “Better Homes and Gardens Complete Canning Guide: Freezing Preserving Drying” edited by Jan Miller; and Camilla Wynne’s “Preservation Society Home Preserves: 100 Modern Recipes.”
Local gardeners interested in canning figs probably will prefer the “Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving” because its recipes for making fig jam, pickles and preserves don’t specify the types of fresh figs to use. Recipes in the other two books require mission or black figs, or dried figs.
Many home canners are probably familiar with the “Ball Blue Book Guide” — it’s been around since 1909. This edition includes recipes for all kinds of fresh preserving, from canning high-acid foods to freezing and dehydrating. A new section, “Meal Creations,” offers dishes made with fresh preserved food such as Jelly-Filled Oat Muffins, Savory Carrot-Fennel Soup and Chicken Cacciatore. It opens with canning basics, from selecting the correct canning method to what equipment to use and the “how-to” of processing.
The “Better Homes and Gardens Complete Canning Guide” features 330 recipes and nutrition information with each recipe, and includes lower-sugar and no-pectin recipes, plus 60 canning labels. It, too, opens with info on canning basics, including the basics of pressure canning and how to troubleshoot problems such as fruit floats in the jar or jams and jellies containing crystals. Among its chapters are those on “Fermented Foods & Pickles,” “Drying,” “Syrups & Compotes” and “Tomatoes.”
Canadian Camilla Wynne, who turned her interest in canning and preserving into a business, Preservation Society, offers creative creations in her book. They include Bananas Foster Jam, Peach Jam With Bourbon and Honey, Figs in Fernet Syrup and Maple Ginger Pickled Beets.
All three books are illustrated with full-color photographs.
Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @CheramieSonnier.