Blogaversary: Put ’em Up! (Giveaway)

I come from a long line of canners and food preservers (well, at least I know my Mom made jam and my Grandmother canned loads of stuff from her prolific southern California vegetable garden), but most of what I learned has been self taught. By the time I got around to being interested in making jam and pickling beans and cucumbers, both these women were not around to ask and I used resources like the National Center for Home Food Preservation and more recently, fellow bloggers Sean at Punk Domestics and Marisa at Food in Jars, to fill in the gaps. Most of canning is about following directions and ensuring balance of proportions in the final product, and while there is certainly room for experimenting, food safety dictates a certain rule-following behavior.

Food writer Sherri Brooks Vinton is out with a new book this year, Put ’em Up! Fruit, a continuation of her 2010 book Put ’em Up! Both of these books are ideal for learning how to preserve food, including canning, pickling, drying and freezing. With summer about to start, I was pleased to have the opportunity to review and host a book giveaway!

I spent the most time with Put ’em Up!, the original, and homed in on the chapter about carrots. Mariquita Farms offered a special bulk sale of Imperator Carrots and I ordered a 10 pound bag. A big batch of Chilled Carrot Cumin Soup with Lime used a bunch, and with the remaining I decided to tackle two of the pickles in Vinton’s book, Dilled Carrots and Spicy Carrots. Both recipes were easy to follow and did not require kitchen heroics, either with needed tools or special ingredients. And they turned out so pretty (have not tasted yet, will wait a couple weeks for the vinegar to do its thing).

Because time is short today and I am sure you are dying to get to the giveaway, let’s do a Pro/Con on these books:

Pros:

Beautiful design and photos make these books fun to read

Books are divided by fruits and veggies, so all the carrot recipes are grouped together

Vinton provides handy follow on recipes, Use it Up!, using the preserved items, like Watermelon Martinis using Watermelon Aqua Fresca

I learned about new things, like Gastriques, Avoiding Siphoning and making Limoncello in a 5-gallon glass jar (who has one of those?)

Cons:

Good thing these book is fun to read, because there is so much content in here that is not indexed that you will need to sit down and read it cover to cover. Tips are hidden in amongst the recipes and you may find it best to keep a stack of post-its while reading. The illustrations in the first book and photographs in the second book help immensely with comprehension of tricky topics.

Perhaps too many kinds of preserving are covered, might have been easiest to stick with canning and pickling.

Would be nice if the books were spiral-bound so they would lay flat while cooking.

Oh, who am I kidding, I am digging for Cons, these books are both great and are a must for anyone interested in developing their food preservation skills!

NOW, THE CONTEST!

There is a copy of each of these books with your name all over it, and here is what you need to do to have a chance to win:

1. Leave a comment below answering this question: What is one tip you would pass onto friends about canning? (Mine? Only can the stuff you actually eat. It is amazing how you can get caught up in a great sounding recipe, only to realize you don’t eat that item. Like me and Peach Jam. Not BFFs)

Small print: One entry per person. Be sure to include your email address (which is not visible on the blog) so that I can contact you if you win. Sweepstakes runs from May 22-25 at 12midnight, winner announced on Sunday, May 26. Winners have 48 hours to respond before the next winner is announced. Winners will be selected using Random.org, a random number generator, from all the qualified entries. Open to residents of the United States only.

Disclosure: I contacted Storey Publishing about partnering together on my 5th Blogaversary giveaway extravaganza. They sent me review copies of these two books. All opinions are my own.

The contest is now closed, thank you to all of you who stopped by and submitted your own canning tips!

The winner of the contest is:

Congratulations to Tammy G for suggesting we keep an open mind when canning and preserving, pointing out that so many things can be canned and preserved!

 

20 comments

  1. Keep an open mind. There are so many things that can be canned and preserved. The options are limitless!

  2. If you packaged home canned items nicely, they make great gifts!

  3. I am not sure of jam is considered canning, but all fruits have their own natural pectin, so you don’t have to use the powdery stuff at all. That one thing kept me from making jam forever because I don’t like jam that behaves like Jell-O.

  4. If you’re new to canning but really want to try, don’t talk yourself out of it. Ask someone with experience for help if possible, do your research, and have fun .

  5. Make sure that you mark the lids with a Sharpie. Write what it is and the date. I also write, in pencil, on the recipe when I made it.

  6. Be sure and use up your oldest items first. I always label — and try to only put up what you can use within 2 years.

  7. Get the kids involved, I have fond memories of helping my mom and dad, but i would not suggest pickled eggs. lol. Would have to leave the house to air out, the vinegar smell will take over .

  8. Make sure everything is properly sterilized for safety’s sake.

  9. My tip is to start canning early in the morning before it gets to hot!

  10. Get everything out, cleaned, organized, ready and at hand before you start!!!

  11. Always use good food- if you look at that strawberry. bean, or whatever and aren’t sure if you want to eat it fresh, you for sure don’t want to eat it after canning.

  12. Tyneisha Fondren

    Figure out what you’re doing before you try it. I wouldn’t know where to start without these wonderful tips 🙂

  13. joseph gersch jr

    mine is to be carefula nd safe about what you are doing

  14. I’d tell them to consider using all glass jars with a rubber ring, such as Weck jars since they are BPA free. I’ve been using them for the last three years and love them. Another tip I would say is to use the freshest produce you can find, like from a local farmer. And find out if the produce is made chemical-free. Or just grow your own!!
    Stephanie from Minne recently posted…Homemade S’mores, Made From Scratch – No Artificial Flavors, Dyes or Preservatives!My Profile

  15. Use only current recipes from a reliable source. Your grandmother’s recipes may not be considered food-safe by today’s standards. Vinegar we buy in the market today, for instance, has a lower acidity today than it did 50 years ago, so recipes have changed.

  16. My tip is that canning fruit-makes wonderful jam for cheap holiday gifts

  17. Hmmm.. I don’t know enough about it, but canning is something my husband and I have been talking about doing and this would be a huge help. We have a pretty impressive garden growing right now. I guess from what I’ve read about canning, I’d have to say, be sure you make them air tight, or else you can spoil the whole jar.

  18. Make sure you have a safe place to store everything before you start canning.

  19. Don’t get too addicted. If you’re making way too much, give some to friends.

  20. camping is best done when the weather isn’t too hot or too cold. also do not go with rain the forecast!

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