The Busy Person’s Guide to Preserving Food Review

The Busy Person's Guide to Preserving Food: Easy Step-by-Step Instructions for Freezing, Drying, and Canning

By Janet Bachand Chadwick
ISBN-10: 0882669001
ISBN-13: 978-0882669007

If you’re looking for a complete guide to freezing, drying, canning and root cellaring with information on working efficiently, saving time, which preservation method gives the best results or is the fastest and from scratch recipes and harvesting tips from someone who’s been there and done that look no further.

This isn’t the kind of book you read cover to cover then put on the bookshelf and forget about or leave on the coffee table to gawk at the pictures either. The Busy Person's Guide to Preserving Food is the kind of book you spill stuff on, write notes in and wear off the cover. The kind of book you use.

Chapters include:

  • Taking the Mystery Out of Equipment
  • Tips, Hints and Other Shortcuts
  • The Basic Techniques of Root Cellaring, Freezing, Drying and Canning
  • Preserving Each Vegetable
  • Preserving Each Fruit
  • Preserving Herbs
  • Pickles, Relishes, sauerkraut, and Sauces
  • Jams, Jellies, Preserves and Marmalades
  • What Went Wrong (And Other Commonly Asked Questions)
  • Quick Harvest Meals
  • Appendix/Reference Charts
  • Suggested Reading
  • Mail -Order Sources of Preserving Equipment and Supplies
  • Index

The chapter Tips, Hints and Other Shortcuts is full of lists of tips such as:

  • 10 Harvesting Tips
  • 18 Preserving Tips
  • 9 Tips for Setting Up an Efficient Work Flow
  • 21 Ways to Make Life Easier During the Harvest

There are no pictures but the book is full of illustrations of the techniques Janet recommends.

Under each type of fruit or vegetable you’ll find subheading for the different types of storage methods. Under each storage method is a quick note such as “Best Finished Product” “Fastest Method” “Slowest method” “Convenient End Product” or similar information to help you decide which technique to use. If the end result is no good the instructions are not included.

Janet also uses two techniques that you don’t see in many other freezer cookbooks.The first is freezing produce in boilable bags. Bag the veggies before blanching so you don’t have to dry them before freezing. She suggested blanching up to 4 bags at a time, cool and dry off the bags then freeze. This way you can cook your veggies in the same bag.

The second method is to skip blanching altogether for veggies. When you don’t blanch veggies their natural enzymes continue to break them down thus their storage life is much shorter.

If you’re sure you’re going to use your veggies in the suggested time frame this can be a great time saving method. However, if you want to freeze your produce until next harvest season it’s not the best method.

The Busy Person’s Guide to Preserving Food: Easy Step by Step Instructions for Freezing, Drying and Canning by Janet Bachand Chadwick is a great reference and resource book for gardeners and farmer's market regulars looking to put up food for every season.

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