Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lock in the Freshness


Ball Blue Book - Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration. Recommended.

Anyone that has a garden of any appreciable size quickly realizes that bumper crops can be a mixed blessing. The large abundance normally comes in a very short window of time, leaving the gardener to either allow their harvest to go to waste, share with friends (who may have an overstock as well), or preserve for later use. Of course, anyone who is planning on surviving solely on his own produce must preserve food for the winter and other times of need. Even those who wish to only supplement their diets with homegrown food are better served with a skill set to preserve their harvest.

The Ball Blue Book, originally published in 1909, is a 'bible' of sorts for home food preservation. It not only covers canning, but many other techniques such as: jams and jellies, pickling, freezing and drying. The instructions and recipes are very descriptive and informative. There are many recipes that may give you ideas on how to use your various produce in new and exciting ways.

I'll admit that I have not had a chance to use many of the recipes yet. I did use it for a reference while freezing some extra sweet corn from the farmer's market. This year's garden is not as productive as previous years, so I will not have as many opportunities for food preservation. Next year, I plan on having a larger spread, along with an increase in fruit and berry output. I will be adding this book to my reference library to handle this excess production.

3 comments:

Nimic said...

Anything in that book on storing tomatoes / sauce? I've got so many tomato plants going this year, I'll almost certain to be overrun in the near future...

Chief said...

From the index there are 33 different references to tomatoes. Since it is probably America's favorite grow-at-home vegetable (fruit), there are plenty of ideas. I never really liked canned tomatoes as a kid, because they were mostly prepared whole. Sauce is much more palatable in my opinion.

Nimic said...

Thanks for checking. Going to see if I can find this one at the library.