Classic recipes that go beyond just preserving the fruit.

The Canning Kitchen
By Amy Bronee
Penguin Canada Books 2015 $28

I grew up in a household with many shelves in the kitchen dedicated to preserves and pickles of all sorts. We made jams, and others brought over pickles and relish, often without any label. Opening jars was somewhat like Russian roulette!

The Canning Kitchen brings these wonderful traditions of “putting up” fresh fruit and vegetables of the season into the modern kitchen where safety concerns and more developed taste buds exist. No longer is it a “process” with large quantities and messes, the author encourages starting with smaller batches. She takes the guesswork out of canning and carefully explains the important steps to follow, and what equipment is truly necessary, and provides a very helpful “Processing Checklist”, great for novice and expert canners alike.

Bronee also includes suggestions for serving and helpful guidelines about when or when not to get creative with substitutions. There are many classic recipes in the book but many go beyond just preserving the fruit.

The Raspberry Cacao Jam and the Hellfire Orange Habanero Jelly are not your grandmother’s recipes! And it’s not just jams and jellies; you are guaranteed to find your own new favourite BBQ or dessert sauce. From experience, the Salted Caramel Pear Butter is fantastic with any cheese, and I am looking forward to the Sweet Thai Chili Chutney.

The wonderful, colourful, close-up pictures of the finished product only add to your desire to tackle the process, so go, get equipped and enjoy canning in your kitchen.

Karen Miller is a lawyer by trade, giving her a knack for picking apart a cookbook. She has taught many styles of cooking classes and was part of the Calgary Dishing girls.

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