Regardless of your homemade cornichon and peach jam making experience, it's the stories here that will make you want to try West's versions. Writing on everything from food safety to Adriaen Corrte's 1704 painting Wild Strawberries in a Wan Li Bowl. You may even want to try Nostrodamus' recipe for quince jelly. As of today, it's sitting on my tv tray bursting at the seams with sticky-notes. He rarely calls for more than 3 pounds of any fruit or vegetable, so if an experiment goes awry as preserving experiments will, especially in the early stages , the damage isn't too severe. I figured I was buying a cookbook about canning.
This is the kind of book that makes you have ideas and asks questions. This one was a lifesaver as I canned over 250 jars for Christmas. The breadth and depth of his knowledge about preserving is impressive, and I began to feel like I was understanding some concepts for the first time. A witty and erudite culinary companion, West makes a rich and entertaining story of the introductions to the recipes. And unlike other books on preserving, West gives recipes that will goad you to make easy preserves. This spectacular, accessible, 534-page tome deserves a special place on my kitchen shelf.
I, for one, am inspired and obsessed! I can already see the jars lined up in my pantry. He is certified as a Master Food Preserver by the University of California Cooperative Extension. Transcends what you might normally think of when you imagine a preserving cookbook. I had never heard of them until this latest canning obsession. West pickles some unusual things, like nasturtium pods and green almonds, in addition to the more traditional cucumbers, onions, and eggs.
Each base recipe includes variations to please any palate. This book has more recipes for canning everything you could imagine and then some, but it's so much more than that. As pleasurable and useful for the somewhat experienced canner as it is for the novice. The recipes presented are unusual and call for ingredients not readily available in most grocery stores. Nevertheless, I found the commentary most interesting. Filled with personal stories that show the connection between the garden and the dinner table, and how that can be extended to offer tastes of summer in the middle of winter.
I will be reading this again, and testing some of the recipes that grabbed me more intently. I found myself reading the essays out loud to my husband because they were so beautifully written and informative. The combination of recipes and musings makes this a great read both in and out of the kitchen. Although he talks often about his Appalachian roots and his early interest in canning and preserving, it's abundantly clear in these recipes that West lives in California and likes to fancy things up a bit with elegant ingredients that wouldn't be available I was initially interested in this book for two reasons: 1 because I heard that the author was actually from Appalachia, and 2 because I love to can and pickle. Both academic and soulful, it's the sort of book that you can carry into the kitchen, curl up with on the couch, and rely on for reference. I can already see the jars lined up in my pantry.
This book will get you from not owning the proper equipment to making great preserves in very little time. But maybe they'll be convinced by Kevin West's Saving the Season—as much by its stylishness. More interested in scavenging for pyrachantha berries on common L. A witty and erudite culinary companion, West makes a rich and entertaining story of the introductions to the recipes. I, for one, am inspired and obsessed! If you're interested in understanding preserving and food on a deeper level, West's book will appeal to you even if the recipes aren't always practical.
Here, West presents his findings: 220 recipes for sweet and savory jams, pickles, cordials, cocktails, candies, and more; plus 300 full-color photographs. Happily for home cooks, West is a small-batch kind of guy. The kind of cookbook you can read for pleasure. Regardless of your homemade cornichon and peach jam making experience, it's the stories here that will make you want to try West's versions. In addition to his recipes, West has scattered through the text reminiscences, anecdotes, and reflections on personalities associated in some way to the world of canning and preserving. Hands down, it's my favorite food book of the year. None of it was brand new, but it was all so simple because it was structured by someone who had a grasp on it.
From Classic Apricot Jam to Green Tomato Chutney; from Pickled Asparagus with Tarragon and Green Garlic to Scotch Marmalade, Saving the Season is the ultimate guide for cooks — from the novice to the professional — and the only book you need to save and savor the season throughout the entire year. I'm still looking for a book that's more hearty, that makes full use of pressure canning. As West points out, the real goal of home canning, pickling, and preserving is to retain for future enjoyment the special flavors of foods freshly plucked from the earth or snatched from trees and vines. Incorporating classic favorites and new flavors, West gives us more than one hundred recipes, organized by season, for sweet preserves and savory pickles; easy-to-can vegetables and fruits; condiments such as relishes, chutneys, and salsas; and cordials, candies, and cocktails. What I enjoy most about this book is that it drives into a background or origin story for some recipes, adding a nice historical or biographical element to the food. Happily for home cooks, West is a small-batch kind of guy. He can make a damn good jar of spiced fig jam and writes beautifully.
Some of the photographs are absolutely exquisite like the ones on pp. Organized according to the season, West's book can be pulled and put to use at any time of year. West understands, rightly, that cooking is an intensely personal and cultural pursuit--the sterile lists of measurements and cooking times of so many cookbooks do little except give us formulas for caloric intake. The recipes are organized by season, which I find very helpful and prefer. We talk with experts about preserving food, share recipes and techniques, and take your questions. I, for one, am inspired and obsessed! I would have given the book 1 star, but I liked the photos and the the articles about different histories and biographies. They seemed too elevated, while I tend to just go for classic.