Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

JamItPickleItJam It, Pickle It, Cure It and Other Cooking Projects

by Karen Solomon

Ten Speed Press, 2009

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Back in the ‘olden days’ when we were back-to-the-landers I did a ton of preserving food. I canned tomatoes, green beans and peaches, froze corn, apples and shredded zucchini, made jams and pickles and sauerkraut. It was a lot of work but fun. It was so satisfying to prepare a whole meal from food we raised and/or grew ourselves. It wasn’t about saving money. It was a whole way of life that had health and self-sufficiency at it’s core.

My resources back then were the Ball Blue Book and the Farm Journal Canning and Preserving book. I still have them both and they are so stained and worn. One is held together with a rubber band. One of these days I’ll tell you about them but not in this post.

Today I want to tell you about a new book I’m excited about. My daughter Candice found Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It at the library. It reminded her of my old preserving books. She thought I would be interested and she was right.

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It is not a replacement for my two favorites. It’s a wonderful addition to them. It is not concerned with preserving large quantities of produce from the garden. It’s actually a reference for preparing high quality staples we now purchase only at the supermarket: salad dressings, crackers, mayonnaise, mustard, pasta, butter, cheeses, olives, smoked trout, bacon, frozen treats, marshmallows, beverages and more – 75 recipes in all. The instructions are easy to follow and there are plenty of pictures. The author has a confident, conversational voice that would be helpful for both beginners and pros.

Most of these food projects are things people have been making for many years/decades. For instance,┬áCandice has been making frozen popsicles for the girls. She tried some of the recipes in this book: Mango and Lime Pops and Chocolate Cream Pops. Now doesn’t that beat the over-sugar things you buy?

My ‘immediate’ recipe was Thai Cucumber Salad (took me less than 15 minutes). It was perfect with fresh cucumber and red onions. I have plans for my next projects: yogurt cheese, queso blanco (white cheese) and sesame onion crackers. I’m going to wait a few months for fresh-from-the-tree oranges and lemons to make orange marmalade and lemon curd. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It has great ideas for gifts from your kitchen. The book itself would make a great gift for someone who loves to make things – food or other crafts. A definite plus would be to do some of these projects with children. What kid wouldn’t love to make their own frozen pops or watch the whole milk turn into cheese or shake it into butter?

The author, Karen Solomon, is a well known food and lifestyle writer from the San Francisco area. She does not consider herself a chef but a food junkie who “delights in experimentation, insatiable food lust, and perseverance to think outside the jar.” I have a hunch this book is going to be big. Ms. Solomon (and the book) are being featured quite a few places. The day my copy came from Amazon I saw a picture of her on Shelf Awareness (8/18). Here’s the picture and the little blurb that went with it.

Solomon

Image of the Day: Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

Karen Solomon, author of Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It (Ten Speed Press), with Tyler Florence, owner of the Tyler Florence Shop, Mill Valley, Calif., where last Saturday Solomon gave a talk and demo, drawing 60 people who heard it, watched it and loved it.

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It is at Amazon

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8 Responses to Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

  1. Kathy says:

    When I first saw the title, I thought the book didn’t interest me. It’s down to the 2 of us now and I don’t have plans to can anything. Once you described the book, though, I think it sounds great. I’m going to check this one out the next time I’m in a bookstore.

  2. Beth F says:

    Perfect timing for the fall harvest. I like that the book also has recipes and projects (I loved shaking milk into butter when I was kid.)

  3. candice says:

    Great review! This book is WONDERFUL! The photos are beautiful and the whole book is a lovely romantic reinterpretation of a lost art and sustainable living. I think it would appeal to so many people. I know I had to wait the entire summer before I got my hold from the library. But, now I think I’ll just buy it. Thanks for the Amazon link!

  4. Belle says:

    I felt the same way as Kathy – the title didn’t interest me, but when I read your review, and the names of some of the recipes, I went right away to my library’s website to see if they had it. They don’t, but I’m tempted to buy this one to keep. My husband would love it.

  5. I’m so jealous of people who are able to can! I’ve always been afraid to do it. I still remember horror stories of botulism from when I was little!

  6. stacybuckeye says:

    I don’t read a lot of cookbooks, but this sounds like one I actually use. I’ll have to look for it my next trip to the library.

  7. Susan says:

    Yum! I’m saving my appetite for the cucumber salad, and the mango lime pops.

    Thanks for a wonderful review!

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