We were given this book to review by Penguin Books South Africa and our Celebrity Chef and I have been having the most fantastic time trying out the recipes in this amazing book: Preserving through the Year by Oded Schwartz and published by Dorling Kindersley. This book may well be the solution to all your gifting troubles ever… either give the book to a crafty/foody friend or head straight for the kitchen and start creating gifts of jars filled with loveliness, straight away. Seriously, the recipes are easy, we had most of the ingredients lying around – ok we did have to buy a kilogram of tomatoes. I was astonished at how much fun we had creating the recipes… I thought it would be hours of sweating over bubbling pots and heated glass jars lining the counters… none of that!!!
I have to say that I have never consciously made any sort of preserve before, I have always been a bit nervous and overwhelmed by the whole process. I had this idea that it would be a very complicated procedure and that unless one had hours and hours to stand sweltering in the kitchen one would never be able to produce jars and jars of strange looking goods. The other misconception that I had was that you either had to have an urban farm producing copious amount of ingredients or you needed to spend a fortune on ingredients and you would never be able to find half the ingredients anyway… Well this book put all those fears to rest and as soon as I started paging through it I knew that it was time for me to start raiding the recycling bin as avidly as the kids do…
The book begins with a How To Section, all sorts of techniques and tips. How to makes Jams, Jellies, Fruit Butters (Who knew!!!), and Chutneys, Ketchups, Vinegars… and so much more. It is followed by all sorts of recipes to try for each of the seasons… pages and pages of beautifully photographed recipes. And that is the point – the recipes are seasonal… so we were able to go to the store and buy the ingredients we needed for our recipes, selected according to the season. So nothing frightfully expensive and the produce was all readily available.
I wasn’t the only one inspired because when I came to choose a recipe to try this is what the book looked like: Totally jammed with post-it-notes… I was not the only one with an agenda!!!
This kiddo so desperately wanted to make spicy tomato ketchup… he wrote out the recipe and the shopping list several times, just to get it absolutely perfect…
So here are a couple of recipes that we tried:
- Basil Oil: Hmmmm, who doesn’t love the smell of basil… it will be ready in about three weeks and frankly we can’t wait!!!
- GrapeFruit Curd: Okay, we had to make this one twice… because when I got round to photographing the finished product it was gone… just gone!!! It really is yummy and we may have to make it quite often from now on. And it could so easily be turned into a “Grapefruit Meringue Pie” seriously all it needs is a quick pie base, pop the curd in as the filling and a meringue topping and you would be done.
- Minted Apple Jelly: Honestly I normally buy this and it comes in the teeniest jars. I wasn’t going to try this, when I see muslin cloth I start to panic!!! But we had a few grumpy old apples and an apple peeling competition led us down the road to apple jelly!!! We all loved the idea of making little parcels to hang into the pot!!! And yes their was muslin involved and it was no problem at all and we have a huge jar of apple jelly!!! We will never buy apple jelly again and we may well need a few roast dinners to celebrate!!!
- Spicy Tomato Ketchup: This is the recipe that our young chef was desperate to try… and was it so worth it!!! Just the sort of thing for a junior chef… lots of delicious ingredients and lots of skills – none of them difficult, to use and learn… Not to mention a totally fast result that we have eaten on everything!!!
And so many more recipes, 130 in all, we still want to try: Orange and Tarragon Mustard; Strawberry Vinegar; Vanilla Flavoured Peach Marmalade… I have to say we may be lost in this book for a long, long time to come!!! In fact you may well want to befriend us round about Christmas time!!!
This is a Dorling Kindersley book, pop over to their website and take a look inside… lots of lovely photographs as expected, clear and easy to follow instructions… This book is fantastic, the recipes are easy to follow and understandable. As little thing that I really like is that when you open the book it lies flat… so no flapping pages while you are trying to follow directions.
This GiveAway works in the usual way, comment before the end of 30 September 2012, and we will draw and publish the winners on the 2 October 2012 I won’t respond to your comments as I do on our other posts because I don’t want to be included in our own giveaway. Our GiveAways are open to everyone world wide, so good luck and happy commenting!!!
If you would like a second chance to win a copy of this book: Then you are Welcome to Join our Save the Rhino Campaign… A donation to our Save the Rhino Campaign gets you an extra entry into the GiveAway. You can click on the image to go to our donate page or you can just follow the link directly.
We really want to thank Penguin Books South Africa for giving us this book to review, they did not pay us to say it was fabulous, that opinion was all our own!!!