If you are looking for a book with recipes for foods mainly preserved by the boiling-water canning process, the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving with its 400 recipes may prove very useful for you. The recipe instructions are presented in step-by-step sequence; however, typical canning charts and time-tables are not included.
I reviewed a Hennepin County Library copy and found that most of the 400 recipes are for jams and jellies, etc. while there are far fewer recipes for foods that require a pressure cooker.
Home canning equipment is covered at the beginning of the book but not in any detail. Points discussed are the differences between using a boiling-water canning process and a pressure canner which is used to heat-process non-acidified vegetables, meat, poultry or fish.
By page seven you arrive at the “Getting started” chapter” with instructions for preparing strawberry jam, mint jelly, salsa, corn relish and dill pickles. The chapters that follow:
- Soft spreads
- Fabulous fruits
- Salsa, relish and chutney
- Perfect pickles
- Pressure canning: Low-acid foods
- The art and science of home food preservation
- Home canning problem solver
- Produce purchase guide
The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving measures 7 ½” x 10 ¼” and has 448 pages. Interesting bits of information plus tips accompany each of the 400 recipes.
Four double-sided pages of very attractive photos on glossy paper which are placed in four different areas of the hardcover book provide some needed visual impact. The hardcover edition is sturdy and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. The book is also available in paperback.
The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving with its step-by-step instructions for its 400 recipes provides many ideas for the home preservation of commonly enjoyed foods. Review the book before purchase if you need more detailed information on the home canning process itself or are interested in canning with a pressure canner.
Minneapolis residents can secure a copy of this book through the Hennepin County library system, where it is catalogued under 641.42 C 2006.
Kingry, Judi and Devine, Lauren, editors, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, Toronto, Canada, Robert Rose, Inc., 2006.
Hardcover edition on Amazon.com
Paperback edition on Amazon.com
[See also: Home canning: Resources for help abound at the library and on the internet]
As always, comments on this article are welcome.