Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round

Marisa McClellan writes about canning, pickling and preserving at her "Food in Jars" blog, and readers have responded well to her no-nonsense, friendly tone and remarkable ability to make the canning process seem both easy and accessible--regardless of the size of the kitchen or the level of culinary expertise. Now, much of McClellan's wisdom has been gathered together in a neat little cookbook--also called Food in Jars--featuring more than 100 recipes, along with a collection of mouthwatering, full-color photographs and helpful tips.

McClellan has a self-professed love for jam, but she clearly knows how to use spices creatively--and she's also not afraid to offer more savory recipes for those who want to go beyond the sweeter canning options. Most importantly, perhaps, she realizes that many of us would prefer to can in small batches due to time and space restraints.

Though some of McClellan's fresh fruit jam recipes would be best tried in the spring and summer (such as cantaloupe jam with vanilla), readers will be surprised by the diversity of food that can be canned year round. Come autumn, consider the recipes for apple-pumpkin butter, mulled cider jelly or spiced applesauce. Fall vegetables can also be used to make pickled Brussels sprouts and gingery pickled beets--and who wouldn't like a jar of cranberry orange granola for the holidays? --Roni K. Devlin, owner of Literary Life Bookstore

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