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For me, summer is at its peak when my Dad and I make jam. Ever since I was a kid, we have spent a few weekends each July and August gathering plums, strawberries, blackberries, and apricots to make gleaming jars of preserves. (I always think of Greg Brown’s song “Canned Goods,” where he says “you can taste a little of the summer/ my grandma’s put it all in jars.”)
I’ve never done much other preserving, however, so I was completely delighted to get a chance to look at The Art of Preserving. Like everything Williams-Sonoma does, it’s beautiful: the photos are gorgeous, the size is just right (it’s big enough to lay flat on the counter for easy reference), and even the graphic design is a pleasing blend of modern and homey old-fashioned. The book is full of helpful tips, techniques, and resources, which really push this into the “must-have reference” category.
Best of all, though, are the recipes. Written by three preserving veterans, The Art of Preserving makes it clear that you really can preserve just about anything, from the classics to pickled fennel and rhubarb chutney. They cover jams, jellies, pickles, salsas, chutneys, flavored butters, honeys and vinegars, and even infused spirits and olive oils. Wow! Better yet, each section has paired recipes that make me drool, like a spicy peach-mustard sauce for a pulled pork sandwich, potato fritters with apple-onion chutney, or pavlova with lime curd and berries. I think I need to invest in a serious preserving setup because now I want to try every recipe in the book.
Book Giveaway Time!
Three lucky CRAFT readers will win a copy of The Art of Preserving. Just tell us why you would like this book in the comments. All comments will be closed by Noon PST on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. The lucky winners will be chosen randomly and announced later on the site. Good luck!
UPDATE: The giveaway is now over! Winners will be announced on the site shortly. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments and keep experimenting!

  • annem76

    Trying to save money, eat healthy, and not waste veggies from our CSA, I took my first canning class this spring — and I’ve become obsessed. I’ve tried to experiment a little — balsamic-strawberry-no-sugar jam, two jars of pickled garlic scapes — but really, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’d love a book to show me how.

  • star5

    I used to help my grandma canning things as a kid, but never learned how to actually do it on my own. Now she’s not around to show me how, but I’d like to keep that tradition going.

  • Boogaj

    I love the William Sonoma cookbooks and have this one on my wishlist. It would be perfect for me as I am really getting into canning. I’ve already done strawberry and blueberry jam this year, but would like to try something new.

  • citizenrobot

    I’m sick of buying chutney at the store. I hate the way people leer at you at the checkout stand. “Look at that girl who can’t make her own chutney” they whisper under their breaths, with barely-concealed disdain!
    But seriously! I have a thriving backyard garden and would like to figure out how to make some of this produce last longer than 1 week!

  • JadeCat9

    I do a lot of cooking, and I have friends who give me stuff from their gardens (Unfortunately I have brown thumbs). I’d love to be able to learn how to can things for myself.
    I already do a lot of self-sustaining DIY projects. It’d be nice to add this skill to a growing repoitoire. You know, in case of the zombie apocalypse. :-)

  • smittenheart

    I have ALWAYS wanted to learn how to can fruits and veggies!! I REALLY wanted to get some done for gifts and hostesses gifts!!
    I am soooooo excited *grin*

  • tenacious_o

    i love preserves and canning. my grandmother taught me how when i was very young and i love trying new recipes and giving friends new jars of my latest creation. this book sounds like a it’d be a great addition to my shelf.

  • jen

    I just made my first batch of pickles – now I’m hooked and would love to learn more.

  • alszoo

    My garden is producing and need to be preserving!

  • jen

    I just made my first batch of homemade pickles – now I’m hooked and want to learn more.

  • Sarah

    My husband and I recently switched to a more organic way of eating, and we get excellent fruits and veggies through a local co-op. Sometimes we are not able to eat it all – and sometimes it is just so good I want to share with others! I would love to learn preserving to broaden what we can do with all that good stuff.

  • tenacious_o

    i love preserves and canning. my grandmother taught me how when i was very young and i love trying new recipes and giving friends new jars of my latest creation. this book sounds like a it’d be a great addition to my shelf.

  • Jennifer

    Wow, this book sounds amazing. I would especially like to learn how to make olive oil infused with different herbs. I hope I win!

  • danielle

    There is so much satisfaction that comes from making things yourself. I’ve only recently started canning and I think it would be great to get this book… besides my library has not yet gotten this title.


    I started canning this spring and i’ve got jam pretty well down now, but I haven’t tried making anything else yet. I’d love a big book to inspire me and get me going.

  • Stacey

    With all my food allergies, it would be great to learn the art of preserves and be able to enjoy them without fear of any unknown ingredients!

  • Pompon

    I LOVE gadening, I grow one every summer, unfortunatly I live in Saskatchewan, which I am sure has the shortest summers ever. I am forced to freeze yummy summer produce from our farmers market and garden to ration throughout our painfully long winter season. It would be so lovely to learn how to preserve my garden harvest and farmers market goodies to last on through till the next summer and keep me from binging on fresh rasberries.
    i heart craftzine

  • rumplemintz

    My mom is the most amazing lady ever- she gardens and sews and makes her own preserves, pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi. I just started preserving and no matter what I do, my preserves never EVER taste as good as hers! I’d be delighted to have a book to help me on my way!

  • felis44

    What a coincidence! I just went to the library today and picked up a book on preserving. I’ve done some in the past, and wanted to start up again so that I could have some locally grown produce in the winter instead of buying frozen/canned from far afield. This book would be a big help!

  • Sarah

    This is such a lost art! I would love to learn more!

  • Elli

    I just got a canning kit for my birthday, and I have no idea where to start. It’s a shame that the kit didn’t come with this book too! Maybe I’ll get lucky!

  • sweetpeatx

    Oh, I love Williams-Sonoma books, and would love to learn to make chutneys. Hope I win.

  • amysewstx

    Thanks for the givaway! I would love to be able to give a copy of this book to my mom. She has started canning and preserving recently. She has had great success as a beginner, but needs some help to move on to the next stage. This book seems like something to help her out.

  • adrea

    I not only want this book but absolutely need it. My fiance and I planted so many squash plants that I have been shredding, chopping, pureeing and baking it into everything and we still have a ton. I need some direction on preserving…..Help me, help the squash!

  • sy

    i could eat the book cover. would love to try the recipes in the book and make some jellys.

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