Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway - Saving the Seasons

For those of us who enjoy gardening or strive to eat locally grown foods, the next obvious step is to find ways to extend the seasonal food by preserving  our harvest.

I've been looking for a good "how-to-book" for home preserving. I'm often asked questions about canning and I wanted a book to recommend for beginners, one that would cover both freezing and canning fruits and vegetables. It would clearly explain the process with words and photos to teach a beginner and inspire a veteran.

Herald Press, the publisher of the excellent Simply in Season and Mennonite Country-Style Recipes, sent me their new Saving the Seasons. In the last few days, I've read the book cover to cover, and found many recipes I want to try this summer.


Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost AnythingSaving the Seasons includes three sections, canning, freezing and drying. Each section includes specific directions for each fruit or vegetable, clear photos to demonstrate the technique, and many recipes. The gorgeous photography adds inspiration. Besides basic information, there is tips for making baby food, jerky, drying herbs, and freezing meat.


Whether you've never canned, or are searching for a new relish or chutney recipe, or like me, constantly bombard your mom with phone calls during canning season, I think you'll find this book helpful.

Best of all, the publisher sent along another copy of Saving the Seasons to give away to a reader!

Just leave a comment, share your experience in canning, freezing or drying produce and you'll be entered into the giveaway! Please remember to give me a way to contact you. And I'll have to ask for US addresses only. (I do love the rest of you, too, just not the postage!) Giveaway will be open for one week, now until June 28.

Even though I received a review copy of this book, all opinions express here are my own.

66 comments :

  1. What a lovely giveaway! Just in time for gardening season when we are all geared up for a new canning season. I usually use the Mennonite Country Style Cookbook or my Ball Blue Book or my MIL for canning instructions/recipes. Thanks! eldonmartin@greatcove.com

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  2. What a great give away! I shared my canning story in a recent post about Puttin Up.
    http://butterfliesandbumblebees.org/?p=2518

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  3. When I was growing up my mom and grandma canned a ton of stuff...in August without air conditioning!! I remember saying I'll never can anything when I grow up!!! Last year was my first year canning and I loved it. I would love to get a cookbook with recipes in it for canning instead of using mrs wages seasoning packets!!!

    aandjfarrell@yahoo.com

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  4. I would love a good book on canning! I have done a lot in the past but I'm uncertain if the jars are sealed well. I have given in to freezing everything but I really want to can tomatoes. I need the help.

    Alice

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  5. I would love a copy of this book. I have it on hold at the library. Thanks so much for a wonderful give a way.I love your blog. Like you I cook from scratch.
    Elizabeth Quigley

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  6. I forgot to share about canning. I like to can fruits and make jellies.
    Thanks again,
    Elizabeth Quigley

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  7. What a fabulous giveaway! This will be my third year of canning. I have been using the Ball Blue Book. I have found that there are certain things that I think I would rather freeze, but am not sure about how to go about it and I would love to learn to dry some things. This books definitely seems like a perfect fit!

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  8. I'm a new gardener. I found your blog while searching for gardening tips, and I have absolutely loved reading your posts! If the deer don't get to them first, we should have a lot of tomatoes that I would love to preserve. I don't know much about canning and this book looks like a great place to start!

    audrey.bartlett@gmail.com

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  9. I just found your blog last week I have been very inspired I had forgotten how fun cooking from scratch and canning could be my grandmother taught me and I cant wait to teach my daughter thanks for reminding me of the great times in the garden and kitchen with my grandmother.

    collins@gmail.com

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  10. What a nice give away. I love to can and freeze fruits and veggies and always looking for new recipes.And books to answer questions. Thanks. I love your blog. G'ma Neise

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  11. I have a worn out Freezing and Canning Cookbook by the editors of The Farm Journal, copyright 1963. This jewel was handed down to me by my dear Mother. But I also love drying. You have never lived until you make marinara from your own sun dried tomatoes. Peach, apple and apricot fried pies from the fresh dried fruit.....YUM!
    Debbie in East TN.
    wesndeb@charter.net

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  12. I canned with my grandmother as a child and have been working my way back into it over the last year, but I feel like I've fallen so far behind! I'm still working with water baths at the moment, but I'm hoping to order a pressure canner for all of the tomatoes before too long.

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  13. This book sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway! I was just considering buying a newer Ball Blue Book the other day but wasn't sure it had much that was newer than my old copy.

    I can tomatoes, green beans, and peaches every year. I also do some pickles and pears most years, and potatoes and beets occasionally.

    I freeze pesto, blueberries, apples, peaches, blackberries, and strawberries.

    I have dried blueberries and tomatoes in the past but do more canning and freezing than drying.

    I'm a fairly recent subscriber to your blog. I don't remember how I found you but I really enjoy reading your posts. Looking forward to your entries as you put things up this summer.

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  14. I call my mom alot for advise during canning season also and I would love this book! I have been canning our crop of potatoes. We have no other way to store them. So I am curious to see how they actually keep. Thanks, Gina!

    elementsofcountry@gmail.com

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  15. I've been so spoiled...I only have tried recipes from my mother or mother in law when it comes to canning...I'd love to branch out, and think this may just be the opportunity with our anticipated move!

    Thanks for sharing, Gina! :-)

    ~eunice b
    rsmile2u @dejazzd .com

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  16. I didn't even know this book is out there..canning can be a scary experience for the first few times..and I am in no ways experienced. This would be something I should like to look into..thanks for sharing..

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  17. I've been slowly testing the waters when it comes to food preservation. We first needed to see what our demand was and then account for surplus. I've only dabbled in jam making (& my strawberry jam this year is runny even after remaking it!; freezing beans, peas, & zucchini; & canning tomato sauce. I'm looking forward to expanding my knowledge this year.

    What a great giveaway!!

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  18. My mom always canned when I was growing up and my favorite thing to help with was tomato juice because we got to squeeze all of the tomatoes and it would usually make quite a mess. Now, my mom and I make freezer jams. payner33@hotmail.com

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  19. Great giveaway! My husband and I can peach and apricot preserves, green beans, tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce,and ketchup ...something we love doing together! This year we hope to add pickles :)

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  20. I have been canning and freezing for about 30 years now, but I still like to learn new things. It seems like my whole summer is spent tending the garden and putting up the produce. What a great heritage. I started making bread last Feb. to save on the food budget when my husband was on reduced hours. I haven't bought a loaf of bread for our table since then! Thanks for all your helpful tips!

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  21. I'd love to win this. My parents can and I plan to learn soon. I mostly freeze fresh veggies from their garden.

    Laura
    lldcandles@yahoo.com

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  22. What a great giveaway. I have Simply in Season checked out from the library right now and I love it. I'm sure this book is just as good. In the past, I've frozen produce and done a little canning. I could really use a "how-to" book. Thanks for the chance!
    Erin
    erinb1@aol.com

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  23. Wow! Why wasn't this book available when I was just married and my mom still lived in Romania? I know this book would still be useful. I enjoy canning and freezing and would love to find a good recipe for homemade ketchup and recipes using eggplant. Your blog is great and the new look is awesome! Sherilyn gilnanne@agapemail.com

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  24. What a wonderful idea! I'd never heard of these books before, and I'll definitely be looking to pick them up. :)
    We just spent the weekend canning actually! Peas, carrots, strawberry rhubarb jam, strawberry jam, and strawberry lemonade concentrate.
    Thanks for the recommendation!

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  25. I have this book on reserve at our library too :)

    I've awarded you the Hard Working Mommy Blogger Award!
    http://muminbloom.blogspot.com/2010/06/hard-working-mommy-award.html

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  26. Ooooh, what a fun giveaway! That book looks great. The only thing I have canned so far is jam (just made a large batch of strawberry jam today, actually--
    about 72 half-pints!). I have also canned applesauce with a friend, but have never yet tried veggies. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  27. I have gathered recipes over the years but have never used a book that was for canning. Would love to try it!

    voberholzer@pa.net

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  28. Gina- I am still reading your blog and come back many times for inspiration on what to cook and to look again for recipes..... thought you could add me to the husband and your mom list as well....
    The book looks interesting - I just tried making strawberry jam with honey this year instead of sugar. Now if only I could disappear the squash borers- I haven't gotten desperate enough to do row covers. Thanks for your inspiration... oh and I am loving the sprouts:)
    mjeby96@yahoo.com

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  29. What a great giveaway! The book sounds wonderful. I have a freezing and canning book that I bought from my sister way back in high school, almost 40 years ago. Also have my Ball Blue Book. Would love to have this book, thanks for doing this giveaway!

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  30. What a nice giveaway! I love your blog. I really like to can. My mom or grandmother did not do any canning. As my family has grown I have learned the benefits of preserving at home. I have learned through reading books borrowed from the library. I have canned tomatoes, sauce, apple sauce, relish, pickles, jams, ans blueberries. I try and freeze some also. I have tried my hand at drying but I have not had much luck. I would love this book to help me in the drying department. Thank you so much for sharing everything you do with us all.

    In Him,
    Michelle


    hsmomof4@embarqmail.com

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  31. What a neat sounding book. Another book that i really like is called Pratical Produce by Elsie Hoover. It is a great book for beginners and is very informative. Susan charsue2@verizon.net

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  32. This book would be so helpful to me.We are trying to freeze and can some of our produce but both are new experiences for us.As a homeschooling family we learn together though.:)It would be nice to have a book with clear directions.Thank you for the giveaway. goat09@localnet.com

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  33. I grew up with my mom canning every season. Now she freezes most things. This will be my 3rd year to have a garden. I would love to learn more about canning and especially freezing foods.

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  34. This book looks amazing, I have the others already..I better add this to my list. Thankyou for showing!

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  35. Wow! Your new website is so lovely! I haven't been here since the change until now - and here just I thought I was signing up for a book giveaway - it's a sumptuous feast for my eyes! Thank you!

    My favorite thing to dry has been to make fruit leathers for my children! They love them - so wholesome - completely organic - and they think they're candy!

    Blessings to you and your family and all your circle!
    travisoma@earthlink.net

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  36. Simply In Season is my favorite cookbook. I would love to add this one to my collection for the upcoming canning season. Last year was my first for canning so I am excited for this year! I use a water bath canner so this year I am hoping to try a pressure canner. New on the list this year- pickled beets!

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  37. I would love to win!! I enjoy freezing and canning, altho I don't do alot of it right now because I have 3 children 4 and under! I usually freeze strawberry jam, applesauce, corn, and peaches. I can tomato juice and grape juice.
    junebugs26@yahoo.com

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  38. Thank you for offering this giveaway. We do lots of canning and freezing here, though mostly freezing till we get into our house again. We expecially like winter squash which we grow as many of as the garden will contain. One year Mr. D planted them all over the hillside. That was before the weeds took over. We had a bumper crop of winter squash and he ended up doing a lot of the "putting-up". Since I work full time he does much of the prep work and then I cook and freeze.

    It's a good arrangement for us since we are "veggaholics". Looking forward to another good garden year, Lord willing.

    Mrs. D

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  39. I grew up with the canning thing. I hated it! Boy I wish I could go back and learn everything that I helped with. Right now I know enough to be dangerous in the kitchen. This time of year I have myself a good old pity party...You see my mom, g-mother, aunts, mil all the important women have gone to be with the lord. I'm here with a house full of men no girls anywhere. So I would love to have a basic canning book. Right now I surf the web for info and that's how I found your blog. Love it, when I read your posts Ifeel like I'm at your home.

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  40. What a wonderful giveaway!!!

    I have canned off and on for close to 40 years, mostly vegetables and pickles or relishes. I also freeze quite a bit of produce when I have it. We got married in the fall of the year, so the preceding summer we planted a garden together so we would be able to afford to eat! We then went many years without a garden, but have generous friends who share produce. The past couple years we have tried planting a garden again, with mixed results. I'm hoping for a good harvest this year, but we'll see.

    I know there are some great freezing and canning books out there, and this one sounds wonderful. My old favorite, though, is the Farm Journal Freezing & Canning Cookbook.

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  41. This is our first year with a tiny garden, so I have NO experience with canning.

    Last year, someone that my husband works with gave us a bunch of tomatoes. I peeled them and added them to store bought jarred sauce with a bunch of other vegetables and froze the leftover sauce.

    Otherwise, I'm clueless.....so I need this book! ;)

    Thanks for the chance to win a great giveaway!

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  42. I love to "read" preserving books. Thank you for the chance at winning!

    So far this year I've put by Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam, & Victorian Barbecue Sauce, & Green pepper jelly.

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  43. Great giveaway! I'm taking a short break from my canning today to read your blog. I have a worn out copy of the Ball Blue Book and would love to have the book you reviewed. Thank you! cmetidwell@yahoo.com

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  44. Thanks for the giveaway!The book sounds interesting and sure would appreciate learning more on canning,freezing etc.
    mansarg@gmail.com

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  45. Gina, I think you need to write a book sometime about your life and all you've learned by experimenting.

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  46. Thanks for all the hard work you put into the blog and email.
    This book looks very interesting and I would love to have a copy!

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  47. I don't have any amazing stories about canning ... my first experiences canning started after I got married six years ago and my mother-in-law began to inspire me. She cans each summer from their bountiful garder. I began slowly, with jellies/jams from berries, peaches, and my own crabapples tree. I have helped with salsa and would love to expand my abilities! = ) My husband has also begged for canned peaches like his used to eat at his grandmother's - but I've been too nervous yet to give it a go. Homemaking is dear to my heart - but you know, I still have so much to learn!
    Elisa

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  48. How fun! PLease include me in the giveaway. I remember my mom canning when I still lived at home. Now my girls are married and on their own, and they want me to teach them. My kitchen is tiny, and we'll be all over each other; but I know we'll have a good time together.

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  49. I made zucchini pickles from the Ball Book last year. I wish I had made more for they were yummy and too salty.

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  50. I love to freeze, can and dehydrate everything! lol Dehydrated zucchini is great for soups. I got a pressure canner last year, and canned green beans for the first time, I had always frozen them before that. They turned out great, and we loved having them during the winter. I'm excited to use my pressure canner again this year.

    Thanks for the give away, the only canning book I have is the Ball Blue Book.

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  51. Thanks for the book giveaway. I've just found your blog accidentally by searching on Therm-Flo. But so far everything I've read I love. We freeze lots of fruit and berries for use in smoothies and cobblers. We can some too (applesauce, grape jam, peach chutney, peaches, pears) but we're mostly still learning about that and don't have a pressure canner yet. We dry our herbs and make beef jerky too. deb751 AT yahoo DOT com

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  52. This is my first real year of organic gardening. One year (oh about 10 years back) I grew and jarred tomato sauce. But that was it. My goal is to grow and jar product that will get me though some of the winter at least. I'm right at the verge of trying to figure out the best way to preserve my herbs.

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  53. Sounds like a great book that I would enjoy! I've had fun trying to can new things this past year, like pizza toppings. It's fun to make a pizza crust, go down to the cellar and bring up jars of pizza sauce, sausage, mushrooms, peppers & onions, then grate some cheese, assemble the pizza and it is ready to bake! I like knowing that except for the cheese (which I tried once)the pizza was really home made with some good stuff from our garden! :)

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  54. Sorry, Gina, I'm still new at blogs! Here's a little more info about the pizza fan. :)

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  55. I do more canning and freezing than drying. This year was the first year I tried to dry something. I did parsley and althouth my savings didn't amount to much I still had the satisfaction of doing it myself.--Lanae

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  56. Sounds like an interesting book. Becca and I made apricot freezer jam today. I bought a dehydrator but haven't tried it yet! Thanks,
    jessjeff@juno.com

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  57. I just started gardening and canning last year. So far, I have canned salsa, peaches, jam, pickles, hot peppers, and chicken. I had no idea just how fulfilling it would be to grow and preserve my own food! (Fulfilling enough that I've even gotten 13 chicks to produce my own eggs, too.)

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  58. You're so generous, Gina! I didn't grow up doing these things, so I'd love to have a book like this for reference.

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  59. Would really enjoy the book. Since starting my first garden with my husband we have enjoyed canning and freezing home grown produce. Lots of salsa, spaghetti sauce, hot pepper jelly, etc. Would like any resource to learn new things.
    Lindsay T. TMRomania@yahoo.com

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  60. I remember helping my mom can, while in my teens. Now that I've canned on my own (my mom lives 13 hours away) I certainly appreciate the extra hands as we worked together. I've canned applesauce, pears, peaches,green beans, tomatoes, jams, and preserves. I freeze blueberries,strawberries and corn-both creamed and on the cob. I would enjoy winning the book to further knowledge in this area.
    Thank you, Lorinda
    hallfam805@juno.com

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  61. I would love to receive this book since I'm going to try drying this year more than canning. I have limited storage space and I haven't canned on my new stove because I got a glass topped one before I knew you shouldn't use a pressure canner on them. Drat! I'm going to remove one grid on my propane grill and try to run a canner off propane. At any rate thank you for offering this giveaway.

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  62. Thank you for offering this review and giveaway. Looking forward to an abundance of tomatoes this year.

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  63. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I have been canning/freezing for about 30 years. My pressure canner was purchased with wedding gift money. It has been such a blessing to our family. I love knowing where my food is coming from.

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  64. I'm sure my girls would love to inherit this. The cover is so appealing ~ I'm sure the inside will be great too!

    I learned to can as an adult. My mom put most things in the freezer. Now I do some of each. Canning salsa is the essential at this house ~ last year we made 3 batches (and that's a Nesco roaster size batch!)

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  65. Great giveaway. I would love this book! I tried to find it at my library, but they don't carry it. I love to can and read canning and preserving blogs!
    Sugardiet@aol.com

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  66. Great giveaway! We've been canning, freezing and drying for years, and it's gratifying to have my 'citified' friends that previously dismissed the whole operation now coming to me for lessons! carmen_still@hotmail.com

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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