Serving up summer's glories
Heavens preserve us! And all the beautiful fruits and vegetables that reach their peak in this bountiful season. Home gardens, farmers' markets, you-pick orchards and roadside stands are bursting with ready, ripe produce, making this a great time to store up some of summer's glories. Premier preserver Linda J. Amendt, one of the top prize-winning, down-home cooks in the country, shows you how to do just that in Blue Ribbon Preserves: Secrets to Award-Winning Jams, Jellies, Sauces, Pickles and More. With Linda's canning canniness, anyone willing to spend a little time and effort will be rewarded with the healthy, satisfying benefits of farm fresh flavor all winter long. She explains the basics of successful home canning clearly and concisely; everything from selecting ingredients to storing the finished product, along with reassuring advice on safety precautions, equipment and processing. There's even a detailed "Troubleshooting Guide," in case of a crisis. You may run out of jam, but you'll never be in a jam with these 200 luscious recipes for jellies, jams, conserves, marmalades, curds and butters. Think what you could do with a just-picked peck of perfect peaches - Peach Jam, Peach Jelly, Peach Butter, Brandy Peach Conserve, Peach Pie Filling. And you can be just as creative with apples, blueberries, pears and more. Deserving veggies get their preserving due too, from pencil-thin asparagus to Zucchini Pickles, with Chile Pepper Sauce and Dilled Green Beans in between. With Linda at your side, you'll be doing the can-can with the best.
Sybil Pratt has been cooking up this column for more than five years.