Glorious fruit and vegetables are a hallmark of harvests, but what do you do when you want to preserve the tastes for other times? Traditionally, the answer was to “put up” or preserve these wonderful things for later, sometimes combining them creatively and adding spices. A day of canning meant piles of produce, dozens of jars, and steam filling the kitchen for hours—usually on a hot summer day. Marisa McClellan’s Preserving by the Pint presents a different way to do this wonderful, traditional cooking without such a huge commitment of time and storage space.
I enjoyed preserving fruits with my late mother. Though we lived in town, we had an abundance of produce: damson plums from Kenmore’s trees (gathered with permission); peaches from “the peach lady” at the farmers’ market; and strawberries picked at a local farm. Mama also put up bread-and-butter pickles, watermelon pickles, apple butter, and marmalade made from amazing Christmas oranges.
Nowadays, I would still like to do some preserving with my daughter, but realistically we don’t have the space or the time for big batches. Preserving by the Pint answers these problems and gives recipes that produce only a big jar or a couple of smaller ones. Readers might consider getting that bag of sweet cherries at the store and making it into compote that would do well at a December meal in company with a Spicy Apple Cider and Mustard Glaze for the main course.
Marisa McClellan’s recipes are sufficiently creative to intrigue people who have never gone anywhere near a Mason jar, and her basic canning directions are uncomplicated and easily followed. This cookbook combines inspirational twists on flavor with a practical craft that can be still be enjoyed through the generations. From spring’s Savory Pickled Asparagus to winter’s Orange Cardamom Curd, a pound of fruit can yield many delicious memories.