Food in Jars: A Book Review

I won a cookbook! Neat right?! I never win things! Aimee happened to be having a giveaway the same time I was canning peaches so I tagged some instagram photos and woo! I won!

My book arrived on Tuesday evening, I spent the entire night reading it, cover to cover. Twice.

The book is called Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan. She has a blog called Food in Jars that I super enjoy.

I love canning, love love love it. Last summer I canned over 250 lbs of produce, I teach canning in my spare time and I've won a bunch of ribbons at the fair for canning. Seriously, it's one of my favorite things to do on earth.

I own two canning books. I have the Ball Book which I use nonstop, it's basically my bible & go to guide. I have the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook which if it wasn't given to me as a gift, I would have returned. Harsh but true.

Here is what I love about Marisa's book:

It's approachable. I love the tone of the book, it's so perfect for people who want to try canning but are intimidated. It's very down to earth, with full color photos showing how to fill the jars and gauge a jam's set. The introduction is filled with the basics of canning written clear & concisely. You can tell Marisa loves to can and she's good at sharing that love in written form.

I really enjoy the conversational style of writing in the introductions to each recipe and chapter, that is the only down fall of the Ball Book, it has no personality! Recipes (to me at least!) need to have some sort of life behind them! The photos are in the book dreamy and the book itself is really quite beautiful, I love the weight of the paper and fonts used. I'm a sucker for anything well designed.

The book is broken down into categories:

Jams Fruit Butters Jellies Marmalades Curds & Conserves Chutneys & Condiments Pickles Salsas & Relishes Tomatoes Syrups Whole Fruit Granola in Jars (cute right?!) Nut Butters Other Foods in Jars

Basically, you could build your entire pantry with this book and I love that. The recipes are unique and inspiring, like Lime Curd, Gingery Pickled Beets (!!!!) and Bing Cherries in Red Wine Syrup. I've already book marked a whole slew of recipes I want to try next. For me, that's what makes or breaks a cookbook (or knitting book or quilting book!), I want to get a LOT of out of it, not two or three things. I want to try the Rosemary Salt, the Cultured Butter, Pickled Sweet Cherries and Cranberry Ketchup for sure! And! homemade Nutella! I use my moms recipe but the one in the book is really similar, so that's super rad!

The recipes themselves are really neat, I made the cranberry syrup (page 179) and I made it *exactly* as the recipe is stated. And it's perfect! I got exactly 4 half pints and the flavor is crisp & sweet! I'm super excited to make fizzy drinks & cocktails! Easy peasy! I like that she mentions to not be tempted to squish the cranberries while straining them...of course that was what I wanted to do, but I restrained myself and I have beautiful jewel toned jars for my cupboard!

I honestly hope she writes another book, this is going to be one that I for sure suggest to friends & students! woo woo!


ps: I won this book but no one asked me to review it & I wasn't compensated, I did it because I think it's a rad book! :D The End!