It's time for another cookbook review and today it's all about empowering you to embrace the art of small batch canning. I'm joining a great group of food bloggers from across Canada as we try recipes from The Canning Kitchen by Amy Bronee and share our experiences working with this new canning cookbook. And to help you get into the canning spirit, we're also sharing the love across the country with a great canning giveaway below.
I've dabbled in canning from time to time in the past, but it wasn't until last fall that I really buckled down and learned how to really can a variety of fresh things from my garden and local farmer's markets from scratch to fill my pantry. And as I stumbled through the learning process, I relied on the advice and recipes of fellow food bloggers well-versed in the canning arts and fellow west coaster Amy Bronee of The Family Feedbag kindly reached out to me with sage advice and supportive words to keep me motivated. Now I'm thrilled to be able to pay forward her kindness a year later by sharing her wonderful new cookbook The Canning Kitchen, released in June of 2015.
This approachable, non-intimidating cookbook brings together all the information you need to start canning for the first time, with definitions and explanations of all those mysterious canning terms and definitions, and a breakdown of exactly how to start canning at home and what equipment, supplies and ingredients you need to get the job done.
But this book isn't just for newbies, with a gorgeous selection of 101 recipes for classic jams, chutneys and sauces and eclectic, non-traditional mustards, relishes and specialty treats, there are many new ideas for experienced canners to up their home-jarring talents with enticing flavour combinations like Pink Lemonade Jelly, Coconut Lime Marmalade and Chipotle Apple BBQ Sauce.
Each of the Canadian food bloggers participating in our cross-country Canning Kitchen review picked a different recipe to try this summer, and I must admit, it was hard to chose just one to highlight. In the end, I settled on the recipe for Tomato Red Onion Relish, both to challenge myself with a new recipe I'd never tried before, and to fill my pantry with something a little different to top our end-of-summer hot dogs and hamburgers.
As my little Vancouver Island urban garden is overflowing with tomatoes and peppers right now, I got to pick my fresh ingredients right from the backyard. This savory Tomato Red Onion Relish recipe harkens back to classic tomato-based relishes of the past, combining the flavours of fresh tomatoes and bell peppers with red onion, mustard & celery seed and spices. The recipe was simple and straightforward, and before I knew it - pow! - I'd recreated my first ever homemade relish. Zingy, bright and fresh tasting, for me it brings all the flavours of ketchup, mustard and relish together into one spread.
As I got ready to send my newly created relish packed in shining glass jars into the water bath canner (all 101 recipes in this cookbook use the easy-to-follow water bath canning method), I brought a sample spoonful to my husband for a taste. He immediately shouted "Holy crap, this is just like the hamburger and hot dog relish I ate as a kid! Do we have any hot dogs?! Let's get them on the grill!!!" I think it goes without say that one of our jars didn't make it into the water bath and was consumed post-haste.
I can't recommend this cookbook highly enough, The Canning Kitchen should be on every current and future home canner's cookbook shelf and referred to often for new ideas and flavour combinations. The easy to follow, flavour-packed recipes allow you to try many different kinds of small batch canning techniques, and will fill your cupboards with gorgeous, gleaming stacks of jams, jellies, sauces and chutneys made from scratch, by you. What's better than that?!
But don't just take my word for it, there's food bloggers across Canada sharing their own experiences with The Canning Kitchen Cookbook. Follow the links below to read about other blogger's thoughts about working with this cookbook, as they try a mouth-watering Amy Bronee canning recipe. Links will be popping up live all day on Wednesday, Aug. 26 so keep checking back in to visit your favourites.
Heather at The Tasty Gardener made Triple Red Pickle
Chelsea at Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen made Peach Jam
Kristy at She Eats made Crunchy Dill Pickles
The Canning Kitchen Giveaway
As a part of our blog hopping cookbook review, we're sharing a great opportunity to win your own canning cache with a giveaway for a $100 Canadian Tire Gift Certificate to get stocked up on canning supplies and an autographed copy of The Canning Kitchen signed by author Amy Bronee!
Disclosure - Thank you so much to Penguin Random House Limited for providing me with a copy of The Canning Kitchen for review. All opinions about this cookbook are my own.