Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Bay Tree Preserving

Author:  Emma Macdonald
Genre:  Cookbooks

Five Stars
The Bay Tree Book of Preserving is the ultimate book on the subject, providing a one-stop resource. Everyone can enjoy the fruits of their labours with this book from the UK's foremost producer of a huge range of preserves. Whether you have foraged hedgerows, picked produce from your own vegetable garden or allotment, or searched out the best seasonal buys in the supermarket or market, this book contains a complete collection of recipes for preserving fruit and vegetables, meat or fish. Emma Macdonald gives clear and comprehensive instructions for curing, drying, pickling, bottling/canning, crystalizing and jellying; as well as recipes for all kinds of jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys, relishes, cordials, fruit liqueurs, sauces, ketchups, confits and salamis, fruit curds, cheeses and butters, and dried fruits and veggies. Every classic is covered, including: gravlax, confit chicken, candied peel, quince cheese, elderflower cordial, mint jelly, onion marmalade, rhubarb chutney, sloe gin, raspberry jam and piccalilli. There are many others, some of them centuries old, some of them modern inventions, such as Banana and Date Chutney and Grapefruit and Elderflower Marmalade. Emma also includes expert tips on troubleshooting and information on all the equipment you will need. Pick up your muslins and straining funnel and get preserving!
For anyone who enjoys canning and preserving, as I do, this book is definitely a must.  There are many tried and true recipes along with those that are new to me but sound extremely delicious.  I can't wait for autumn - I live in a part of the country where it's extremely hot - when the weather cools down and I can spend some time in the kitchen trying out these wonderful recipes.
There are many that are perfect for gifts (Christmas is just around the corner, folks!) and obviously plenty for those that like to keep things on hand.  What I especially enjoyed were the recipes for homemade cordials; and I found something unusual - types of homemade cheeses, which you don't usually see in a book on preserves.
The instructions are clear, concise and easy to follow; highly recommended for both the novice cook and the experienced.

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