I'm going to have quite a bit more food (I hope) than I can eat this fall, and need a good read for the summer to get me primed. I hope to have plenty of peppers, tomatoes, pole beans, zucchini, lemon cucs, carrots, radishes, onion, and plenty of fresh herbs. Ideas?
I agree, the Ball Blue Book is great. It's got complete instructions and lots of illustrations. If you don't mind going off the computer, most of the information is on the Ball website. But if you want a book in front of you in the kitchen, this is the one. Your local Extension office will probably have copies, and people who can walk you through the process.
Ball Blue Book is updated regularly and is available at your local (usually) extension office. Here's a link to the Main extension site and they sell the 2009 edition for short money. Since practices sometimes change it's useful to take a look at a newer version from time to time. The book has about 100 editions, if I remember right.
This year I'm going to try something different, along with regular canning. I found a book titled Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning. It has recipes for traditional preserving methods (fermenting, drying, root cellaring, etc). None of the recipes require boiling the foods at high temperatures, so they should retain more of their 'fresh' flavor. I'll have to let you all know how it turns out - or maybe some of you can try it along with me?
The University of Georgia's Cooperative Extension has a comprehensive guide (nearly 400 pages) to food preservation, So Easy to Preserve. (5th Edition) It covers canning, drying, freezing, pickling, jellies -with lots of recipes. For only $18 it's my go-to-reference (it's $10 more from Amazon!) You can also order "how-to" DVD's from them.
I usually pick it up first and then go to my other books and the web for additional recipes.
I have owned Stocking Up III (Rodale Press) for many years and there are basic canning and preserving instructions in this book. The book is divided up for fruits, veggies, dairy, meat, nuts, sprouts, etc. Preserving food by canning, freezing, dehydrating, root cellaring are all covered This book (about 560 pages) also has many recipes for homegrown foods and I have used it so often that I can surely recommend it. You could probably find this as a used book, too.
I just used Canning for Dummies to water bath can a batch of pickled beets today. It was the first time I've ever canned, and I found the guidelines really simple to follow and helpful. The recipe turned out really well, too. I'm also ordering a book called Canning and Preserving by Jackie Clay from Backwoods Home magazine. She's an amazing resource - you can go to their website and search her blog for all kinds of canning questions.
Over the years, I have picked up a lot of older canning and preserving books. I love them. I also have some ebooks that are good, and if any of you want them, I will happily send them to you. You will have to message me on here with your regular email. I won't keep your information.
I agree that the Ball Blue book is the way to go I have several versions over the years and received their new book last year for a present of the Complete Book of Home Perserving and it is a hard back book. I also watch their facebook page for people inventing stuff. Lots of fun