By Kevin West
Alfred A. Knopf, $35
Kevin West’s superb new book on the art of home canning seems destined to become a classic. West, a former reporter and editor, is a thoughtful and nimble writer who finds poetry, beauty, and wonder in the technical and sometimes daunting endeavor of preserving nature’s bounty. Though raised in the South where his family practiced “putting up,” West didn’t do his own preserving until 2008, when he found himself with a flat of strawberries and a hankering to make jam. Frustrated by the information available, he figured out how to do it on his own and began a blog, also called Saving the Season. In the book, he elucidates the hows and whys of canning, while weaving in family lore, literary excerpts, and musings on history, art, and philosophy. The book’s 200-plus recipes encompass the savory and the sweet: Sunshine Pickles, Heirloom Tomato Sauce, Whole-Grain Mustard, Plum Liqueur, Wild Blackberry Molasses, and Thrifty Applesauce are but a small taste of the recipes offered in this thoroughly researched and deeply engaging guide.
Featured Recipes from Saving the Season
|Red Currant Jelly
||Cucumber-Dill Spears and Chips|
Photos by Kevin West