I was mighty excited last week to receive a surprise copy of “You Can Too!”by Elizabeth Peirce. I love canning, and though I have rarely included recipes of my own concoctions, though I love coming up with new preserves and the joy of a shelf packed with delight brightly colours.
You Can Too! is a great starter for those looking to preserve their own harvest – or those bought at the farmer’s market; I still maintain that there is really no point in canning anything but local produce (except for oranges in marmalade).
Peirce is informative and playful throughout the book – I particularly like the doodles of canning supplies and produce. She somehow manages to cover all of the basics of food preservation, including freezing and cold storage. The recipes, some of them from her own family, are interesting – I plan on making the mustard pickles and I’ll see if it holds true to her Grandmother’s double underlined “good!”.
I liked the anecdotes sprinkled throughout the chapters, they personalize the book as do the addition of photographs of her son and other family members. Food is family and preserving our harvest brings us closer to our forebears – a sentiment that I think is shared by Peirce as there are multiple heirloom recipes. Surprisingly, the chapter titled Stories from the Kitchen feels forced – Peirce loses the playfulness and storytelling ability more readily available in her anecdotal asides.
I find that every time I flip through You Can Too I learn something new – I definitely recommend reading through it entirely then refer back for more pointed questions – though it seems to lack an index which I would find very useful. There are a number of recipes in the back of the book, including some tasty looking Dilly Beans I am rather keen to try this summer.
Many thanks to Nimbus Publishing for providing me with a copy of You Can Too!