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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Modern Backyard Food Cooking! A Bibliography

Gary Paul Nabham's book, Renewing America's Food Traditions, sports a rich cover of squash, corn and acorns promising a cornucopia of food our culture has failed to keep alive as we allowed chain restaurants to help pave our country with parking lots and cuisine that is almost as tasty and healthy as the concrete in those parking lots.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day, Hertzberg, Jeff and Francois, ZoĆ« © 2007 Technically NOT involved with the preservation of food, the idea of having homemade bread somehow ties in with the possibility of having homemade preserves and cheese, doesn't it? This book will revolutionize the way bread is done because one can have fresh – good! - bread in five whole minutes a day. The bread we are eating today is from this recipe.

Complete Guide ot Home Canning and Preserving, 2nd Revised Ed. US Department of Agriculture, © 1999 Dover Publications, This is the official word on canning and preserving. It is the book with all the latest (as of 1999!) research in the field. It does include some wonderful recipes suitable for beginners on into advanced home canners. I have found I refer to it even when using a recipe from other books. A thin volume, but your tax dollars at work on at least this worthwhile project.

Home Cheese Making, Carroll, Ricki © 2002, Storey Publishing, Yes, cheese is preserving food too! Ricki Carroll,also called the Queen of Cheese, is the premier teacher for the neophyte. You can learn to make everything from cream cheese to Parmesan. Of course, most of us will stick to simple cheeses like the many soft cheeses.

Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning, The Gardeners and Farmers of Terre Vivante, © 1999, Chelsea Green Publishing The introduction to the first edition written by Eliot Coleman, called “The Poetry of Food” is worth the price of the book alone. This book offers over 250 recipes enabling one to enjoy the garden's produce throughout the year. This guide is perhaps even 'essential' if this area interests you.

Preserving the Taste, Waycott, Edon, © 1993, Hearst Books, This little gem is out of print and the paperback is being sold for $95.00, used, on Amazon. If you find it more reasonably priced than that, it is truly a treasure. The recipes are all written to preserve not only the food, but, as the title suggests, also the taste. I have made many recipes from this book and all have been winners.

Small-Scale Grain Raising, Second Edition: An Organic Guide to Growing, Processing, and Using Nutritious Whole Grains, for Home Gardeners and Local Farmers 2nd Edition, Logsdon, Gene, © 2009 Chelsea Green Publishing, The original was published in 1977 has been out of print for a very long time, but Chelsea Green has brought it back almost in the original form. I have the first edition and I sat down one winter's night to compare the two. It is an uncannily written book that is spot on for learning exactly what it says it will teach you. Gene Logsdon remains one of my favorite writers and after just a few pages, you'll see why.

The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest, Costenbader, Carol (revised by Joanne Lamb Hayes), © 2002, Storey Publishing, This book covers all aspects of canning, drying, freezing, jams and jellies, pickles, relishes and chutneys, vinegars, and cold storage. It is a well referenced and is, in turn for me, a thorough reference on my shelf.

The Home Creamery, Farrell-Kingsley, Kathy © 2008, Storey Publishing, Just a step beyond (or is it a step before?) home cheese-making, there is homemade butter, sour cream and more. This book does include a lot of different cheeses, so in some ways it duplicates the cheese book, but it is still an interesting addition to the home library.

Renewing America's Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent's Most Endangered Foods, Nabham, Gary, Editor, © 2008, Chelsea Green Publishing, Nabahm has many books out that gardeners who eat should find fascinating and informative. This one, exculpates food that many of us have forgotten and actually lists those regional favorites (over 1000!) that are deemed 'at risk,' like endangered species, of ceasing to exist. The way to preserve foods is to eat them and make them a part of our lives again – just like the way to preserve seeds is to grow them and make them a vital part of our gardens!

You can notice from the above list that Storey Publishing and Chelsea Green Publishers are the two publishing houses to look to for many more books of these titles; I suggest you take a spin through their websites. Also, magazines like CountrySide and Small Stock Journal and Mother Earth News are two old time magazines that include a lot of information about things like this because their constituency is the modern homesteader.


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