I'm not sure why this item has such poor reviews here on amazon. Perhaps, the other reviewers were looking for a step-by-step dummy guide on how to do canning. This book does not advertise that it is just a simple introduction to preserving. It advertises as being a "comprehensive" guide. It does this in spades!
The book is well organized. Each season (spring, summer, ect) goes in order and features many fruits, veggies, and herbs that are produced at that time. Each item then starts with a general description on the produce, basic ways of canning it, a quick easy to see chart on canning times, common companion foods including herbs. Each item also has one to three different ways of preserving it, followed by another two recipes on how to use those preserves in very interesting ways. This is followed by a bit on how best to freeze or store the produce. This organization makes it super friendly to use and not intimidating to newer users.
The recipes are accurate (I've done a good third of them so far) and tasty. These are not your basic recipes you've been doing for years. Instead you get introduced to new flavors and solid techniques that really boost your confidence on your canning abilities. I love having recipes on how to use the preserves, too. I could use chutneys and jellies in the typical ways. Now, I can really use my preserves to their fullest potential while keeping winter meals exciting! I do wish there were a few more tomato and cucumber recipes. The internet is full of recipes for these common canning items. I just think the book could have incorporated a few more of these ideas since that produce is often what people are most comfortable working with.
The pictures alone in this book make it deserve a three star rating. This is a BEAUTIFUL book! It features page after page of gorgeous food that looks real, not just designed for the photo shoot. Each picture with inspire you to get going on new recipes or gardening new veggies just to try a recipe! It also gives you a realistic idea on what things should look like. I'm often disappointed when I see lush pictures of finished cans that don't carry over to the recipe and doing it at home. The book binding and page layout really emphasize the beauty of this book, too.
If you are looking for a tutorial book, this is not for you. If you've done a few batches, and I mean only a few will do, of canning and feel good about the basic process and are looking to expand your repertoire of recipes or for new inspiration, this is definitely for you. I'm thrilled that I can flip through and quickly find the basic info I need. In the same book I have all the new projects I'll need for a while and a cookbook for the whole year to boot.