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We Sure Can!: How Jams and Pickles Are Reviving the Lure and Lore of Local Food Paperback – Jul 1 2011
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Canning has again emerged as a solution to the pesky problem of long winters without fresh produce. Also as important is the meditative value of canning and preserving, as well as the fabulous range of great tastes that can be teased from the process. Think Plum Conserve for a Winter's Night, eaten before a roaring fire with nuts and gingerbread, or Strawberry Jam with Black Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar, served with goat cheese. Both recipes are in Hood's book along with dozens of other ways to amaze your friends and family with your fabulous new/old DIY skill set.
-Edmonton Journal (Edmonton Journal 2011-08-17)
I'm thrilled with this book. It is basic enough to help the beginner through his or her first batch of jam, and sophisticated enough to allow a serious cook to wow friends with some amazing party offerings.
-Owlhaven.net (Owlhaven 2011-09-09)
This beautifully photographed book by Sarah B. Hood offers basic canning instructions as well as a motherload of recipes, from the traditional ("Baba's Dill Pickles") to the trendy ("Carrot Rhubarb Jam with Rosemary"). And it's not just the home cook who can benefit. Bartenders, chefs, even food truck hot dog vendors will find condiment recipes to take their creations to another level.
-City Food (City Food 2011-07-11)
Once you've mastered the principles of preserving, you're only limited by your imagination. To learn the basics, pick up a guide like the terrific new cookbook We Sure Can! It's full of clear, easy-to-follow directions for sterilizing and processing jars, as well as mouth-watering recipes for preserves of all sorts, many of which would be terrific as cocktail ingredients or garnishes. For instance, the book's Fire & Spice Pickled Onions would be a zingy way to add kick to a Christmas party, while the Dill Pickled Green and Yellow Beans would make a festive accompaniment to your Boxing Day Bloody Mary.
-Vancouver Sun (Vancouver Sun 2011-08-06)
A comprehensive guide to preserving - from the "Bare-Bones Cheat Sheet" on the front flap and details on attending a canning/spiritual retreat in upstate New York to a back section on styling the fruit of one's jars with labels and tags.
-National Post (National Post 2011-08-24)
For novices and experienced canners alike, We Sure Can! offers plenty of ways to enjoy the harvest year round and is an important resource for the ever-growing ranks of home canners.
-New York Journal of Books (New York Journal of Books 2011-08-30)
There is something for everyone - and I mean everyone. Sarah B. Hood pulls her recipes from all across North America, so whether your palate turns to savoury or sweet, you're sure to find a preserve or two that appeals ... And once your perfectly set jam is sealed and cooled? Crafty DIYers will love the label, wrapping and gift idea section.
-Christiescorner.com (Christie's Corner 2011-09-20)
We Sure Can! reads like a friendly chat with Sarah as she introduces the cast of characters in the contemporary canning movement and recounts the blossoming of her enthusiasm for canning. On the practical side, she explains the scientific rules behind the techniques, lists the equipment you need, shares her most useful tips, and best of all, makes preserving sound like something you sure can do.
-Elizabeth Baird, Toronto Sun/London Free Press/Sudbury Star (Elizabeth Baird 2011-09-21)
Canning isn't just for grandmothers anymore, as anyone can tell by the plethora of blogs devoted to putting up ... The book is full of a wide range of recipes for compotes, conserves, and preserves, as well as jam, chutney, and pickle recipes that range from basic to complexly flavored creations ... a nicely curated collection.
-Bust (Bust 2011-09-27)
The humble art of canning has resurfaced and captured the attention of a new generation of cooks. Sarah B. Hood joins their ranks with a new book that veteran canners and newbies alike will prize.
-Today's Diet & Nutrition (Today's Diet & Nutrition 2011-10-03)
We Sure Can! is written from a place of sharing and generosity. Sarah's book is a celebration of the many chefs, cooks and bloggers who have played roles in the energy that has gathered around canning in the last few years.
-Food in Jars blog (Food in Jars 2011-10-07)
This book captures the DIY zeitgeist by drawing on the vast community of food canning and preserving bloggers for an anthology of recipes and stories.
-Delicious Living (Delicious Living 2011-12-06)
[The] recipes cater to a sophisticated palate. While you'll find the more traditional Dill Pickled Beans and raspberry jam, [Sarah B. Hood] also shows you how to make your own apple pectin and use it to make lovely sounding jellies such as Wild Violet, Dandelion, and Lilac from plants you might be lucky enough to find in your vicinity.
-The Atlantic (The Atlantic 2011-12-23)
About the Author
Sarah B. Hood is a Toronto journalist who has been shortlisted for the National Magazine Awards and the Kenneth R. Wilson business writing awards. Her preserves have won prizes from Canada's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the Culinary Historians of Canada. She is the author of We Sure Can! and co-author of Toronto: The Unknown City.
Top Customer Reviews
If you want to know just about everything about canning and learning from the many people interviewed in the book about their passion for making preserves, this is the book for you. Sarah travels all over learning what she can from canning enthusiasts and shares their wisdom with the reader. The photographs are lovely but are not necessarily the finished product of each recipe. In fact, the recipe section is quite text-heavy but the layout is extremely clear which I appreciated so much. I made mostly classic recipes but there are many adventurous ideas such as picked wild leeks and lavender peach preserves with Kirsch.
I will be using this book in the future now that I feel more confident about making jams and jellies thanks to Sarah B. Hood who was incredibly helpful. I was nervous about canning and she guided me through the process in both her book and through emails, what a sweetheart! I feel I have only just begun with this cookbook and can not wait to try more recipes.
We Sure Can has both traditional and off beat, inventive recipes that look like they're going to taste great and I can't wait to try out. There is a great discussion on the commercial pectin debate. Many of the jam recipes don't call for commercial pectin but a few do. There are recipes for home made pectin for those of us who prefer not to use it.
While I seldom make pickles there are several recipes, including one for Indian Spiced Zucchini Pickle, that I look forward to trying.
The best surprise of all was when I realized the book I had been drooling over for the last hour was written by a Canadian who knew about the various regional specialties offered in different provinces.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in preserving; there is indeed something for everyone in it. Both simple recipes for beginners and more advanced ones for experienced preservers. There is a wealth of information offered: clear instructions on how to make your preserve safely while offering great tips on getting the most from your ingredients, recipes to showcase your preserves, storing and presentation advice and a whole lot more.
As an experienced jam maker I consider myself a member of the "JamNation" but often find that new books on the topic offer little by way of new ideas or information. 'We Sure Can' does just that in a pleasant, sometimes humorous, voice and I shall enjoy it for a long time.