Robert Rose, Inc. (2015)
Reviewed by Tammy Petty Conrad for Reader Views (06/15)
I never had any desire to can preserves, but reading “Preservation Society Home Preserves” by Camilla Wynne made me want to go out and buy the equipment and give it a try. The author lovingly describes the history of each recipe. She pulls the non-cook into her warm and sweet-smelling kitchen and doesn’t let you go until you try something.
Wynne includes recipes for marmalades, jellies, and jams as well as pickles and syrups, as well as many other tasty treats. She is meticulous in her canning instructions and explains why that’s important. She hosts workshops and you can even watch her cooking one of the book’s recipes, Ariane’s Marinated Mushrooms.
I did try the recipes that didn’t require all the extra work with the canning jars and boiling water. I made pickles, on my own – and they were good! And, quick and easy. What a smart way to pickle vegetables before they go bad and enjoy them for another week. I even made Dad’s Pickled Shrimp, and will be repeating that recipe regularly!
My second attempt was Marmalade Truffles. I am notorious for not following recipes precisely and making do with what I have on hand. Now I know why it is important to follow directions. My truffles didn’t turn out exactly as described, but they made a lovely dark and orangey sauce! Oh well, that won’t keep me from trying other tempting treats like Peanut Butter Scones and Jam Pockets, a better version of a Pop-Tart.
“Preservation Society Home Preserves” by Camilla Wynne is a colorful, enticing book full of engaging photographs and commentary. I want to be the author’s best friend, hanging out in her kitchen while she’s whipping up a batch of Fig Jam with Secrets. At times, it’s like reading an autobiography more than a cookbook and I like that. Wynne admits that she likes to amuse herself in the kitchen and she “…hope(s) this book serves as a launching pad for your own weird ideas.” Well, it’s not my own weird idea, but I’ll be happy to steal her breakfast bacon jam and call it my own!