In the dog days of summer, many people are beginning to can and preserve summer’s bounty from gardens and farmers markets. Check out these tasty titles that will help you extend the season of fresh flavors into the rest of the year. Most titles will contain sections on gear needed, adjustments for altitude, and basic explanations for methods of preserving. All will have a recipe or two to use what you have preserved.

“The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving” contains over 350 flavor-packed recipes that both newbie and experienced canners can explore. This comprehensive guide is organized by technique: water bath canning, fermenting, pressure canning, freezing, dehydrating, curing and smoking. Various sidebars can help readers get the most out of basic recipes. A brief section on simple one-jar meals will provide the reader with ready-to-eat meals for their pantry.

“Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments & More” by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen contains over 100 well tested recipes across a wide range of categories. In addition, the science of canning is explained, and there’s a troubleshooting guide to common canning problems.

With beautiful photographs, “Jam Session: A Fruit-Preserving Handbook” by Joyce Goldenstein is a selective guide to making all-natural fruit preserves. Organized by type of fruit and seasonal availability, “Jam Session” includes ideas on using preserves to elevate common foods that will provide inspiration to preserving newcomers and veterans alike.

“Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen” by Beth Dooley & Mette Nielsen guides readers to take advantage of the short growing season in the northern heartland. Organized by ingredient, Dooley and Nielsen’s book explains how to turn fresh produce into tasty condiments that can be enjoyed all year long.

For those who don’t have large storage areas or a large amount of produce:

“The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving” by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard makes the most of fresh fruits and vegetables as they become available throughout the year. “A small yield gives more opportunity to make several different preserves.” Allows one to enhance/add interest to an otherwise simple meal.

Popular food blogger Marisa McClellan has written a couple of books around small batch preserving. “Preserving by the Pint” is organized seasonally to take advantage of saving smaller batches from farmers markets and produce stands. “Food in Jars” takes the reader through several recipes for jams, marmalades, chutneys, pickles, syrups and much more. The “Food in Jars Kitchen” title shows readers how to use what they have preserved. McClellan lists “140 ways to cook, bake, plate, and share your homemade pantry.”

Check out these and many other canning and preserving resources at your local Anoka County Library branch. You may also be interested in our cooking classes at the Centennial, Crooked Lake and Mississippi branches (check the online event calendar for dates and topics). Don’t forget about the new cake pan collection that calls the Centennial branch home.

May you enjoy the future fruits of your labor!

Dawn McKenzie is an associate at Northtown Library. Learn about the library at

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