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Put 'em Up! Fruit: Creative Recipes for Making and Using Fresh Fruit Preserves, Chutneys, Infusions, and Pickles - Sherri Brooks Vinton I LOVE this cookbook and am planning to buy my own copy. Put 'em Up! Fruit is a good introduction to preserving fruit, with a heavy focus on canning using the boiling-water method. It includes other preservation methods -- drying and freezing -- but the star of the show is definitely canning.

First off, this is a beautiful cookbook, but it is also laid out very cleverly, and it's not style-over-substance: the photos are as helpful as they are pretty. There's a boiling-water canning guide in the front that incorporates great reference photos, and I wish I had seen it before I ever started canning. Maybe I wouldn't have tried using the wrong end of my canning tongs to pick up hot jars.

There are troubleshooting guides (ah, FRUIT FLOAT, that's what happened to my strawberry jam last summer) and photos demonstrating what terms like "julienne" and "dice" mean when it comes to prepping your produce.

The info in the front would be enough for me to recommend this cookbook, but the included recipes are also great; Put 'em Up! Fruit contains a nice range of recipes, organized by fruit, from jellies to to vinegar to dried lemons, which look a little alarming but are supposedly delicious. Even better: behind each recipe, there's a recipe that shows you a way to put your newly preserved produce to work. For instance, a recipe for blueberry syrup is paired with a recipe for blueberry lemonade, which uses the syrup as a flavoring.

As usual, I picked a recipe to test out. My grocery store had blood oranges, which I love, so I figured I'd try the recipe for blood orange marmalade. This was my first attempt at marmalade, so I didn't know what to expect, but the instructions were easy to follow and Vinton's easy-going but knowledgeable style helped me not to stress about it. I made a smaller batch than the recipe called for but didn't run into any problems downsizing it.

The blood orange marmalade turned out really well! And it's very, very pretty. My only criticism is that I think the oranges should be cut in eight pieces, not four, as the pieces of rind in the marmalade were a touch too large for me -- but I think that's a matter of personal taste. I'm looking forward to trying the accompanying recipe for salmon with orange glaze that incorporates the marmalade into a sauce. There's also a variation, brandied blood orange marmalade, that I'd like to try, if I can find more blood oranges.

I try not to hoard cookbooks these days, as I turn to the internet for recipes more often than not, and I have already have too many books to fit on my bookshelves as it is, but I make exceptions for cookbooks I know I will use, and this is definitely a good one for my little canning shelf.

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