I am slightly obsessed with cookbooks. I could spend hours inside Chapters browsing through the latest releases and building a mental cookbook wishlist (okay, I actually do that all the time). I love the photos, the smooth feel of their covers, and the promise of delicious food inside.
But yet, I could probably count on two hands the number of times per year I actually make a recipe from one of my cookbooks.
I partially blame that on Pinterest, but also it’s because sometimes cookbook recipes can seem unachievable. They call for too many ingredients, take too long to prepare, take too many steps, and overall just don’t inspire confidence in me that I can make the recipe.
So when I received a copy of Amy Bronee‘s first cookbook The Canning Kitchen I was surprised to discover the recipes seemed surprisingly approachable (this is coming from someone who has canned twice in her lifetime before – so I’m far from an experienced canner).
So approachable, in fact, that I decided to make her peach jam on a Thursday morning before work with a tight time frame, without any proper canning equipment, and with a sick boyfriend moaning on the couch. I don’t know what came over me, but I felt confident I could do it anyways.
And things went absolutely smoothly! Just kidding, I was 2 hours late for work, my makeshift aluminum foil “rack” fell apart on me, I flooded my stove with water (note: you really cannot use a standard soup pot as a canner), the jam wouldn’t thicken (my fault: I didn’t have a wide enough pot for evaporation to occur), and I nearly had a nervous breakdown. But I have flexible work hours anyways, the water got mopped up, I added chia seeds to the jam to help thicken it up, and all was good in the end because I have 6 jars of peach jam that I made entirely by myself – I’m like one proud mama over here!
And I can honestly say I would not have done this if it weren’t for Amy’s cookbook. Canning has always intimidated me with all the seemingly complicated steps, the meticulous attention to small details, and the possibility of royally screwing up and creating a batch of jam that gets infested with bacteria and kills my whole family. Okay, perhaps a tad dramatic.
But for all you canning scaredy cats out there like me, fear no more. If The Canning Kitchen can talk a clutz like me through canning, there’s no one it can’t help. But a word of advice: listen to Amy when she tells you what equipment you need. She knows what she’s talking about.
Want to see more of what this cookbook has to offer? Check out the posts of some other great Canadian bloggers to read about their experiences making recipes from The Canning Kitchen:
Blueberry Sauce via The Brunette Baker
Bread & Butter Pickles via Planet Byn
Crunchy Dill Pickles via She Eats
Triple Red Pickles via The Tasty Gardener
Beer Hive Grainy Mustard via Sweet Twist of Blogging
Lemon Raspberry Jamalade via My Daily Randomness
Blueberry Orange Marmalade via The Messy Baker
Peach Chutney with Garam Masala via Libby Roach
Tomato Red Onion Relish via Devour & Conquer
As a part of this blog hop, we are also hosting a GIVEAWAY for a signed copy of Amy’s cookbook plus a $100 gift certificate to Canadian Tire to get you stocked up on all your canning needs! You can enter using the form below between August 26th and September 2nd, 2015. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents of legal age only.
Big thank you to Penguin Random House for the complimentary copy of The Canning Kitchen for the purpose of this review! All opinions expressed in this post are my own.