Preserves by Pam Corbin (book review)...

"Preserves - River Cottage Handbook No. 2"
by Pam Corbin

 Hardcover (224 pages)

Chapters: Seasonality, The rules, Jam & Jellies, Pickles Chutneys & Relishes, Cordials Fruit Liqueurs & Vinegars, Bottled fruits, Sauces Ketchup & Oil-based preserves, Useful things

River Cottage has a series of great books which are handy guides, in a small format and thick cover. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a real passionate "foodie" (producer, consumer) - something which hugely contributed into creation of those books. As it's already autumn in the air and it is THAT time of the year for making jams, relishes etc. for the coming winter (and the whole year round) I've picked this book from my shelf to write about - and highly recommend it to you!

Pam Corbin is very strict on health and safety, but everything in a modern, not over complicated way. There are some really useful tips about sterilising, filling and sealing, all in a form of handy, easy to read tables - so even if you're complete novice when it comes to making your own jams, pickles, she'll take you all way through.She explains everything, covers all the basics and more. Explains that like chutneys are not marmalades etc. This book is like a mini encyclopedia of all things in jars.

Of course the real test is in the recipes. I like the way in which book is written and divided into useful and thematical chapters. Each recipe is on its own page and there are lots of useful illustrations.I love the seasonal advice that tells you when to make a particular preserve. Pam also suggests interesting variations which you probably wouldn't think of yourself, like: Whiskey marmalade, Indian spices (like fenugreek) in the rhubarb relish, Pickled crab apples instead of pears and many more.
Things I was surprised with are the recipes on how to make: passata, fruit leather(!), quince jelly and compost heap jelly. She also tells you how rewarding it is to make your own jam or jelly, way more better (and healthier) than buying one from the shop. More to that - this book also teaches about seasonality, which seems to be forgotten in our modern, hectic lives.

Honestly - if you're looking for a big in content, but small in size, book about food preservation don't look any further!

Some of the recipes I've already tried:

Homemade piccalilly

About the author: 
Pam Corbin has been making preserves for as long as she can remember, and for more than twenty years her passion has been her business. Pam and her husband Hugh moved to Devon where they bought an old pig farm and converted it into a small jam factory. Always using good, wholesome, seasonal ingredients, their products, sold under the Thursday Cottage label, soon became firm favourites with jam-lovers the world over. Pam has now hung up her professional wooden spoon but continues to 'jam' at home. She also works closely with the River Cottage team, making seasonal goodies using fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers from her own garden, from Park Farm, and from the fields and hedgerows. - by