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We Sure Can! - How Jams and Pickles Are Reviving the Lure and Lore of Local Food

We Sure Can!

How Jams and Pickles Are Reviving the Lure and Lore of Local Food

By Sarah B. Hood
Categories: Cooking
Paperback : 9781551524023, 272 pages, 2011
Read Excerpt (PDF)


Taste Canada Award Finalist

We Sure Can! celebrates the ongoing "Canvolution," in which urban "preservationists," local-food aficionados, rural picklers and jammers, and food bloggers are rediscovering the vanishing art of home canning jams, pickles, and other preserves. And we're not talking your standard strawberry jam here; passionate canners are preserving all manner of fruits and vegetables and combining them with unexpectedly exotic spices and ingredients.

The book features over 100 recipes from an international assembly of inventive canners (including the author herself), as well as profiles of those who do it best. The book's recipes are divided according to the seasons; some of the more tantalizing creations include Lemongrass, Ginger, & Kaffir Lime Jelly; Blackberry Lime Jam; Dandelion Jelly; Pickled Ramps; Lavender Peach Preserves; and Pickled Watermelon Rinds. The book also features practical and important information and safety tips for those wanting to start canning produce at home.

Perfect for fans of the growing locavore movement and those who are empowered by the idea of "putting up" their own preserves, this book will inspire readers to start their own jam sessions as soon as the year's bumper crop of fruits and vegetables becomes available. Can anybody join the movement? We sure can!


The humble art of canning has resurfaced and captured the attention of a new generation of cooks. Sarah B. Hood joins their ranks with a new book that veteran canners and newbies alike will prize.
-Today's Diet & Nutrition

- Today's Diet & Nutrition

This book captures the DIY zeitgeist by drawing on the vast community of food canning and preserving bloggers for an anthology of recipes and stories.
-Delicious Living

- Delicious Living

[The] recipes cater to a sophisticated palate. While you'll find the more traditional Dill Pickled Beans and raspberry jam, [Sarah B. Hood] also shows you how to make your own apple pectin and use it to make lovely sounding jellies such as Wild Violet, Dandelion, and Lilac from plants you might be lucky enough to find in your vicinity.
-The Atlantic

- The Atlantic

We Sure Can! is written from a place of sharing and generosity. Sarah's book is a celebration of the many chefs, cooks and bloggers who have played roles in the energy that has gathered around canning in the last few years.
-Food in Jars blog

- Food in Jars

Once you've mastered the principles of preserving, you're only limited by your imagination. To learn the basics, pick up a guide like the terrific new cookbook We Sure Can! It's full of clear, easy-to-follow directions for sterilizing and processing jars, as well as mouth-watering recipes for preserves of all sorts, many of which would be terrific as cocktail ingredients or garnishes. For instance, the book's Fire & Spice Pickled Onions would be a zingy way to add kick to a Christmas party, while the Dill Pickled Green and Yellow Beans would make a festive accompaniment to your Boxing Day Bloody Mary.
-Vancouver Sun

- Vancouver Sun

We Sure Can! reads like a friendly chat with Sarah as she introduces the cast of characters in the contemporary canning movement and recounts the blossoming of her enthusiasm for canning. On the practical side, she explains the scientific rules behind the techniques, lists the equipment you need, shares her most useful tips, and best of all, makes preserving sound like something you sure can do.
-Elizabeth Baird, Toronto Sun/London Free Press/Sudbury Star

- Elizabeth Baird

Canning has again emerged as a solution to the pesky problem of long winters without fresh produce. Also as important is the meditative value of canning and preserving, as well as the fabulous range of great tastes that can be teased from the process. Think Plum Conserve for a Winter's Night, eaten before a roaring fire with nuts and gingerbread, or Strawberry Jam with Black Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar, served with goat cheese. Both recipes are in Hood's book along with dozens of other ways to amaze your friends and family with your fabulous new/old DIY skill set.
-Edmonton Journal

- Edmonton Journal

For novices and experienced canners alike, We Sure Can! offers plenty of ways to enjoy the harvest year round and is an important resource for the ever-growing ranks of home canners.
-New York Journal of Books

- New York Journal of Books

This beautifully photographed book by Sarah B. Hood offers basic canning instructions as well as a motherload of recipes, from the traditional ("Baba's Dill Pickles") to the trendy ("Carrot Rhubarb Jam with Rosemary"). And it's not just the home cook who can benefit. Bartenders, chefs, even food truck hot dog vendors will find condiment recipes to take their creations to another level.
-City Food

- City Food

A comprehensive guide to preserving - from the "Bare-Bones Cheat Sheet" on the front flap and details on attending a canning/spiritual retreat in upstate New York to a back section on styling the fruit of one's jars with labels and tags.
-National Post

- National Post

Canning isn't just for grandmoth­ers anymore, as anyone can tell by the plethora of blogs devoted to putting up . .. The book is full of a wide range of recipes for compotes, conserves, and preserves, as well as jam, chutney, and pickle recipes that range from basic to complexly flavored creations . .. a nicely curated collection.

- Bust

There is something for everyone - and I mean everyone. Sarah B. Hood pulls her recipes from all across North America, so whether your palate turns to savoury or sweet, you're sure to find a preserve or two that appeals . .. And once your perfectly set jam is sealed and cooled? Crafty DIYers will love the label, wrapping and gift idea section.
-Christiescorner. com

- Christie's Corner

I'm thrilled with this book. It is basic enough to help the beginner through his or her first batch of jam, and sophisticated enough to allow a serious cook to wow friends with some amazing party offerings.
-Owlhaven. net

- Owlhaven