When I received a copy of the stellar The Canning Kitchen by Amy Bronee it was one of the few times I was totally unprepared for this cooking technique, and well, a total newb. Baking, bbq-ing, cooking, it’s all in my wheelhouse. The only canning I know involves opening them (especially the whoop ass variety). For me, canning instills images of old nonnas in their cellars with rows after rows of skinned tomatoes. Or doomsday preppers for the zombie apocalypse. Or for me, more likely, botulism. I was out of my league on this one, and that’s exactly I why I signed up to try it out.
Determined to learn the fine art of canning, I was enamoured with Amy’s book. It’s approachable, easy to read and follow and doesn’t bog you down with too much science and scary stuff. It’s straight talk, loaded with tons of recipes, from usual suspects like pickles, to jellies to desserts (apple pie filling ready to go? yes please!). Amy has a slew of recipes for the novice (ahem, me) to sink my teeth into, and first on the list was the mighty tempting Peach Chutney with Garam Masala (page 146).
With only a handful of ingredients to assemble, and having most of them on hand (minus the peaches that I shopped for that morning), getting my mise in order was a snap. Amy’s instructions were spot on, even down to how long to boil the peaches for in order to skin them, and tips on skinning them that made it a snap. Being a rookie, I followed the instructions to a T, but kept re-reading them, surely it couldn’t be this easy, but thankfully I was wrong and everything came together just as Amy described. I loved the first section on processing, it’s a great page to dog-ear as I repeatedly referenced it over and over again. Amy walks you through (and pretty much holds your hand) through every step of the canning process and really put my novice hands at ease. The recipe was a cinch to follow, boil everything in a pot together, and then slam it into the jars. When I began to hear the tiny popping sounds from the kitchen I knew I was home free!
While the possibilities for this creation are endless- I knew from the amazing aroma wafting out of my kitchen that it was meant for a cheese board. 34° Cracked Pepper Crackers acted as a perfect vehicle for this chunky chutney, with a layer of goat cheese bringing a perfect blend of creamy texture. The chutney is fragrant, sweet and spicy all at once, absolutely spot on with a chilled rose.
If you are keen on canning but are short on supplies then you are in luck! Enter below for your chance to win a signed copy of Amy’s fabulous book, and a $100 gift card to Canadian Tire to stock up on everything you need to turn your pantry into a party! Just leave a comment below on what you’re most keen to can!
My bloggin’ buddies are clever canners- check out what concoctions these talented chefs have been creating with Amy’s book!
Jenny- The Brunette Baker- made Blueberry Sauce
Robyn- Planet Byn- made Bread and Butter Pickles
Kristy- She Eats- made Crunchy Dill Pickles
Heather- The Tasty Gardener- made Triple Red Pickle
Meg- Sweet Twist of Blogging- made Beer Hive Grainy Mustard
Britt- My Daily Randomness- made Raspberry Lemon Jam
Charmian- The Messy Baker- made Orange and Blueberry Marmalade
Chelsea- Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen- made Peach Jam
Gwen- Devour & Conquer- made Tomato Red Onion Relish
Disclaimer- Yes, Penguin Random House Limited flipped me a free copy of this book, but all opinions (and sudden new fondness for canning) are my own. The giveaway is open to Canadian residents only (sorry eh!) that are of the age of majority.