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We Sure Can Launch

The We Sure Can/The Cookbook Store table at the Leslieville Farmers' Market

I know this borders on the oxymoronic for blogging but I try to keep the self-indulgence to a minimum on Food With Legs. Consider this post a partial exception.

In May 2010 Sarah Hood asked if I would contribute a few recipes from this site to her book project on canning and preserving. Needless to say I was honoured and happy to comply.

As I mentioned in an early post I collected three of my favourites (French Cornichons, Cottage Garden Pickle, and Serviceberry Jam) and Sarah after some very rigorous editing made the recipes much more presentable and easier-to-follow for those who don’t live in my head. My only complaint is that all measures had to be changed to volume but as I understand from Sarah, and have posted about before, this is regrettably standard practice for Canadian publishers.

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the launch of We Sure Can!: How Jams and Pickles Are Reviving the Lure and Lore of Local Food sponsored by the Cookbook Store at Leslieville Farmer’s Market. Obviously, it would be inappropriate for me to pretend to be objective enough to review We Sure Can but I would like to give it a plug.

There is something about the model Sarah used of collecting recipes from widely-dispersed sources and combining them with her own that puts it above canning classics like the Ball Blue Book or the Bernardin references. It’s more eclectic but also more assertive because unlike these general references there’s no compulsion to devote the precious space to minor variations of general recipes.

Watermelon rinds ready to be covered in a warm-spice brine.

Watermelon rinds ready to be covered in a warm-spice brine.

So far, I’ve already tried the pickled watermelon rind recipe (a great way to use what otherwise would be pretty tough compost), and have my eye on the Plum Conserve for a Winter’s Night, and the Fiery Carrots from Joel and Dana at WellPreserved.ca.

No matter how many times I hit the Publish button here there is still an order of magnitude of difference to flipping to the index of a book you can hold and seeing your name. If you’re at all interested in canning I encourage you to indulge me by heading to your local bookstore or online through Amazon and pick up a copy.

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