Cook the Book: 'Put 'em Up!'

20100729putemup.jpgLate July, we can become complacent about the summer. Clear, hot days are the norm and the novelty of swimming, lazy afternoons, and all of the sweet corn you can eat have become considerably less thrilling than they were at the beginning of the month.

But about two months from now (depending on where you are located) there's a good chance that you will be sorely missing all of the goodness that comes with summer.

I'm not just thinking about barbecues and trips to the beach. What I really miss when the weather turns cool and brisk is the produce. But with a little planning and a few afternoons in the kitchen, you can enjoy all of the wonderful flavors of summer year-round preserving. Put 'em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton is the modern cooks' guide to preserving, employing the tried and true techniques of canning and pickling but also taking advantage of less labor and time-intensive fermenting, freezing, and drying.

This week we'll be sharing recipes from Put 'em Up! that you certainly won't find in the pamphlet that accompanies your Ball Jars. We'll be drying mushrooms that surpass the store-bought version in both freshness and flavor, making a perfect summer apertif, Vin d'Orange, and a cucumber-based Indian Pickle to serve with curries.

Win 'Put 'em Up!'

Thanks to the generous folks over at Storey Publishing, we are giving away five (5) copies of Put 'em Up this week. All you have to do is tell us about your favorite way to preserve the flavors of summer in the comments section below.

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