Cook the Book: Eugenia Bone's 'Well-Preserved'

20090518-ctb-well-preserved.jpgCanning and preserving usually fall into the "shoulda, coulda, woulda" category of home cooking. There are many reasons that people are apprehensive when it comes to preserving: It's too labor-intensive, too time-consuming, and requires all of that special equipment. Why bother doing it yourself when your supermarket is brimming with cans and jars?

Eugenia Bone is on a mission to change your mind with her new book, Well-Preserved. A passion for preserving was instilled in Bone at an early age. She was fortunate to grow up with home-cured olives and prosciutto, canned tomatoes and canned tuna, all lovingly put up by her father. Although she thoroughly enjoyed her father's preserves, it was not until Bone was eight months pregnant with her second child that she attempted to try her hand at canning.

Over the years Bone has become an expert on all things pickled, cured, canned, and preserved; she even has a blog about it. As you would expect of someone who is constantly preserving, Bone's larder and freezer are loaded with cans and jars, so much so that her husband refers to them as "the bomb shelter." [Enter to win Well-Preserved after the jump.]

There are many reasons to preserve, Bone says. Perhaps most obvious is the fact that you can take fruits and vegetables in their prime and enjoy them anytime of year. Bone credits her artillery of preserves in helping her cut down meal prep time and accommodating unexpected dinner guests. Bone brings up an interesting point when she says that, unlike most preparations of food, preserving is about anticipation, not immediate satisfaction.

Well-Preserved provides all the information you need to become an expert home-canner, with step-by-step guides to all manners of preserving. Each chapter gives you recipes for a basic preserve and then several subrecipes using that preserve.

This week we'll bring you basic preserving techniques for curing your own bacon and canning tuna at home, along with versatile recipes such as Marinated Baby Artichokes and Stewed Onions with Marjoram. Caroline Russock

Win 'Well-Preserved'

We are giving away five (5) copies of Well=Preserved this week. Just tell us in the comments section below what homegrown goods you'd like to can and preserve.

Five (5) people will be chosen at random among the eligible comments below. Comments will close Tuesday, May 26 at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.