Monday, 26 November 2012

Book Review: Salt Sugar Smoke - Diana Henry


Salt Sugar Smoke

My earliest memory of home made jam making is from when we used to spend our annual family vacation at a cottage by the seaside in Maine, USA.  My mother, sister and I would go to this wild raspberry site and pick all morning then we would go back to the cottage and with all the jam making equipment we had brought from home we would turn the raspberries into jars of sparkling ruby spread.  Nothing tasted like that jam and nothing has since! 

I was sent Diana Henry's book Salt Sugar Smoke and as soon as I started reading the chapter on preserves my mind was immediately transported back all those years ago (and we are talking quite a few!) to the little holiday cottage in Maine.

There is nothing quite like making your own preserves, allowing you to travel back in time when you open a jar in the winter of a jam or preserve you made in the late spring and summer.  It is a way of trapping all that sunshine in your homemade tomato sauces, fruit syrups, pickled onions, beetroot and vegetables too.
Salt Sugar Smoke is a great collection of recipes to preserve vegetables, fruit, fish, cheese and much more.  How much better can it get than making your own Labneh (strained Greek yoghurt), preserving it in oil and eating it another time with roasted red peppers on homemade sourdough bread slices!
The preserve section starts with a page on the Essentials of Jam Making then The Process of Jam Making giving you a sort of confidence to continue reading and the feeling that you could pick a recipe and get preserving yourself. 

By the time you have salted, cured and potted, cured, pickled and made chutneys and all the sorts of jams and preserves in the book you will have a well stocked larder ready for the dark dull days of winter ahead.  I am sure Salt Sugar Smoke by Diana Henry will be a constant reference guide throughout the winter and beyond and I recommend it to any one wanting to keep that summer sunshine in their larder for a rainy winter day!

This book is published by Octopus Books under the imprint of Michael Beasley and is priced at £20.00 but is available in some bookshops for less.  Photos were taken from the Octopus Books website.
I was sent a copy of this book to review but was not paid to do so and the options are my own.

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