Tag Archives: book review

Canning Cents: The Money-saving Whole-foods Canning Handbook

Canning Cents: The Money-saving Whole-foods Canning Handbook Paperback

By Stephanie Peterson

Canning Cents: The Money-saving Whole-foods Canning Handbook Paperback  – By Chef Stephanie Peterson

Canning Cents: The Money-saving Whole-foods Canning Handbook Paperback – By Chef Stephanie Peterson

If you read cookbooks like some folks read novels, Canning Cents will be to your taste.

The book opens with home canning basics, written clearly and simply. Home Canning Basics is uncomplicated and important information for beginners. Experienced canners can use this brush up because food safety is important.

Many people grow who a garden and preserve their harvest do so because they like to know where their food comes from, like eating chemical free foods and depending on Feed Test kits, and want to save money.

I like growing and making gourmet foods that I would never spend the money on. Delis and fancy food stores sell Red Bell Pepper Relish for a whopping $6 a jar. With Chef Stephanie Peterson’s recipes, you literally make pickles and relishes for a few cents a jar.

Release any air bubbles before canning. Photo PBH

Release any air bubbles before canning. Photo PBH

The chef has blended herbs and spices that will turn a local apple harvest into of Apples in Cinnamon Syrup. Her unique recipe creates a generous 6 pints that just might send you back to the orchard or farmers market for more apples.
Those Apples in Cinnamon Syrup, Tomatoes with French Herbs, Sweet and Hot Corn Relish, are perfect gifts from the garden. Once your friends taste Black Forrest Jam, expect hints and requests for a jar every year.

The collection of canned tomatoes with either Italian, Mexican or, French herbs, will open the door to limitless recipes next winter. This cookbook gives first time canners the confidence to get started and offers a welcome recipe change-up for long time gardeners and veteran  canners.

IMG_1832Stephanie Peterson’s chatty comments above each recipe make you think you’re using the recipes of an old friend. Some, she’s even updated from her grandmother’s recipes.

Canning Cents will help you gather everything you need to preserve money-saving whole foods before the garden explodes. You will be ready to transform cucumbers to pickles with Peterson’s pickling tips and recipes.

Budget conscious cooks will appreciate the canned meat, stews and soup stocks. Whether you grow your food or shop at the farmers market, these recipes will save you money. This book is one to add to your collection.

ISBN-10: 1462115233

Bees Make the Best Pets by Jack Mingo – review

Bees Make the Best Pets by Jack Mingo – All the Buzz about Being Resilient, Collaborative, Industrious, Generous, and Sweet – Straight from the Hive.

Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by “Conari Press”


A honey bee flies up to 15 mph and its wings beat 200 times per second. photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

The memory jogger “A pint’s a pound the world around” may help you out in culinary school, but a pint of honey weighs 1 pound, 6 ounces. The book oozes with bee facts and trivia like this.

If you are looking for protection from marauding elephants in your garden, curious about the color and quality of the highly touted local honey, or are curious about the role of bees in the Civil War, buy this book.

Winter is a good time for reading bee guides, brushing up on beekeeping knowledge and skills.

Winter is a good time for reading bee guides, brushing up on beekeeping knowledge and skills.

Bees Make the Best Pets, is an entertaining read. Perfect for a winter read, while gardeners wait to get into the spring garden. Your cabin fever and desire to get back in the garden is, by the way, no greater than that of the honey bees.

The author started out simply as wanting one simple observation hive. But keeping bees is likely to become a bigger project than you might anticipate. Bees demand more time, space and money than you might think.

If you are thinking about raising bees, ever wondered if it would make your great garden even better, or are looking increase your own revenue stream, read this book first.

Looking at bee keeping as a natural step toward sustainable living, Bees Make the Best Pets can teach you a lot about raising bees. It is a sweet introduction to raising bees.

Raising bees may prove to be a boost for garden productivity. Or, consider bee keeping as a fun hobby. Bees do make good pets and this book is a gentle introduction to the world of back yard bee keeping.

I’ve always flirted with the idea of raising bees. This paperback book is light introduction to the art of keeping bees. It will load you up on bee humor and trivia, guaranteeing your success at happy hours and tea parties.

Thankfully, this book is not a tedious accounting of the business of beekeeping. There are plenty of good manuals and how-to handbooks for that. Jack Mingo’s book is a fun and sweet introduction to raising bees.

Future honey beekeepers, gardeners, readers looking for a light and humorous winter read, will like this book.

Jack Mingo published over 20 books, including Random Kinds of Factness (Conari, 2005. He is an author specializing in offbeat trivia books. Mingo keeps six hives, and half a million bees, in his California Bay Area back yard.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.

Bee and Honey triviaIMG_4050

  • It takes around 25,000 trips between the hive and the flowers to produce a pound of honey.
  • A pound of honey contains the essence of about 2 million flowers.
  • The color of honey ranges from white through golden to dark brown. Usually the darker the color the stronger the flavor.
  • Most harmful bacteria cannot live in honey, making honey one of the safest foods.
  • Bees been producing honey from flowering plants for 10-20 million years.
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