Preserve Fresh Locally-grown Fruit by Canning, Jam Making

With the growth of farmer’s markets and the resurgence of home gardening, consumers are rediscovering the superior flavor, value, and nutrition of locally-grown fruit. But many people only purchase or grow enough for fresh eating and avoid buying larger quantities to can, freeze, or preserve as jam or jelly.

Why? Because what was common knowledge in great-grandmother’s day has fallen by the wayside.

Fruits of the Midwest – A Cookbook and Guide from Harvest to Table is a new book written to fill this information void and give consumers the help they need to make the most of these fruits (and “near fruits”) common in the Midwest: Apples, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries (sour/pie), Peaches, Pears, Pumpkin, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Strawberries.

Many of these fruits are grown throughout the U.S., and in Canada and Mexico, so this book is a valuable information resource for readers across North America.

Author Debbie Wilsdorf got her inspiration for writing the book from her experience as owner of a U-pick operation in Missouri, where she markets strawberries, blackberries, and red raspberries.

Wilsdorf said, “The customer questions I frequently get showed that there was a real need for this book. Many people request information on what to do with fresh fruit they are wanting to can, freeze, or make into jam or jelly. They need to know how to tell when the fruit is ripe, how to handle the fruit until they’re ready to work it up, and what preservation method to use. Some also need help with canning, freezing, and jelly making basics—which can appear complicated if you’ve never done them. You must learn the right techniques, as well as a few do’s and don’ts that are important both for good results and for food safety. And there is always a need for good kitchen-tested fruit recipes.”

Fruits of the Midwest – A Cookbook and Guide from Harvest to Table was written to provide the types of information requested by consumers. And it’s organized in a way that makes fruit-specific information easy to find.

Fruits of the Midwest devotes a separate chapter to each major fruit. All of the harvesting, handling, preservation, cooking, and serving information, plus all recipes for one fruit, are found within that fruit’s own chapter.

  • A Canning and Freezing Basics chapter describes everything from canning terms, to equipment and jar selection, to steps for water bath canning; freezer container selection, freezing procedures, maintaining frozen fruit quality and other tips.
  • A Jam and Jelly Making chapter describes the fruits and fruit qualities which contribute to success, discusses pectin and when to use it, describes jelly making steps in detail, and provides recipes for various jams, jellies, and apple butter.
  • A Miscellaneous chapter features minor fruits (pumpkin, rhubarb); recipes which can be used with mixed fruits or a variety of different fruits; and a pie section featuring fillings, crusts and freezing information.
  • A General Information chapter has tables of ingredient substitutions, ingredient equivalents, and pan sizes/volumes and pan equivalents.

Altogether Fruits of the Midwest has 244 pages of information, instructions, tips, substitution lists and tables, and reference information, with more than 250 family tested fruit recipes. For more information, visit www.fruitcookbook.goflagship.com.

Author Debbie Wilsdorf is an avid gardener and experienced cook. In 2005, she began a U-pick berry business on the family’s diversified farm where she resides with her husband and two children. She is an advocate for using locally-grown foods, minimal chemical usage, and self-sufficiency.



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