If you cross-pollinated the computing and home canning worlds, you might not expect the result to be so delicious. Yet, this is what makes Yes, You Can!, Daniel Gasteiger’s modern guide to food preservation, such a useful addition to the kitchen bookshelf. We were impressed with our review copy as soon as it arrived.
Gasteiger is an experienced home grower and preservation foodie who authors a few blogs, including Your Small Kitchen Garden. A few years ago, he moved to the country with his young family to be a CitySlipper – or what we might loosely call an urban homesteader.
But his career also includes extensive writing for the IT industry, including several software manuals. We are the gainers, as he brings a technical writer’s clear, detailed play-by-play to the instructions and recipes in his book. Strong, practical graphic design and photographs are well used to aid the process-challenged. I name no names.
Gasteiger’s passion for kitchen gardening, for canning and for food preservation is also clear. So is his sense of humour. Both qualities add flavour to his writing.
Yes, You Can! takes us through preservation techniques from cold storage (if only I had room) to refrigerator pickles (this, I can do), as well as canning, freezing, drying, fermentation and sugaring. My canning experience is limited to jams and the simplest frozen fruits (berries and rhubarb). So if the instructions seem easy to me, they likely will to you, too.
I hope to try my hand while produce is abundant in the farmers’ markets. Savoury leathers to pair with cheese, for example, sound intriguing. Dehydration works for all kinds of fruits, veggies and herbs, and you can find dehydrators now that are not much larger than a salad spinner. Considering.
One lightbulb that went on as I read was that canning doesn’t have to happen only in fall. Take clementines. Each winter, our family eats a mountain of these when they’re cheap and juicy, then we use canned ones in salads during styrofoam tomato season. Why not bottle clementines while they’re inexpensive? Yes, You Can! makes that feel like, yes, I can.
Back in university, I had a summer job with a co-worker who used to say, “Tonight, I’m gonna put up a mess o’ beets.” Well, Doris, it’s possible I might be doing something similar, myself.
Thanks, Daniel. Now if I could just get that infectious Pointer Sisters song out of my head.