Mrs. Wheelbarrow's practical pantry Recipes and techniques for year-round preserving

Cathy Barrow

Book - 2014

A "collection of essential preserving techniques for turning the fleeting abundance of the farmer's market into a well-stocked pantry full of canned fruits and vegetables, jams, stocks, soups, and more"

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New York : W.W. Norton & Company [2014]
First edition
Physical Description
428 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 403-404) and index.
Main Author
Cathy Barrow (author)
  • The basics of water-bath canning: answering the siren call of seasonal abundance
  • Canning under pressure: groceries you'll never have to carry home again
  • Salt, water, smoke, and air: alchemy in the kitchen
  • Curds and whey: why buy the cow?
Review by Booklist Reviews

Cooks faced with a need to put up a garden's bounty for future consumption are well aware that summer's end signals a lot of kitchen activity with sterilizing jars, pureeing fruits and vegetables, and managing huge canning pots on the stove. Barrow's recipes for jams, jellies, and tomato products rely on simple but pristinely fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables. Barrow moves beyond mere garden produce to preserve all sorts of foodstuffs, including meats and cheeses. Not content with making relatively easy ricotta, she moves into the sophisticated realm of iconic Camembert, presenting the obsessive home cook a significant challenge. Drafting particularly lucid prose, Barrow is explicit and prescriptive as one must be when talking about canning and preserving's technical aspects, where missteps can lead to all sorts of mischief, from exploding jars to serious food poisoning. She manages to make all those caveats less threatening and appear simply self-evident and natural. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

On her blog, Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen (, Barrow shares recipes, tutorials, and glimpses of her life and the way she stocks her own pantry shelves. Here, in her first book, she expands on her website's offerings with a collection of almost 140 recipes for canning and preserving. Explaining how the practices fit into everyday, busy life, Barrow takes readers through the basics of canning (both water bath and pressure), fresh cheese making, and other preserving techniques such as brining and air curing. Each chapter follows a similar format: beginning with information about safety, equipment, and techniques, and neatly finishing with a wide range of recipes for both preserved foods and dishes and meals that use preserved ingredients. Selected resources and a bibliography round out the manual. This clear, informative volume does not skimp on style; beautiful photographs and attractive design enhance the content. Recipes range in skill level from beginner to advanced. VERDICT Barrow offers a well-rounded look at home preserving and this book will appeal to those looking to expand their pantry.—Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., South Deerfield [Page 132]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A guide to preserving foods demonstrates how to make the most out of seasonal ingredients throughout the year, covering such preserving techniques as canning, salt-curing, smoking, and air-curing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A sumptuously photographed guide to essential preserving techniques demonstrates how to make the most of seasonal ingredients throughout the year, covering options ranging from canning and salt-curing to smoking and air-curing. Includes list of resources. 35,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical PantryMrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical PantryBeyond the core techniques of water-bath canning, advanced techniques for pressure canning, salt-curing meats and fish, smoking, and even air-curing pancetta are broken down into easy-to-digest, confidence-building instructions.Under Cathy’s affable direction, you’ll discover that homemade cream cheese and Camembert are within the grasp of the weekday cook—and the same goes for smoked salmon, home canned black beans, and preserved and cured duck confit.Practical PantryTips for choosing the best produce at the right time of season and finding the right equipment for your canning and cooking needs—along with troubleshooting tips to ensure safe preserving—will keep your kitchen vibrant from spring to fall.Whether your food comes by the crate, the bushel, or the canvas bag, just a few of Cathy’s recipes are enough to furnish your own practical pantry, one that will provide nourishment and delight all year round. Canning and preserving is not just about the convenience of a pantry filled with peaches, dill pickles, and currant jelly, nor is it the simple joy of making a meal from the jars on the shelf—creating a practical pantry is about cultivating a thoughtful connection with your local community, about knowing exactly where your food comes from and what it can become.