Great Book: Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too by Daniel Gasteiger

by Fern on August 29, 2011

in Book Review

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If you just want a recipe for refrigerator pickles, then skip this book and Google it. But if you want information about living a more sustainable, self-sufficient, home-grown lifestyle, then Daniel Gasteiger has written your bible: Yes You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Tooicon. This is the sort of book that makes you feel smart for having read it. Daniel shares his food preserving experience and tips in a way that is intelligent and informative while still highly accessible.

Thanks to the internet, everyone and their mother has published their thoughts on how to freeze peas or preserve green beans. This book has more than enough of that sort of advice to get you started, but the real value of this book is Daniel himself. Want to know how much broccoli to plant so that you can preserve enough to feed a family of five? Daniel has been there, done that, and he provided plenty of useful lists for planning that sort of thing. Oops. Someone left your freezer door open. Daniel has been through that too and he has helpful advice on how to determine what to save and what to toss. How should you decide whether to freeze, dry, or can your strawberries? Daniel has thoughts and suggestions to help guide your decision.

The book is nicely designed, with useful colored strips at the top of each page to help you flip to exactly the right info. Advice on making the most of your root cellar is in orange, dehydrating is brown, freezing is red, canning is either dark green or lime green depending on the acidity of the item to be preserved, and so on. Throughout the book are helpful “From the Tip Jar” thoughts from Daniel on everything from ways to use up extra simple syrup to ideas for making nutritious frozen treats for the dog days of summer.

I know Daniel a little bit through the wonders of the internet. His voice comes through loud and clear in this book. Daniel is self-assured, knowledgeable, and has a wry sense of humor. When you’re preserving food using this book, you will get to know Daniel a little bit too. It reads as though your super-smart, handy next door neighbor has sat you down and taught you step-by-step how to preserve the best of each season and eat better all year round.

I’m not an experienced food-preserver, but I was able to follow Daniel’s sage advice and made some delicious pickled vegetables. Daniel recommends using them in a sweet and sour pork recipe that he included in the book, but this vegetarian might not be able to resist eating them all right out of the jar…

If you are looking for a definitive guide to saving all those tomatoes you have on your plants, you will be thrilled to have Yes You Can! in your kitchen.

Here’s where to find Daniel on the internets

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I received Yes You Can! as a free review copy from the book’s publisher. Here is more information about my book review policy.

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