Andrea Weigl defines the year by her canning sessions. In the winter, she makes bright yellow Jerusalem Artichoke Relish from her backyard crop. In the spring, she conjures up sweet red Strawberry Preserves. In the summer, it's savory Yellow Squash Pickles and peaches, pickled, brandied, or as a thick butter. And in the fall, she folds her Fig Preserves into a cake famous on North Carolina's Outer Banks.
Today's revival of pickling and preserving, which became widely popular in the South only after the Civil War, when sugar was easier to obtain, is part of the booming interest in do-it-yourself kitchen craft, farmers' markets, and gardening. Blogs are devoted to canning, cooking schools offer classes, and canning jar manufacturers report surging sales. With complete, easy-to-follow instructions and troubleshooting tips, Pickles and Preserves highlights the regional flair that southern cooks bestow on this traditional art of survival in preserving the South's bountiful harvest. The fifty classic and inventive recipes--from Dilly Beans and Pickled Okra to Muscadine Jam and Habanero Gold Pepper Jelly--will have beginners and veterans alike rolling up their sleeves.