By Cathy Barrow
Many of us grew up with mothers and grandmothers canning. For those of us who have grown a little rusty on preserving techniques, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry celebrates the pantry again.
Mrs. Wheelbarrow is actually Cathy Barrow. She lives in Washington, D.C. and is as practical as the pantry in her basement. While Barrow exercises in her basement, she dreams of her next canning project. Barrow grew up canning with her mother, but it took a while to understand that as an adult she could can all things that are grown locally in her markets, too. Not only is she able to preserve the local food, but she is able to cut out food additives and wasteful packaging.
Mrs. Wheelbarrow has literally written a manual on year-round food preservation. From water-bath canning jams, jellies, tomatoes and pickles, to canning under pressure for soups, beans and vegetables, to preserving meats and fish through salting and smoking – Mrs. Wheelbarrow has it covered. Now that our markets are in full swing, Barrow’s section on tomatoes alone will have you reaching for the canning jars. Recipes like Tomato Nectarine Salsa, Homemade Ketchup, and Garden in a Glass are all included. Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry is one the most comprehensive and beautiful food preservation guides to be published in a long time, and her peers took notice by awarding her an International Culinary Cookbook Award for 2014.