Book Review: Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Another FABULOUS guest post today (and back to regular programming next week….(-: Thanks for your patience while I move. I promise this won’t last forever!). Today’s post is by someone who has become a dear friend. She is a THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) consultant, but is not on my team. We connected online as she also has a fabulous blog and have spoken by phone to collaborate many times as well as met at the THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) convention. She lives here in Utah near me and I can’t wait to have her over for dinner. Diana Boley is a kind, positive, hard-working, creative and knowledgeable person that I am very excited to introduce to you today.

Hi everyone! This is Diana from over at Eat What You Store and I’m so excited Misty invited me to do a guest post today! On my website, you can find recipes for your food storage, our adventures in raising chickens, suburban homesteading, and other journeys in becoming more self-reliant. I’m here to do a book review for you!

One thing I love is canning. I love seeing all my cute little jars lined up on the counter after the food has been processed. The colors of the jars are so beautiful! Growing up my mom bottled peaches and other things. She made all kinds of jams. Then, all winter we would eat the yummy goodness she preserved for us. I love following in her footsteps, knowing that I am preserving food for my family to eat later.

One of my favorite things I have for canning is my Canning Bible. I don’t know what I would do without it! Okay, so the actual title is “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.” But, to me it is my Canning Bible! Without this awesome book, I wouldn’t be doing as much home preserving as I do.

You can see, I use this baby all the time! I take notes in it, and highlight things I love. Check out how dog-eared the pages are!

Here is a photo of the table of contents. The list is very detailed!

If you are new to canning, then the first recipe is perfect for you. Easy-peazy Strawberry jam. It gives you step-by-step instructions on how to do this yummy recipe. It is easy, too!

Each recipe in here sounds as yummy as the next one! With over 400 different tried and true recipes, you will find something your family will love. All of the recipes are tested to make sure they are safe for bottling. If you process your food right, you will love the finished product!

Then, there are some pages with full color photos! Each photo is beautiful! I want to make all of them! They look so yummy!

I love the reference guide at the back. First, there are instructions on home preservation. These are simple and easy to understand. You will find information on different canners, the processes of preserving, and other facts.

There is also an altitude chart, so you can know if you need to process your bottles longer than the recipes says.

Next to the altitude chart, they also have a list that tells you the altitude of major cities in the US. Just find your city, and it will tell you what altitude you are at! LOVE IT! No need to calculate out how high you are. After looking up my city, here in Utah, I just highlighted the first chart so that I always know how much longer I need to process my foods.

After the altitude charts, there is tips on solving any problems that may arise and a glossary of canning terms. Did you ever wonder what the difference is between a “pressure canner” and a “boiling water canner?” This book is the one to tell you all about it!

I love the index at the back. Each ingredient you might preserve is in an alphabetical list. Then, under each item is a list of the recipes in the book for each one. For example, if you look up “Tomatoes”, you will find every salsa, ketchup, and sauce recipe that calls for tomatoes. Some things you might not have ever thought of making. I recently looked up Cherries. I found the yummy recipe for “Black Forest Preserves,” which has now become one of our favorite things at our house! I would have never thought to make them, except the recipe was in this book.

I love picking fruit to bottle, canning homemade applesauce with my family, and I can’t wait to share other recipes with you. Come on over and follow my blog at Eat What You Store to find out more about my adventures in suburban homesteading and becoming more self-reliant!

In the next few weeks, I will be posting my favorite canning recipes, including the yummiest salsa you have ever tasted! Best part is, you use green tomatoes from your garden!

Also, come follow my Pinterest boards for more ideas on canning, gardening, THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance), and how to make your holidays fun!

Whether you are new to home preserving, or if you have done it for years, the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is something everyone should have on hand! It might just become your Canning Bible, too!


Have a wonderful day, and happy canning!

~Diana at Eat What You Store

THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) Independent Consultant

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving”

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cookbook. I’d take it with me to a desert island if I could only be allowed to bring a few books. :) I’ve made a few dozen of the recipes and loved just about all them. Just a few of my favorites include the blueberry citrus conserve, apricot chutney, cranapple butter, peach jam, strawberry lemon marmalade, vanilla balsamic strawberry jam and the taco sauce, although there’s plenty more that I enjoyed from the book. If you can, GET IT. PERIOD. You won’t regret it. The only thing I wish it really focused on more was pressure canning recipes. This book is about 90% water bath canning.

  2. That is by far my favorite canning book! I also call it my canning bible. Don’t know how I could possibly can without it!


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