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Get help for preserving nature's beauty at library

In the past, individuals preserving food was a matter of survival. Today, some of the urgency is back causing a revival in the art of "home" food preservation. Health and finance are the two major reasons people are "putting up" their own food. Most of us remember at some point in time hearing our mothers say "don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been."

That's exactly do know where homegrown fruits and vegetables have been. You know what sprays and chemicals have been applied to them, and in this world ripe with cancers and other subsequent health issues, that is important! In today's economic climate, stretching your grocery dollar is necessary, and many Americans followed Michelle Obama's lead when she planted a garden at the White House.

Fall is upon us, and that means harvest. If you need instruction or recipes on how to process your bountiful harvest, the staff at the Detroit Lakes Library can help! The following are some of our newer books on the subject.

• Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Food, by Eugenia Bone. For anyone who's ever headed to their local farmers' market reciting the mantra "I will not overbuy" but has lumbered home with bags overflowing with delicious summer strawberries, zucchini, and tomatoes, or autumn apples, pears, and cauliflower, this book will be your saving grace.

In this book, Eugenia Bone, a New Yorker whose Italian father was forever canning everything from olives to tuna, describes the art of preserving in an accessible way. Though she covers traditional water bath and pressure canning in detail, she also shares simpler methods that allow you to preserve foods using low-tech options like oil-preserving, curing, and freezing.

Bone clearly explains each technique so that you can rest assured your food is stable and safe.

• Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects, by Karen Solomon. Food and crafting enthusiasts look forward to the weekends to create, experiment, and stock the pantry with handcrafted edibles and gifts.

For creative urban dwellers, the kitchen is a workshop space, and Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It is its how-to guide. This savvy collection of 75 recipes for creating homemade artisan foodstuffs features delicious projects easy enough to be completed in one to two days.

Detailed instructions, prep-ahead tips, shopping lists, and optional extras outline the shortest route between crafty cooks and a pantry full of hand-labeled, better-than-store-bought creations.

• Preserving Nature's Bounty, by Frances Bissell. Food preservation has never been simpler! This illustrated guide to canning and preserving covers everything from selecting and using equipment to choosing suitable fruits and vegetables, preparing the jars, and bath processing.

Foolproof recipes for a vast assortment of delicious jellies, jams, chutneys, marmalades, cucumber and dill pickles, and much more are included. And with these streamlined processes and time-saving tips, making smaller batches of fruit butters and cheeses, syrups, pickles, and salsa is fast and easy.

The Detroit Lakes Library is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.

For more information on library services and programs, please call 218-847-2168 or visit your library at 1000 Washington Ave. The Detroit Lakes Library is a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL). Information about LARL services is available online at