Monday, 9 May 2016

"Batch" by Joel MacCharles & Dana Harrison | Book Review

Batch by Joel MacCharles & Dana Harrison
Publishing Date: May 3, 2016
Pages: 352
Publisher: Appetite by Random House
Links: Goodreads | Indigo | Book Depository | Amazon

It all started with a blog. In 2008, the food blog "" was created; it now holds more than 700 recipes and has inspired a food festival, pop-up events, and even a graphic design company.

The first part of the book gives you instructions on seven different styles of preserving, including fermenting, cellaring, and infusing, which are the methods I used in the recipes I'll talk about at the end of this post. For complete beginners like me, these chapters will basically be your preserving Bible because they give you the basic knowledge you need to get started.

The recipes are organized by ingredient, which makes grocery store trips a dream when you're making things from this book. In each chapter, you'll learn a few different ways to preserve an ingredient, such as peaches, peppers, and meat. At the end of each chapter, there are recipes that show you the delicious ways you can use the preserves you've just made.

Along with each recipe, you can see the level of difficulty which, as a complete newcomer to preserving, I really valued. I wanted to start off easy so I could learn along the way and work up to some harder recipes.

Clockwise from left: Penne a la Chili-Infused Vodka (p. 178);
Fermented Pancakes with Maple Syrup with Dried Blueberries
(pp. 140 & 132); Fridge Pickles (p. 194)
The first things I made were Fermented Pancakes with Maple Syrup with Dried Blueberries. The maple syrup was easy to make, but you need to be very careful not to burn the syrup because that can happen in an instant. The pancakes were time-consuming (as pancakes generally are) but completely worth it because in all honesty, they are the best pancakes I've ever had - and my whole family was in agreement! My only problem was that there seems to be a missing step in the recipe - it never tells you what to do with the egg yolk mixture. Basically though, you just have to combine everything.

The pickles were by far the easiest recipe I made, and they were such a yummy snack.

Being the pasta freak I am, the penne recipe was definitely my favourite out of all the things I made. The recipe calls for chilies, but I went a step down in heat and used jalapenos instead. This recipe is SO delicious, I can't recommend it enough. It was my first time eating and making penne a la vodka, but it certainly won't be the last time!

I'm really pleased with how all the recipes I tried turned out, and I'm looking forward to trying more of these recipes and methods this summer when there are more foods in season!

*This book was sent to me by Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment