Lets Preserve It by Beryl Wood
First published in 1970, the ultimate preserving bible, and the book that Nigella Lawson turns to for jam recipes.
In this small encyclopaedia, Wood distills the immense knowledge of earlier generations into a pantry-full of simple, foolproof recipes that will give endless delight both to make and to savour. With guidelines on equipment and preparation, useful hints on cooking, and important tips to remember, this A–Z of recipes is an essential book for everyone from the experienced jam-maker to new cooks making preserves for the first time. Classic recipes such as Mint Jelly, Lemon Curd, Pumpkin Jam, and Seville Orange Marmalade are all here, as well as more unusual combinations and ideas for preserving fruits, herbs, and vegetables. This unique and comprehensive recipe book revives the art of jam, jelly, pickle, and chutney making, and celebrates the joys of transforming a surfeit of anything—from apples to whortleberries—into jars full of sweetness. Includes dual measures.
History of Let’s Preserve It
In the mid-sixties Beryl and Tom left London and settled in Stibb, a small village in north Cornwall. They bought an abandoned property which was the former falconry belonging to the manor house of Stowe Barton and is mentioned in the Truro Assizes in 1308. They renovated the property and embraced country life. Tom planted and filled the garden with flowers, fruits and vegetables. Overwhelmed with produce, Beryl discovered countless recipes from our old family cookbooks and from those belonging to others. Soon she had the idea of turning this collection of recipes into a book. Her secretarial skills served her as she set to work with card indexes collating the vast collection of preserving recipes. All these were tested out on the Rayburn cooker in their cottage.
The book was published in 1970 and was a great success. Paperback editions followed and the book continued to be used widely. After Beryl died in 1979 reprints of the book eventually ceased and it became difficult to obtain a copy. Then, in 2008, nearly forty years after the book was first published, Nigella Lawson mentioned the book on her BBC Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen. It also transpired during the intervening years, that considerable reference had been made on websites to Beryl’s writing and there had also been appeals for reprinting of the book. Beryl’s family were delighted to see the book mentioned and with encouragement her niece approached a publisher. In August 2011, Square Peg, a division of Random House, re-published a magnificent new hardback edition.