Canning, Pickling, and Freezing with Irma Harding

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Urban farmers, foodies, and cooking enthusiasts of all ages are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to food preservation. For those wanting to preserve garden-fresh vegetables at home, Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Hardingoffers modern techniques and tasty recipes from heartland farms.


In Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding, Austin writer Marilyn McCray leads readers through step-by-step techniques on how to preserve fresh foods and offers great tips for preparing tasty recipes provided by food artisans, chefs, and farms from across the country. The book not only explains canning, pickling, and freezing but goes further to cover smoking and curing of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats as well.


Readers are guided through the book by Irma Harding, a fictional spokesperson for appliances produced by International Harvester during the 1950s. The book features vintage art and photographs of Irma back in the day, as well as a brief history of Irma and her ever-so-collectible vintage appliances and memorabilia. Most importantly, this cookbook is packaged with timeless step-by-step techniques and tasty, interesting recipes. 


Review Quotes


“Austinite Marilyn McCray has revived many of Irma Harding’s best tips, recipes and instructions…” “The book is filled with images and advertisements from Harding’s heyday, as well as instructions and tutorials for basic techniques including water-bath and pressure canning, refrigerator pickles and freezer jams.”

-Addie Broyles, Austin American Statesman


“McCray blended modern techniques with timeless wisdom to walk readers through preserving their garden goodies.

-Lisa Young, Agrinews


Marilyn McCray’s book, revives the wisdom of this food preservation icon; it’s peppered with Irma quotes, history, old advertisements, and recipes for preserving the harvest. It’s a book both beginners and longtime food preservationists will appreciate.

-Cecilia Nasti, Field and Feast KUT


“Amid the step-by-step illustrations for canning everything from peaches to peas, are nostalgic images of Irma and her sales-force surrogates. Meanwhile, the book’s 124 new recipes, collected and created by McCray, tap into the current craze for retro cooking techniques, especially pickling, from classic dills to regional delicacies like watermelon rind.”

-Ben Marks, Collectors Weekly


“This book is ideal for individuals who know their way around a kitchen, at least in rudimentary fashion, and anyone with an overabundance of produce and a penchant for the past.”

Jessi Cape, The Austin Chronicle


“This book builds on the tradition of growing and preserving your own food the way folks did back in the 1950s… From pickles and canned tomatoes to jams, jellies, salsas, relishes and even sauerkraut, just about any fruit and vegetable recipe is there.”

Todd Markle, Red Power Magazine


“If you’re interested in storing and preserving food beyond what you can simply find in a can or bag at the grocery store, this is a great book for preserving different items that may not be particularly common supplies in the store.

—Christelle, Self Storage Finders

Product Details

160 pages
Octane Press
Publication Date:
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Product Dimensions:
6x9 inches