Review: Preserving with Friends

I got my first promo item in the mail a month ago, for review. I felt pretty big. Harriet Fasenfest, author of The Householder’s Guide to the Universe, and my ethernet mother-in-spirit, sent me her DVD called Preserving with Friends: An easy step-by-step instructional guide to putting up the harvest. She had hoped that I might watch it and review here.

First of all, I told her honestly, I don’t much promote buying stuff. That’s what this is all about right? Preserving is mostly straight forward– a book from the library, a few recipes from a reputable source, or an afternoon with a friend should set you in the right direction. But then again, I’ve been doing it for 12 years. I’ve forgotten the intimidation of Beginning, and maybe some of you don’t have a friend to show you the ropes. Many people learn much easier from watching than reading. Maybe a DVD is just the thing for anyone out there who wants to get in on all the hip preserving fun, but feels shy to it.

Time is precious ’round these parts. Preserving with Friends is an exhaustive 3 1/2 hours (as well it should be, it covers the classic jam-making and canning fruits and tomatoes, and then goes into making pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha, as well as pressure canning vegetables, drying, freezing, and root cellaring. Phew. That oughta do it!) I watched the first 40 minutes, then I will admit to skipping ahead to see Sandor Katz, whom I have a massive crush on. So I can’t give you the full report, but the parts I watched were excellent. The explanations of each step were extremely clear and thorough. There were a few subtle wisecracks thrown in to keep you on your toes, but none of the mindless banter and fluff anecdotes that can plague instructional videos. It’s concise and focused.

It’s hard for me to speak to how well it explains things, since I am hardly a beginner and most of what I saw was very familiar.

So here’s the deal. We need you. You novices out there. Anyone who would love to have a little visual boost of confidence in the preserving kitchen, leave a comment here. As usual, I will not be following the regular blogging rules, this is not a standard giveaway. I might pick a winner randomly if you all sound eligible, or I might exersize my Blogstress power and pick the person I feel most needs and deserves it– so tell me your story. And then, don’t think you are getting something for nothing! When you have watched the DVD, I want a short report back. You can email it to me, and I will post it here.

I’m not much for protocol, as you know. I’ve never done a giveaway before. I feel like I give quite a lot of myself, in my posts. How about y’all send me a good book, is how I figure it.

That said, I got this DVD for free, and I don’t really need it. Some one of you might really appreciate it, and furthermore give a more relevant review. It seems like a win all the way around.

Ready… Set… Convince me!