Books for cooks Books to have when the putting up urge strikes in summer

'Pickles & Preserves." More than any other season, summer's abundance of fruits and vegetables triggers the urge to pickle, preserve and can.

Authored by Raleigh News & Observer writer Andrea Weigl, the book provides a succinct how-to for beginners, freezer jams and refrigerator pickles for those short on time, and an expanded repertoire for old hands.

Southern favorites, such as Pickled Okra and Peach Butter, are sprinkled with flavors from other countries, as seen in Salt-Pickled Cucumbers With Shiso and Habanero Gold Pepper Jelly. A member of the Savor the South collection of small one-subject cookbooks, it's a multipurpose manual to get and to give. $18. University of North Carolina Press.

"Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves from Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, and Beyond."

"Given the choice of any global cuisine for nearly any given meal of the day, my tastes and preferences will always point East," writes author Karen Solomon. She's not alone in her preference for the titanic tastes of kimchi and chiles, garlic and ginger. Master them here if you're ready to take this next step. $19.99. Ten Speed Press.

Reach Marion Sullivan at

Makes 2 quart jars

"This recipe has become our go-to recipe for cucumber pickles. I've even used the same brine to pickle jalapeno slices. I first tasted these pickles while judging a cooking contest at Burt's Bees corporate headquarters in Durham, N.C. The recipe is adapted from Beth Ritter's winning entry. Ritter says it appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram years ago and was attributed to Dock and Opal Everett, who used to own a produce stand in Waco, Texas. I use a mandolin to make quick work of slicing the cucumbers, jalapeno, and onion." - Andrea Weigl, "Pickles & Preserves"


2 pounds pickling cucumbers, such as Kirby, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced

1 onion, sliced

4 cups white vinegar

1/4 cup pickling salt

31/2 cups sugar

11/2 teaspoons celery seeds

11/2 teaspoons turmeric

11/2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 tablespoon black peppercorns


Combine the cucumbers, jalapeno and onion in a large bowl.

Heat the vinegar, pickling salt, sugar, celery seeds, turmeric, mustard seeds, and peppercorns in a medium stainless steel saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved, about 10 minutes.

Pack the vegetables evenly into hot, sterilized jars. Ladle the brine over the pickles, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Seal the jars with lids.

Let the pickles sit in the refrigerator for 5 days before eating. These pickles are good for 1 year but best within 3 months.