Canning & Preserving

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Adventures in Bubbles and Brine

Adventures in Bubbles and Brine

East coast practitioners of fermentation-based food and drink — from beer and wine to cheese and sauerkraut
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse
Excerpt

Prologue

I love restaurants. Everything about them. Always have.

A restaurant is both a superficial and deeply profound experience. Restaurants can leave an existential mark on your life though you’re essentially just sitting down in a place to eat food and drink booze.

A restaurant is built on a foundation of broken hearts, failed relationships, trips to the hardware store, the clinic, extended credit and the goodwill of people who care about you. Writing a book and building a restaurant are deeply personal acts. They require everything of you, your passion and your spirit. You can meander in fits and starts for months, years even, down the wrong path, all to get to the right one. Books and restaurants, the best ones in my estimation, are built on unworkable rewrites and failed ideas, and let me tell you: that body count is high.

Writing a book or opening a restaurant can make you lose your mind.

Until you haven’t.

And then it clicks. And that’s Day 1. That’s where you start.

Building and then maintaining a restaurant is about loyalty. And this is why Joe Beef thrives. Because it is a deeply personal restaurant. That is not to say the food made in this tiny French restaurant isn’t technically on point (it is) or that the old cottage influence of Maine or Gaspé won’t fill you with nostalgia (it will), or that the care of the staff doesn’t enchant you (they do).

The attraction to Joe Beef is due to its authenticity. You cannot bullshit people with an inauthentic voice or cooking.  Well, you can. But it won’t last.

“Deeply personal” is the beginning and the end of Fred and David’s playbook.

***

The point of a prologue is to make overarching sense of the chapters, to lay out the sequence of what you’re about to read. To pop the hood and preview what’s inside. But I’m not going to do that. Because this book is simply about where we are now.
Surviving the Apocalypse was a theme we dreamt up in 2014. We’re well aware there have been a few instances (some extreme weather, more-than-extreme elections) over the last couple years when it seemed survivalism and talk of impending doom had jumped the shark. The cars were packed and the E.T.  suits were zipped. The zeitgeist seemed to be closing in on us. Maybe the world was actually going to end. But this book was never about the headline.

This book is about how to build things for yourself.
This book is about how to make it on your own.
We don’t expect anyone to build a trout pond that doesn’t work, like our pond at Joe Beef. Or to create your own makeshift cellar to house 31 bunker-friendly foods (though it would be prudent). But maybe you’ll write a poem about the Laurentians. Or make wine in a Yeti cooler. Or cook up a Pot-au-Feu in the autumn for your girlfriend, and then a baby for the spring.

We set out to write a book about shutting out the noise, because that was the problem in our own lives. We vowed there would be fewer recipes than in our first book (The Art of Living According to Joe Beef henceforth referred to as Book One), because recipes are time-consuming to write, but… we found inspiration in our weird theme and are giving you even more this time around (158!). So, the joke’s on us.

After 12 years of Joe Beef, and seven years after our first book, we think you know us by now. And so, in the pages to come, you’ll find good ideas, less good ideas and other ramblings. You’ll find etiquette on how children should behave at dinner, quick tricks for cheat sauces, a chapter devoted to the weird and wonderful Québec tradition of celebrating Christmas-in-July, a recipe for soap, and a towering cake made of rum balls.

I waitressed at Joe Beef on Day 1. We never thought we would make it to Week 2.

We never imagined people could love the restaurant as much as they do.

We never dreamt of writing a book.

We never thought anyone other than maybe our moms would buy the book.

And we definitely didn’t think we would have the opportunity for a second.

With gratitude and tremendous love, this book is dedicated to our city of Montreal.

—M. E.

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The Simple Bites Kitchen

The Simple Bites Kitchen

Nourishing Whole Food Recipes for Every Day
edition:Paperback
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The Preservatory

The Preservatory

Seasonally Inspired Recipes for Creating and Cooking with Artisanal Preserves
edition:Hardcover
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Batch

Batch

Over 200 Recipes, Tips and Techniques for a Well Preserved Kitchen
edition:Hardcover
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Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving

Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving

400 Delicious and Creative Recipes for Today
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