The traditional methods of preserving food for long-term storage are often very time-consuming, but there are many ways of preparing items for the store-cupboard that can take only minutes. Home-made fruit liqueurs, elegant-flavoured vinegars, basil leaves preserved in oil to bring a taste of summer to the winter months: not only are preserves ideal for filling the store-cupboard at all times of the year, but they make excellent gifts as well. Examining the secrets of being prepared in advance, this book focuses on short cuts instead of laborious recipes and complex techniques. The time-conscious cook is offered a range of sweet and savoury preserves, seasonings, and salted and potted meats, that can be prepared in minutes. Tips on storing, freezing and equipment are also included, together with suggested menus and uses for preserves throughout the year. The author is a regular columnist for "The Sunday Telegraph", and her other books include "Effortless Entertaining" and "The Country Housewife".