If you've been laboring under the illusion that your grandmother just smashed berries into a jar or that pickles grew on exotic pickle trees, prepare to be enlightened with Linda J. Amendt's Blue Ribbon Preserves: Secrets to Award-Winning Jams, Jellies, Marmalades & More
. Canning, as shown in this exhaustive edition, is as much a science as an art, and this book includes every detail to educate the uninformed on what it takes to make great preserves.
Her recipes include the standards, such as strawberry jam, and the obscure, such as Garlic and Onion Jam. Amendt also does the public service of explaining the real difference between jams and jellies. Special caution about food safety holds a prominent place in Blue Ribbon Preserves and Amendt teaches us how to chose optimal foods for canning as well as how to safely store preserves to avoid potentially lethal food contamination. Be prepared for a bit of a chemistry lesson, which can be a long and sometimes didactic read, but it's well worth it for the critical food-safety information.
So complete is the book that Amendt, herself a recipient of countless state-fair awards for her preserves, includes pointers on how to succeed at such competitions (in a very thorough chapter which includes insights into how judges pick their winners). Blue Ribbon Preserves covers everything that goes into a ball jar and more, and in the process earns not only a tight seal of quality but its own blue ribbon. --Teresa Simanton
From Library Journal
With more than 300 blue ribbons from state, county, and other fairs to her credit, Amendt is an authority on the subject of preserving and her pantry must be an impressive sight indeed. Here she provides an extremely detailed introduction to home canning, from U-Pick farms and other sources of ingredients to equipment to safety concerns, along with a lengthy troubleshooting section and a chapter on fair competitions. This is followed by more than 200 delectable small-batch preserving recipes, from classics such as Bing Cherry Jam to variations like Caramel Apple Butter to innovations like Margarita Jelly. In addition to jams, jellies, and fruit preserves, Amendt also includes canned fruits and vegetables, sauces and salsas, and pickles and vinegars. Valuable as both a reference and a cookbook, this is highly recommended.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.