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on July 28, 2002
This book is wonderful! The recipes are outstanding and the selection is impressive -- from jams and jellies to ice cream toppings and pie fillings, and everything inbetween. The text at the beginning of each recipe chapter and the separate chapters on tools and ingredients are very interesting and informative. I appreciate the author's attention to detail and her emphasis on using proper canning techniques so that the food you prepare for your home table will be both delicious and safe to serve.
I have made dozens and dozens of recipes from this book and they have all turned out great -- outstanding flavor with beautiful color and perfect texture. The Salsa Jam, Banberry Jam, Cherry Marmalade, Peach-Pineapple Preserves, Jalapeno Jelly, Strawberry-Raspberry Jelly, Asian Marinade, Basil Marinara Sauce, Pineapple Upside-Down Ice Cream Topping, and many more have become family favorites.
I never had much luck with jams made using the long-cook method, or homemade pectin. They took forever to make, it was nearly impossible to figure out when they were done, and they just never worked right. My jams ended up being either thin and watery or overcooked and hard as rubber. So, I really appreciate the wide variety of traditional and exotic soft spread recipes the author offers that use packaged pectin. Now, my jams turn out perfect every time and they are very quick to prepare. For people who still prefer to make spreads using the long-cook method, there are several chapters in this book filled with many other wonderful recipes that make it well worth the purchase. There are recipes for butters, curds, fruit, juices, vegetables, pickles, sauces, vinegars, syrups, liqueurs, pie fillings and ice cream toppings.
I had never thought about entering my canned goods in a fair competition but, after reading this book, I just might try it myself for fun. It was interesting learning how judges use the USDA standards to evaluate the entries plus the flavor and texture criteria that are used to choose the winners. I now understand the reasons why it is so important to only use the approved, modern methods of canning and processesing, not just for fair competitions, but also for the foods I will serve daily to family and friends.
This is an excellent cookbook and I highly recommend it for both experienced home canners and those who discovering the fun and joy of home canning for the very first time.
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on September 30, 2001
Blue Ribbon Preserves is a great cookbook for home canners of all levels of preserving experience and skill. It is easy to read and follow, with the comprehensive canning text and detailed recipes presented in a clear and understandable manner. Linda Amendt's impressive wealth of knowledge, special techniques, recipes and expert advice make this delightful and impressive book a gold mine of information for anyone interested in home canning.
The author presents the latest modern canning techniques and safety precautions and explains the importance of each step in the canning process. She is also careful to explain why old-fashioned and out-dated canning methods should not be used, and how the use of old-style and nonstandard canning jars can lead to serious problems.
In entering my preserves at the State Fair the past few years, I have been disappointed at not winning blue ribbons. After reading the extensive chapter on fair competitions and Linda's helpful advice and preparation tips in each recipe chapter, I now understand the judging process and am confident I can win those precious blue ribbons. I am grateful to the author for her generosity in sharing her secrets to winning so many awards with the rest of us fair entrants.
I have made several of the delicious jam and jelly recipes, as well as fruit, juice, sauce and pickle recipes, and all have yielded perfect results. Blue Ribbon Preserves has become my 'Canning Bible' and I will use it again and again with each new canning season. I am giving copies of this wonderful book as Christmas gifts to many friends and family members who enjoy making preserves.
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on July 14, 2001
Wow! What an impressive book. Linda Amendt sure knows her stuff - no wonder she has won so many blue ribbons!
The Food safety information and canning instructions are outstanding. Not only does the author carefully explain the steps that need to be followed to prepare safe and delicious preserves, she also explains why each step in the canning process is so important. Nearly 300 excellent recipes, such as Peach Melba Jam, Tropical Peaches, and Sweet and Sour Plum Sauce, clear and easy-to-follow instructions and tips for success make this book a joy to use.
I highly recommend this book to all home canners - whether you are an experienced preserver or are trying home canning for the first time. You will be amazed by the wealth of information and great recipes it contains. - An A+ book!
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on November 5, 2006
I have been putting up jams and other preserved food for more than thirty years, and of the many books I have on preserving, this is my favorite. It would probably be overwhelming for first-timers, who should buy the Ball Blue Book to start, but for anyone with experience these recipes are wonderful.

I cannot vouch for the pickling sections - my husband cannot eat pickles so I don't make them, but the jam, jelly and marmalade recipes are fabulous. The nectarine jam recipe alone is worth the price of this book - I made several batches of nectarine and next year I will make more - these jars are flying off the shelf. The "Peach Melba" recipe, using the classic combination of peach and raspberry is incomparable, and the Apricot-Plum and Apricot-Pineapple recipes are just excellent. I have not been disappointed in any recipe, and I envision using a number over the coming seasons for which I didn't have time this summer.
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on March 13, 2005
I found these recipes to be similar to ones my Southern grandmother made. They were easy to make and full of flavor. The taste is far superior to that of the typical store-bought fare. Jelly and jam making is not hard, but finding a good recipe seems to be an ordeal. (I did write off my first jelly making session as a lesson learned, but that was before this book came to my attention.)
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on June 29, 2006
After picking and choosing recipes out of many different canning/preserving cookbooks, I can truly say this one stands out. It is beneficial for both the beginner and the expert, as it covers the basics in clear detail, and has a wide range of recipes from the delicious basics to the exotics. Those interested in competing or in just having their canned gifts make the best impression will find practical information on how to make their products look and taste as good as possible--even how to clean the jars so they sparkle! (use vinegar) My hats off to the author! My only wish is that this would be available in hardcover or in lie-flat binding, because I know it is going to get used for YEARS in my canning kitchen.
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on May 26, 2002
I am quite impressed by this cookbook. It is extremely well written, very thorough and interesting. The author presents her information and recipes in a flowing, easy-to-understand style that makes this cookbook very user-friendly. She explains every step in detail without talking over the heads of people new to home canning or talking down to experienced canners.
Unlike other preserved foods books, Blue Ribbon Preserves goes way beyond the basics. The author's special techniques and advice are invaluable and make home canning a wide variety of preserves easy for anyone. There is a huge selection of all manner of delicious recipes ranging from standard flavors to the exotic. The descriptions and instructions are so clear that every step is easily understood.
While I personally do not have any plans to enter my preserves at fairs, the author's stories and discussions on fair competitions are quite interesting and informative. I have used her competition techniques to improve the quality of every preserve I make and serve to my family. For someone who does enter their preserved foods into fair competition and wants to win blue ribbons, the author's advice and insider secrets are essential. For everyone else - they will help you create exceptional preserves for gifts and home use.
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VINE VOICEon February 20, 2006
Linda Amendt shares her fabulous recipes and secrets to championship canning success in this attractive and well-laid-out book of recipes. Although most buyers will probably be seasoned canners, she covers the basic procedures and equipment for newbies, then goes right into food selection and prep.

The recipes include everything from delicious jams and jellies to homecanned soups and stews and sauces. This book is a must-have for any avid canner, and would make a nice gift if combined with a waterbath canner and some jars for someone who's always wanted to try canning but never had the nerve. Highly recommend
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on June 2, 2002
This book is so complete, so impressive, it's no surprise that the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), the world's largest professional culinary organization, chose Blue Ribbon Preserves as a finalist for one of their most prestigious awards -- First Book: The Julia Child Award.
Books considered for the IACP Cookbook Awards must meet strict criteria, stand up to close scrutiny by an independent judging panel of food industry professionals, and undergo extensive recipe testing in order to reach the elite level of being selected as an award finalist. The IACP Cookbook Awards are recognized worldwide as the Academy Awards for Cookbooks.
Blue Ribbon Preserves is an outstanding cookbook -- clear, detailed, thorough, interesting and extremely well written. The nearly 300 award-winning preserve recipes are outstanding and the directions are complete and easy-to-follow. This book is a pleasure to read and a joy to use in the kitchen. It is easy to see why the IACP judges felt this book deserved their special recognition. The author did an extraordinary job in creating an exceptional preserved foods cookbook that stands above all the rest.
Blue Ribbon Preserves is an absolute must for every home canner and it belongs in the library of everyone who collects quality cookbooks. It truly is a remarkable book.
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on January 7, 2002
I am a veteran home canner and this wonderful preserving cookbook is by far the best one I have read. (I own all of the current canning books.) The extensive variety of recipes are clearly written, complete, easy-to-follow and yield excellent results. The author goes beyond the basic instructions given in the other books and does the great service of explaining the importance and necessity of each step in the canning process. Linda Amendt's chapter on competing at fairs is right on the mark and anyone following her advice is sure to bring home blue ribbons of their own. I give Blue Ribbon Preserves my highest recommendation!
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