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The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook Hardcover – September 21, 2010
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"[The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook] is a complete and exquisite guide to making jam and marmalade at home. In addition to sharing 100+ recipes, Saunders walks you step-by-step through the process with in-depth explanations as well as photos of the various steps so you see exactly what each phase looks like." --Epicurious, September 23, 2010
"Rachel Saunders, author of The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, is quite possibly the high priestess of jam making. Her book - a comprehensive, year-round guide to jellies, jams, conserves, preserves, and marmalades - belongs in the kitchen of anyone interested in keeping their pantry stocked with delicious and unique fruit preserves. And Rachel's instructions are so thorough and clear, even beginners are assured success." --The Splendid Table's "Weeknight Kitchen" newsletter
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Top Customer Reviews
I was initially put off by all the full-page photographs of the author looking fey in her jammy wonderland--Rachel with vintage accessories, Rachel wandering through a misty orchard, Rachel caressing airbrushed fruit--I would have preferred, say, a photograph detailing how to skin a green almond. It's a gorgeous book and I wondered if its target audience was the folks who like to lie in bed and look at the pictures in cookbooks, but actually eat takeout much of the time.
My first recipe (strawberry-Meyer lemon marmalade) was a qualified success. The recipe specified covering lemon slices in a "medium" saucepan with one inch of water, but I think I used too large a pan, and ended up with too much water to cook off. I also couldn't get the hang of Rachel's method of testing when the jam is done, which involves putting a specific number of spoons in the freezer, and checking the texture of the jam as it sets up on a cold spoon. I omitted the rose geranium cuttings (there's a limit to the produce I can come up, even in the Bay Area). It was a very good marmalade, but a little tight in texture, as I'd overcooked it a bit.
For my second recipe (strawberry-kiwi jam), I went back to my tried-and-true method of testing the jam on a saucer in the fridge. Rachel's description of when the jam is done was spot-on.Read more ›
Full-page photographs occupy nearly every other leaf of this massive volume; open it anywhere and you're almost certain to be assaulted by an intoxicating obscenity of color and texture that will tweak your salivary glands into involuntary action.
Less attractively, The Blue Chair never stops working very, very hard to sell you a particular fantasy lifestyle. In this respect it's evocative of early Martha Stewart, because the author herself is packaged in a panoply of pretty poses along with the fruit spreads. She appears over and over again -- picking fruit, holding fruit, cutting and stirring fruit. Always her clothing is impeccably matched to the fruit she is picking or the blossoms she is snipping. Always her hair is perfectly coiffed. Never is there a hint of effort or haste or dissarray. These images are so brazenly fantastic that I can't help feeling manipulated.
But perhaps I'm just in a sour mood? After all, isn't there a place for fantasy? Must I ascribe such dark motives? Might it all have been meant in good fun?
Maybe. But what most seriously damages this book for me is the sheer impracticality, often bordering on impossiblity, of so many of the recipes. The author runs her jam company in an affluent city, in one of the best areas of the country for fruit growers. It makes perfect sense for her to base her company there and to make the best of the amazing ingredients she has access to, but she does not seem aware of how fortunate she is to have such resources.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The size and content of this book is incredible. The details and love for jam come across in this book so very well - a new staple for our venue!Published 1 month ago by Vicky Ismail
Oh my goodness this has become my favorite jam cookbook. I wanted it quickly so bought it on kindle too. I took a craftsy class with Rachel. I have made my own jam for many years. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Scrapbooker
This cookbook is awesome, the recipes are easy and delisious!Published 4 months ago by michelle d sudbeck
Extensively read the reviews of this book and that of Christine Ferber, Mes Confitures, before taking the leap and buying two (more) preserving books. Read morePublished 5 months ago by balaboosta
First of all, let me say that this is not the kind of cookbook I normally go for. I've got a toddler and a baby at home, so I really need low-stress recipes. Read morePublished 5 months ago by kmhsellers
Bought this book after taking a class based on a couple of the recipes. My daughter and I made a fig and ginger jam from the book, which was a lot of work, but the result was... Read morePublished 6 months ago by CARYL M WOODFORD