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Blue Ribbon Preserves: Secrets to Award-Winning Jams, Jellies, Marmalades and More Paperback – July 1, 2001
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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.
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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.
I would say once you have this book and her new book you almost don't need any other recipes from other places and you're set to begin preserving all the summer bounty.
I'm grateful she has shared her knowledge in this field and doesn't hold any secrets back.
The bread and butter pickles were unbelievable and were gone as soon as we opened the jar.
I know I'll be making a lot more this year.
The other thing I would have liked to have seen in this book was recommended times for processing with a pressure canner. I have a flat-top range and can't use any of the enameled canners, and so bought a pressure canner to use instead. I had to just go by the manufacturer's recommended times for the pressure canning which is fine, but considering that pressure canning is the most recommended method for safe at-home preserving, I would have liked it if the author would have included recommended times along with the water bath canning times.
Good book though...looking forward to making more recipes from it.
Blue Ribbon Preserves has become my favorite for its recipes and I'm giving it 4-stars. My only criticism is it doesn't have any photographs or diagrams. Beyond that, this book contains a wealth of information, wonderful, simple, easy to follow recipes that made this novice look like a pro. Every recipe I tried was perfection. I've had so much fun with this book that I've ordered Linda Amendt's newest book ; 175 Best Jams, Jellies, Marmalades and Other Soft Spreads. I can't wait to try more of Linda's recipes. This is one author who really knows her stuff and you can trust her award winning recipes. Thank you Linda for sharing your wealth of experience with us.