6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Peter B. Nelson
- Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
After several years of making wild-fruit jams, I finally got a recipe book that really explains how. Not that I was looking for one, but this book fell into my lap and I couldn't be more pleased. Face it, recipes on the internet, and in the pectin boxes, never quite deliver. In "The Joys of Jams, Jellies..." Linda Ziedrich has given us amateur preservers a masterpiece of a cookbook.
To my delight, I found that Ms. Ziedrich is a history buff. She relates the fascinating history of jelly-making in the introduction. The rest of the book is organized by type of fruit, and at the beginning of each she tells its history and some general trivia. Ms. Ziedrich grew up on a California farm, and she includes some touching personal anecdtotes as well. For the history alone this book provides a pleasant diversion. I found myself reading it just for fun.
What I noticed first about almost all her recipes is that they lack pectin. Now, at a couple dollars per box, pectin isn't going to break the bank, but there's just something more satisfactory about preserving God-given free berries without having to drive to the store and spend money on pectin. In most of her recipes the only thing you'll need is sugar and lemon juice, and those are always on hand. For the recipies that absolutely require pectin, she gives instructions on how to make your own.
Another thing I noticed is that she covers an amazing variety of fruits. I can't wait to try her recipes for pear jam, and rose-hip jelly, and crabapple and gooseberry. If you're really adventerous, try her recipies for fig, ginger, watermelon, banana, nuts, flowers (like rose petal syrup), and a lot of other things besides. Under each fruit she gives many, many recipes, so, for example, you can try: rasberry jam, smooth rasberry jam, rasberry-red currant jam, Christina's raw raspberry jam, raw raspberry puree, raw raspberry sauce, raspberry vinegar, and raspberry shrub. You get the idea.
Following her recipe last week I made my first ever batch of wild blackberry jelly, with no added pectin. It set within 10 minutes and the whole family was eating peanut-butter and wild-blackberry jelly sandwiches while the jelly was still hot! Alas, we ran out in two days.
If possible, I would dock a half-star from this book for its lack of pictures. I suppose a case can be made that all jellies look the same, so what's to see? But this book really could use a few pictures to liven it up. Especially useful would be photos or illustrations of basic concepts like "foam", "sheeting", "clear", "jellied fruit", and so on.