The Jamlady Cookbook
by Beverly Ellen Schoonmaker Alfeld, Sherman Kaplen (Foreword), Jim Smith (Photographer)
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company (July 4, 2004)
Reviews for The Jamlady Cookbook
From Publishers Weekly
Alfeld's enthusiasm for "putting up" nature's bounty and her background in organic farming, teaching, science and cooking make her the perfect instructor in this book on canning. She assures readers that creating homemade jams, jellies, butters, chutneys and relishes can be safe, satisfying and, of course, delicious. Although hers is not exactly a book for beginners, an early chapter dealing with processing methods and general troubleshooting, and a later one on pH measurements (essential for safety) are indeed thorough. In between are several hundred recipes, incorporating a diverse assortment of fruits and vegetables, all of which have been tested on Jamlady's admiring customers at Chicago's farmers markets. Novices will enjoy making Classic Pineapple Jam, which uses canned fruit; and speedy Microwaved Orange Marmalade. However, Jamlady's heart is in the more complex concoctions, such as Marnier Strawberry-Peach Jam, Tomato-Basil Jelly (nice on hamburgers), Nectarine-Almond Conserve and Pear Honey. Alfeld (who refers to herself as Jamlady) stocks each chapter with how-tos, ingredient information, sources, history, chemistry, philosophy, family stories and humor. Color illus.
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More than a cookbook, this food-preparation reference guide is a superbly informative read, with useful information on everything from the cultivation of plants and new techniques in jamming to liqueurs and cordials. While many people believe they lack the hobby time to can preserves, Jamlady demonstrates techniques and ingredients adaptable to busy households.
For years, visitors to Chicagoland farmers’ markets have counted on Jamlady’s impressive selection of jams and jellies to add excitement to meals. This cookbook puts a dazzling array of foods often thought of as mere condiments front and center, within reach of even those home cooks with basic skills, limited time, and access to simple ingredients. More advanced recipes and methods teach more experienced canners the savory and sweet secrets to creating their own fine preserves. The extensive baking section and serving suggestions offer ideas on how to best showcase these preserved and enhanced flavors. Jamlady’s decades of research and experimentation have culminated in this impressive volume, destined to become a dog-eared classic in the pantheon of cooking.