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The Jamlady Cookbook
By Beverly Ellen Schoonmaker Alfeld
ISBN: 1589802357
Publisher: Pelican
Format: Hardcover
List price: $35
Type: Single subject: Jams & Preserves
Sample recipe: Mango Jam with Cinnamon Stick
Ambitions
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive coffee-table Biblical stature
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Content
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 ≥300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-Eleven airfare required online pantry supermarket
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose bare-bones full-figured educational
Time conscious: unconscious outright lies white lies realistic honorable
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant balanced generous
Photos/drawings: none distracting decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Diet/Nutrition/Health
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Tone: food police intense neutral supportive comforting
Result: guilt-inducing heavy-handed balanced encouraging inspiring
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine considerate work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging tolerable clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy dubious years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: non-existent hard-to-find spotty sufficient every page
Table of contents: AWOL frustrating passable useful excellent
Index quality: none tragic adequate good a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Author
Writer: beginner food writer writing cook personality auteur
Cook: unknown self-taught chef teacher celebrity
Summary
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfactory exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward best friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: This is an unusual book, at best. Organizationally, it's a mess. More than 100 pages into the meat of the book, there is a section on acid and pectin in fruit. In any other preserving book, it would be up front. Then, after more pages of recipes, there is a huge and wonderful section describing all the liqueurs that might be used in jam-making. There is a very useful index, however, so even if information isn't where you expect it, you should be able to find it.

The great strength of the book is its variety and the depth of its information. Beyond the expected jams and preserves, there are sections on elderberries, gooseberries, peppers, chokeberries, rowanberries, quince, cacti, mulberries, bananas, brambles, and other unusual fruits, as well as mixtures of fruits that most of us have likely not seen before – mangos and blueberries, for example. There are Black Radish Preserves, Horseradish Jelly, Pear and Red Onion Jelly, Russian Beet Preserves, and Brandied Carrot Marmalade with Macadamia Nuts, among other recipes. And although the author is wordy in the extreme, this book contains lots of information you don't find in other preserving books.

Like its author, the book sticks to preserves that can be processed in a rolling water bath and does not venture into pressure-processing territory. It is at least ironic that the author religiously sticks to the convention of using an abbreviation to tell you how to process your preserves. For instance JSP/RWB10 (8OZ) means jar, seal and process in a rolling water bath for 10 minutes for 8-ounce jars. We're not sure that's the place to bring out the editing pencil and save a few words. But if you're looking for great variety in jam and preserves recipes – and have the patience to wade through thickets of words – The Jamlady Cookbook is an excellent resource.



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