Bookshelf Jam: References beyond the big blue book

13 08 2009

I collect cookbooks — at garage sales and in thrift shops and flea markets. Cookbooks from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, cookbooks that celebrate the tastes I grew up with and the recipes I learned to cook from are favorites. I enjoy most the way they’re written — the recipes tell stories; they are informative and fun to read. Here are some favorite cooking references from my preserving bookshelf, and (when they’re available) links to them at Amazon.

Every jamming kitchen bookshelf should have a copy of the standard preserving reference – the Ball Blue Book, which I discussed here. It’s inexpensive, available and only as far away as your nearest supermarket’s display of canning supplies:

Ball Blue Book – The Guide to Home Canning and Preserving, © Ball Corporation (various annual editions; I own three.)

When you’re ready to move beyond the big blue book, expand your bookshelf with these resources:

The Home Canning and Preserving Book, Ann Seranne, © 1975 Barnes & Noble Books (originally published by Doubleday, 1955, as The Complete Book of Home Preserving

Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook, Revised Enlarged edition, ed. by Nell B. Nichols, Farm Journal, © 1959, 1972 Doubleday & Co.

Putting Food By, Janet Greene & Ruth Hertzberg, 4th. Edition © 1988 The Stephen Greene Press

Jams, Jellies and More, Carol W. Costenbader (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin a-282) © 2003 Storey Books

Trying to figure out which book to own, or just experimenting with your very first batch of jam? Kraft Foods, manufacturers of Certo (TM) and Sure-Jell (TM) pectin, include a jam-making pamphlet in every box or package or pectin. Since the 70s, I’ve saved various KF pamphlets on jam and jelly making. Each pamphlet includes at least two dozen recipes, suggestions (beyond toast and jam) to use your jam creations, and all of the basic jam-making information you’ll need to get started.

Can’t find one of the resources listed above at Amazon? Ebay booksellers often carry older editions of cookbooks, as well as the newest version – and on Ebay, you’ll only pay a fraction of the original price for a used edition. Happy bookshelf stocking!

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