Blue Jelly: Love Lost and the Lessons of Canning

Overview

In a fresh and funny literary voice that ranks her alongside Nora Ephron, former "Rolling Stone" writer Debby Bull searches the world for a cure to the depression she finds herself in when a relationship ends. Checking out psychics, gurus, shrinks, and channels, she tackles all that the new cultural landscape has to offer--always coming back to her jam-making. Includes 15 real canning recipes. Line art.
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Overview

In a fresh and funny literary voice that ranks her alongside Nora Ephron, former "Rolling Stone" writer Debby Bull searches the world for a cure to the depression she finds herself in when a relationship ends. Checking out psychics, gurus, shrinks, and channels, she tackles all that the new cultural landscape has to offer--always coming back to her jam-making. Includes 15 real canning recipes. Line art.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Enchanting, funny, and perceptive reflections on recovering from a disastrous love affair, woven together with recipes for making jams, jellies, and pickles.

Bull literally preserved herself from despair after her lover called in news of his new affair during a dinner party they were both supposed to be hosting. Ridding herself of everything that belonged to him, she found a bag of wild huckleberries he had picked and turned them into jam. String beans from his garden became dill beans in her grandmother's old blue Ball jars. Why canning and not baking bread? Canning is "a Zen thing," requiring total attention to a "world in which things turn out the way you thought they would." But Bull doesn't simply lock herself in her kitchen watching fruit boil. She takes off into the wider world in search of healing. Her trips range from hiking in Utah to scuba diving in the Bahamas to seeking in India, where palm leaves are read and guru Sai Baba speaks to her through another. She also tries, and skewers, the kind of therapy workshops that give healing a bad name. After every adventure she returns home to ruminate on what she's learned and can whatever is in season. Each chapter ends with a recipe, ranging from classic raspberry jam to Mexican hot pickled vegetables to dandelion jelly (the blue jelly of the title—she was out of yellow food coloring). Don't skip the recipes: Tucked between directions for sterilizing the Ball jars and boiling the fruit juice are delicious anecdotes, many about the celebrities she's interviewed for magazines such as Rolling Stone and Interview.

Warm, funny, plump with insight, a book that readers will pass on to friends and friends of friends, whether they're recovering from broken hearts or in need of a recipe for blueberry butter.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786883202
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/22/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 4.50 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2005

    A lesson learned!

    I am glad I read it! I started the book and immediately thought this woman was crazy, a looney, a wack job. After getting a feel for the book I realized that although this woman seemed crazy to me, I related SOME things to her. It's been awhile but years ago I remember going through a break up that was hard to let go. Now, I was in high school and that to me is a teenager thing but I could relate. Different phases, different situations but probably all the same feelings. This book jumps around to different things which keeps you interested on her journeys, all the while learning a little about canning. Something I know NOTHING about. In the end it comes together, it's a amazing how all the jumble of stories, times, thoughts come together to show a lesson learned. Now, I have a feeling each reader will take something completely different from this book, a lesson of some sort! My favorite line was (I think) from page 85 or 86. She talks about her phase of collecting things. All sorts of things. One being wooden birds on sticks for her garden/yard. her neighbor yells at her 'your like Martha Stewart on crack!' I loved it. It was a total giggle out loud!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2000

    Alternate title should be: I CAN

    I laughed out loud repeatedly while reading this - it's like talking with a wise and funny friend. I've been married 25 yrs. & didn't need advice on recovering from a dead relationship - but it still offers solace for ANY person needing a boost. It's just a pure lift and a pure joy to read. I intend to treasure it and reread it when I need a smile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2000

    Made me laugh instead of cry

    This book saved my life ... reading a review at about the same time as a devastating breakup, I knew I had to buy it. I have read this book over and over ... and over, each time finding something new. I often quote phrases or passages. Thanks Debby -- I am eternally grateful! I have given this book as a gift more times than I can remember. For anyone who has loved and lost, Blue Jelly is a must!

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