The Jamlady Cookbookby Beverly Alfeld, Beverly Ellen Schoonmaker Alfeld
A resource cookbook for the canner, gardener, gourmet chef, baker, and beginning home cook. More than 400 recipes for jellies, jams, butters, and preserves, with recipes for cooking with delicious homemade potables.
- Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)
Meet the Author
Beverly Ellen Schoonmaker Alfeld is dedicated to educating home cooks on how to safely preserve their own foods. She is proud to have completed the school of instruction in food processing prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration. She has also completed advanced coursework in the fields of education, administration, and school law. Alfeld is the author of The Jamlady Cookbook, also published by Pelican.
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The jamlady cookbook is a true gem. The knowledge is very thorough. I especially valued the knowledge on the french plunge method, I had heard about it but could never find any books that discussed it. I also found the recipes to truly work.
There is not whole lot that I knew about jam, jelly or preserve making, I now know. I knew about sugar, fruit, pectin and some basic canning technique. And, like most, I often erroneously used the terminology associated with jam making. So there are some clumps of fruit in there? Well, that must be jam. Some zest of an orange, well that must be a preserve. And a conserve, marmalade and the like? Well, whenever they looked good on the menu, so should they appear. Beverly Ellen Schoonmaker Alfeld's The Jamlady Cookbook has set me straight. This book had to be no small undertaking. The details that Alfeld has subjected me are without parallel. Jamlady, as she matter-of-factly refers to herself throughout the book is the authoritarian voice on the making of said jams. Jamlady is not a cookbook author for the sake of amassing a collection of fruity recipes. Rather, she is on a mission to spread the word on, well, spreads. Alfeld is schooled in some of the FDA's food processing regimen, so no worries for the technical aspect of canning. Given the climate of food safety awareness, it is important to heed her guidance. Jamlady walks you through the process rather than dictate a litany of procedures; splendidly refreshing is her approach to lessening the fear factor all the while working with you to create marvelous products. The compendium-like first chapter, 'Processing Methods and Troubleshooting,' is a necessary read. Alfeld guides like a well-seasoned teacher; she coaches, models the process and reflects back on the 'whys' and 'hows.' And the lexicon of defining exactly what is in the jar makes her mission clear rather than calling on my 'well, it looks like jam' method for describing a fruit and sugar amalgam. But, alas, the truth is in the jelly. I relish (no pun) the array of dynamic spreads, from marmalades to jellies to butters. Each masterfully detailed recipe among the 200+ pages in the collection is ripe with intricate detail. 'Vermont Marries Georgia Jam' provides the specifics on applying ascorbic acid, the canning technique as well as the sweetener, in this case, aspartame for the sugar conscience. My favorite from the collection is the 'Sweet Potato Butter.' Jamlady is careful to caution me about pH volatility in canning this particular product. It really did not last long enough to worry about the shelf stability, however. She garnishes this particular entry with an aside on eugenol's antiseptic property within the cloves in the recipe. Like I said, this collection is quite the compendium. And eugenol is not the only additive that we can learn about from Jamlady. Just in case you needed a reference to Spirits and Liquers, there is one handily located nestled between Orange Marmalade and Asian & European Pears, thank you very much. In case you needed help with science, most of the recipes move you from cook to part-time chemist by examining the interaction between acids and pectin, the origins of the fruits as well as dropping in a history lesson or two on our multicultural landscape. Ms. Alfeld has not done an acceptable job at sharing her passion for all that is jam-able; instead, she has done a stellar job of sharing her excitement for creating jellies, preserves and marmalades by flavoring her lessons with the zest of a real teacher! Her forthright teaching style is a refreshing tangent to celebrity chefs hustling their the latest fad and speaking down to the cookbook reader. The Jamlady addresses the jelly-free canvas with the know-how of a devoted artist and all the flavors of nature as her pallet.
The Jamlady Cookbook is a very thorough reference guide for canners, gardeners, chefs and new cooks. It provides mouth-watering photographs, hundreds of recipes for jams, preserves, jellies, and many other homemade products. The author, Beverly Ellen Schoonmaker Alfeld, was raised by parents who ran a commercial greenhouse. Later, as an adult, she received her Bachelor's Degree as well as two Master's degrees. She completed training through the Food and Drug Administration. Using her teaching skills, being an educator for over 23 years, she has dedicated her life to educating home cooks on how to can safely. This is her first book. This book is so nice. There are over 400 recipes, color photographs deliciously displayed, and a lot of information. The book is very easy-to-read; the recipes are easy-to-understand and a wonderful book for anyone, especially gardeners who are looking for new ideas to can their bounty! Some of the information you will find in this book are: processing methods and trouble shooting; definitions of jams, jellies, preserves, butters, marmalades, conserves, spreads and chutneys; recipes for jams, jellies and preserves, including sugar free versions; a recipe section on how to bake with your new 'jams'; many butter recipes; and an excellent appendix showing the pH of foods and measurements. Some of the wonderful recipes you will find in this lovely book are: Wine Jelly, Orange Marmalade, Hot Mango Jam, Pumpkin Butter, Cherry Vanilla Preserves, and Red Pepper Marmalade. I was so impressed with the unusual recipes and tantalizing combinations! I plan to try the Cantaloupe Conserve next. The Jamlady has her own website. There you can purchase some of her creations. She offers recipes, and locations to find her if you would like to purchase her products in person. She even gives her email address if you have any questions. Some of the products you can purchase through her site are; Hot Crocodile Chutney, Strawberry Butter, and Jalapeno Pepper Jelly. This cookbook is well worth the price of $35.00. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Having this book inspired my creativity and made me want to try all the recipes. In fact, after getting this book, I plan to buy it as Christmas gifts this year, and start a small garden next year so I can try more recipes with my own produce!
I really enjoyed this book. It makes one want to get in the kitchen and try many of the fun recipes. The book is smart, but user friendly and seems to have one great recipe after another. There are some that are so unusual, but they all sound great. I am going to give them a try. With winter coming I will put this cookbook to good use.