Customer Review

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A review from FoodLoversBritain.com, 2 Sep 2008
This review is from: Jams & Chutneys: Preserving the harvest, over 150 recipes (Hardcover)
September is the traditional time for dealing with summer's glut in preparation for winter's leaner months. As Thane Prince in Jams & Chutneys - Preserving the Harvest points out, it wasn't so long ago that "preserving nature's bounty was a necessity rather than an indulgence" so every prudent housewife (and I use the description advisedly) would beaver away bottling, pickling, making jam and so on.

Even if your need to preserve has died away and your "consumption lags far behind production levels" Thane wants you to keep at it. She believes preserving is "a truly life-enhancing experience" and although this may sound a little OTT, I can vouch for that. For years I made marmalade with my friend Michele. Never ate the stuff but adored the companionship of my marmalade day and then there was the added bonus of gleaming jars on the kitchen shelf, an endless supply of give-aways

Jams & Chutneys is a charming and useful book, full of sparklingly original recipes, classics and their variations, stylish photographs, hints and helpful tips. Interestingly Thane does not belong to the poor-quality-is-good-enough-for-preserving school. Certainly not - only the freshest and best will do as what you get out is only as good as what you put in. How sensible also to advise us to ask ourselves before we embark on a preserving project whether it is truly worth it. After all making a dozen pots of carrot & cardamom jam is some undertaking, a commitment that's far more labour intensive than dashing off , say, a new chicken recipe. If the latter doesn't appeal, it can easily be disposed of - both literally and figuratively.

Everyone will be charmed by Pears in White Wine with Lemongrass or an unctuous Spiced Pumpkin Butter and with apples coming into season now, who can resist Apple, Plum & Onion Relish. I have one - albeit minor - gripe that as the original CherryAider, I must air. Thane classes the cherry as a summer berry and rather than a stone fruit where it rightfully sits. A small detail but irksome particularly when she has a reputation for thoroughness and accuracy.
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