Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I highly recommend you check this out!
Do you enjoy jams and jellies? Canning- or as I sometimes would refer to it (despite the snickering laugh from others) as "jarring".(after all it is with jars..) Do you like recipe's with a story? Dont stop reading now- this is worth your time, I assure you.
I am not one with time to read books or even to post a review about one, but this one is a much treasured half recipe half memoir book I bought while pregnant with Panda that I feel you would appreciate. I have a ritual every spring. I go through all the recipes deciding which ones I will try this year and make notes on the page after I have tried them for later reference. Oh, you probaly want to know what book I am talking about...* It is titled "Well Preserved: a jam making hymnal" written by Joan Hassol.* My copy is so loved and it shows. On the inside flap I have jotted down the names, numbers and address of all the U-pick farms I visit and other handy local farm markets for quick reference. On the opposite page I jotted down a quick note of my admiration & tradition to any person who would have the privilage of holding my copy. I hope to someday share it with my children. *disclaimer- the author is not a professional writer/book reviewer & does not hold herself accountable for any goofs, ramblings, or typos*
Joan Hassol has written not just a book about jam, she has written a story that draws you in to her life and memories associated with the fruit/vegetable & recipes she shares. This book is of adventure, heartbreak, love, family, friends, & so much more. Imagine as a child when someone would tell you a story so well versed that you sat tranquil hanging on every word seeing the event in your head. That is Joan Hassol. Here is a sample of one story's begining about strawberries from her book:
The swinging sign by the side of the road is a strawberry. All winter I pass it by without a second glance, but come the latter part of June, when peas are not quite ready to pick and the green beans have almost broken through the ground, I start watching that sign. Then it happens. "OPEN FOR PICKING, 8:00am." gets hung on the sign and I know it's time to visit Namskaket farm, a pick-your-own strawberry farm. The sign stays up for just a few short weeks. Then it's all over for another year. An easy to miss, transitory experience; hesitate and the berries are gone in a wink."
I would write the rest which is over a page more before the recipes of strawberry jams, but I have not asked for permission or even know how to ask for it's sharing. If you hop over to amazon.com which the title above is a link to the book's page, you can read more of the book and other reader reviews.
I have found a few recipes such as the Pumpkin bread were a bit bland- It may just be because she explains how she likes it with plain strawberry jam on top. I added extra spice since not everyone in the family likes their slice with jam. Dont let that discourage you from at least checking it out from the local library or asking around from friends if they have a copy that you may pry from their grip to skimm through before you decide on it's purchase. This along with my"Food for Friends by Sally Pasley Vargas" are the most treasured extra books i own. Well next to a few big cookbooks and a goat husbandry one...
Posted by The Unusual Farmchick at 7/11/2006 10:57:00 AM