“Preserving Memories” by Judy Glattstein (Well Fed Network)

March 3, 2007 in cooking, fruit, Paper Palate, review, Well Fed Network

(I wrote the following article for the Paper Palate blog, in the [tag]Well Fed Network[/tag])

Preserving Memories book coverI recently had an opportunity to review the [tag]cookbook[/tag] [tag]Preserving Memories: Growing Up in My Mother’s Kitchen[/tag] by [tag]Judy Glattstein[/tag]. As you might imagine from the title, this is a book about the making of [tag]jam[/tag]s, [tag]jellies[/tag], [tag]marmalade[/tag]s, and other [tag]preserved[/tag] items. Let me assure you that the work and time you take to make any of these [tag]recipe[/tag]s will be very well spent. [tag]Homemade[/tag] preserves, made from the most simple of ingredients, taste fantastic and much more like the original [tag]fruit[/tag] than any mass produced preserve, jam or jelly you could buy.

Although the cover features some very sexy strawberries in [tag]hyperreal[/tag] colors, this is not a book for eye candy. There are no full color photographs, only the occasional sepia, printed like the rest of the text.

The introductory text rambles a bit, but it does lend “texture” and premise. She does a lovely job of giving some [tag]food history[/tag] throughout and covers the particularities of preserving with a direct brevity that is welcome. [tag]Glattstein[/tag] writes this book because she feels that an important family centered [tag]food tradition[/tag], namely the making and giving of preserves, is being lost in our busy world. She looks to provide for her readers a way back to a type of cooking that should be preserved and passed on.

The recipes are arranged first by type of preserve, including:

  • [tag]Fruit Butter[/tag]s -> Plum [tag]butter[/tag], Quince butter
  • Jams -> Ginger Peach Jam, Orange Fig jam
  • Conserves -> Blueberry Orange convserve, Cactus Date conserve
  • Marmalades -> Seville Orange marmalade with brandy soaked raisins, Key Lime marmalade, Etrog (Israeli citron) marmalade
  • Sweet Jellies -> Apple Jelly with Scented Geranium, Lemon jelly
  • Savory Jellies and Conserves -> [tag]Cranberry[/tag] Muscat Raisin relish, Lemon Tarragon jelly

Next, the book presents further recipes by type of fruit or food being preserved. This can be rather confusing, but using the index should direct you towards the recipes you need. In addition to the recipes, this section provides more food history and horticultural information about fruits that are often used in preserves.

Finally, the last chapter offers recipes that use the preserves to make coffee cakes and tortes and even a meatball recipe at the very end.While Preserving” has some distracting flaws, mainly it’s organization and rambling prose, use this book for the recipes and perhaps to glean a bit of cultural context from the author.

(Strawberry Jam – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

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