Blue Chair Fruit Jams and Marmalades

My box of incredible eats arrived early yesterday morning. Within 5 mins, I was spreading your bing cherry/satsuma plum on my 12-grain Whole Foods bread. As I took my first bite, my mind raced back to the summer of 1944 when I was eating my grandmother’s homemade Savannah fruit jams. As I recalled the fun time I had on her ranch, I looked down at the jar and realized I had eaten half of it with my spoon!!! What can I tell you? This has never happened before! You can tell with the first taste that a lotta love and care has gone into each jar and it shows! You kids are just super! This old lady has already emailed everyone I know to tell them; check out Blue Chair Fruit Co! You will definitely be hearing from me again soon!
A big hug from Anna ‘Miss Boo’ Carroll, NYC.
-Anna Carroll

Blue Chair Fruit Jam- and Marmalade-Making Classes

After taking [a Blue Chair Fruit jam class] I came back incredibly inspired. I asked Rachel to critique my jam and give me her honest opinion as to what she thought … she said: peel your pears, less vanilla bean, and cook for longer. So what did I do? I listened to her comments and made a new and improved pear vanilla jam.
Caroline of Coeur de La (check out her jam-making post!)

The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook

Jamming is truly a dance. Lately, while taking study breaks I’ve been reading my Blue Chair Jam Cookbook and have found the cookbook to be delightful and so thorough. I can’t get enough of the writing, photos, and recipes.
– Caroline, of Coeur de La (who was inspired to make Strawberry-Lavender Jam)

I have your lovely book and just made my first batch of marmalade (lemon + pink grapefruit) in my new Mauviel copper pot. The recipe worked like a charm and everyone who has tasted it tells me it’s the best marmalade they’ve ever eaten. So thank you! I live in Vermont and it will be a while before rhubarb season but I’m eager to try the rhubarb, dried cherry, and rosewater jam next! [The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook] has changed the way that I approach jamming and I just love the results. I look forward to trying new flavors in the upcoming months.
-Shari Altman

Jam making, while relatively simple, is fraught with subtle and nuanced potential disasters that are rarely, if ever,addressed or articulated in preserving cookbooks. They’re pretty consistent in this regard. I’m not sure if it’s a lack of thoroughness on the authors’ parts or a smug presumption that you already know the arcane tricks of the trade–as if to say, “If you have to ask then you’re obviously not one of us.”
Although I’m determined that this blog won’t review books or restaurants, I’m going to make an exception in this case. For anyone interested in making preserves or who, like me, just likes collecting beautiful cookbooks–stop what you’re doing right now and run as fast as you can to your local book purveyor and get a copy [of The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook]. Every aspect of jam-making is explained in clear, thorough and beautiful detail, from process and equipment to the stages of cooking and the dreaded “setting point.” There are neat tricks for sterilizing, seasonal recipes and a whole back section that just talks about fruits. In fact the whole book has a quality I find irresistible in a cookbook–it’s a great read. (Note: when you start taking cookbooks to bed for your evening reading you can rest assured you have a problem.)
I am now armed and dangerous and heading to the kitchen to make Orange Campari Marmalade.
– Michael Piazza, of Sadie’s Table