It seems fitting that I get to read and discover this book as Autumn has suddenly arrived with the promise of fruit and hedgerow jewels – ripe for the picking.
The front cover glows with sunlit jellies in jars, enticing you to open and explore this delightful book. As a self-confessed lover of condiments my mind immediately went to a delicious Sunday Dinner accompanied by a red currant or a mint jelly – but this book holds so much more with recipes for each season of the year accompanied by inventive and mouth-watering combinations such as claret and sage jelly, tangerine and cardamom or the heavenly cherry and quince with a suggestion to drizzle over ice cream had me looking at quince trees to buy! Herbs are a key feature too, pivotal to many recipes and encouraging you to use what you might be growing – combining the culinary and medicinal properties in gems such as apple and lemon balm, and a truly autumnal hips and haws jelly.
I confess I am not confidant in the kitchen, I need clear and concise instructions and a recipe to follow – this book is the ideal companion. Caroline gives an insightful history on jelly making, clear and sensible advice for responsible foraging and a very clear section on the equipment needed for success, and a brief but important part on what to do if things go pear shaped – which is refreshing to see . This book really does support you from beginning to end and everything in between. The all-important “set” and vagaries of pectin are demystified providing further reassurance for the novice and experienced preserver.
With recipes for Spring through to Winter the joys of jellied preserves can be enjoyed year-round with the perfect addition at the end of the book with the final chapter of “Cooking with your Jellies” giving ideas to use your jellies into savoury and sweet dishes.
Caroline’s skill, passion and knowledge shines throughout with a personable and charming writing style that will leave you wanting to grow, forage and make a bounty of these delectable jellies.
Reviewed by Matt Dolman – Herb Society Volunteer
Making Jellied Preserves from Garden and Hedgerow Fruit
Copies can be ordered direct from Caroline by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org