RACHEL SAUNDERS / The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook (Jam Tasting and Jam Talk!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 7:30pm


“[Once] I became hooked on jam making, several years of intense experimentation ensued. I slaved away in my tiny kitchen, gradually developing my own techniques in my quest for perfect results. Over time, I grew to understand fruit. I also, through the course of these several years, formed my own vision of what the ideal textures were for different jams and marmalades.”


The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook represents the distillation of jam aficionado Rachel Saunders’ 10-year exploration of everything fruit. In her unflinching search for the perfect balance of flavor, texture and appearance, Saundersbrings a modern sustainable eye to the age-old nostalgia of the jam-maker’s kitchen. The same sentiment reigns at her Bay Area jam company, Blue Chair Fruit, which sources only from local organic farmers and produces its small-batch wonders in traditional French copper kettles. The resulting cookbook is a vast overview of the art of jam, dressed up with clear descriptions of preserving techniques, stunning photography and over 100 recipes.


Saunders’ passion for fresh, seasonal and local fruits informs every pearl of the long sought wisdom she shares – only plant-ripened produce provides a natural intensity and sweetness that requires less sugar while delivering more flavor. Thus, recipes are chronicled seasonally by fruit, with recipes arranged month-to-month to ensure the book remains a gem throughout the year. April examines rhubarb and strawberry, while July taps sour cherry, currant and Meyer lemon. The dead of winter fares just as well, with bergamot and grapefruit in January and orange and kumquat in early spring. Far from a traditionalist, Saunders also explores a variety of herbs, spices and spirits to produce nuanced flavor combinations that range from basic to complex: Brandied Red Cherry Conserve, White Guava & Meyer Lemon Marmalade, Italian Prune & Cardamom Conserve, even Strawberry Jam with Aged Balsamic & Black Pepper.


Saunders also shares her conviction that preserving is an aesthetic as much as a

technical endeavor. Each recipe includes suggestions for variation, encouraging home cooks to prepare unique creations that express their own style. Informed by her background in art history and French culture (she studied at Smith College as well as La Sorbonne in Paris), Saunders fills every page with the senseof sheer fun, adventure and imagination that have inspired the book’s creation.



The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook Cover Image
By Rachel Saunders, Sara Remington (Photographer)
ISBN: 9780740791437
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - September 21st, 2010