What inspired you to write Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin?
When I first learned of Pomona's, I was really excited to try it out. As a Master Food Preserver, trained through the U. of Maine Cooperative Extension, I loved the idea of making jam with lower amounts of sugar and having the flexibility to use honey and maple syrup – two of my favorite sweeteners. So, when I was approached by Fair Winds Press to write a book of Pomona’s recipes, I knew I wanted to take it on. The project aligned perfectly with my personal viewpoint and what I was already teaching and writing about – the importance of making jams and jellies with low quantities of sugar or alternative sweeteners, and how to do that using Pomona's Pectin.
What was it like for you to write Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin?
Well, I certainly could not have done it without the unwavering support of my husband Ben and two young sons, Connor and Ian. I developed, tested, and re-tested recipes. And then Connie and Mary Lou reviewed them all. Some recipes I developed came out just as I'd hoped the first time, while many others I had to change, tweak, and re-test multiple times to get them just right. By the time I was done, I had made and canned probably somewhere close to 350 jars of jam. My two young boys (ages 4 and 6) were surprisingly understanding of my busyness, and my husband Ben was tremendously supportive – and didn't seem to mind too much that our kitchen, with all the jam-making going on, was often a chaotic mess. It was an intense and often trying period, but I loved the work, and it was totally worth it.
How long have you been canning?
I've been preserving food for about 13 years. As for canning specifically, I got more heavily into that about 5 years ago. I teach food preservation classes and have written about food for various publications and my own website/blog – www.CanningCraft.com. I’ve also taught jam making and canning with Pomona’s on 207 Kitchen, WCSH6 in Portland, Maine.
What makes Preserving with Pomona’s different from other preserving books?
Most jam-making books focus on "traditional" added-pectin jams, or on no-pectin-added jams, both of which require lots of sugar. While some jam-making books do include low-sugar recipes, and some do include recipes that use Pomona's Pectin, this book is the only one that focuses exclusively on using Pomona's. Additionally, this book is the first and only "official" Pomona's Pectin cookbook.
Who do you think would enjoy or benefit most from Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin?
This book is perfect for anyone who likes to make and can jam, or would like to learn. I provide the thorough, step-by-step information that beginners need, as well as a huge variety of creative recipes that will inspire jam makers of all skill levels. I provide fundamental information on safe home canning including tools, techniques, and methods. I explain, with illustrations, step-by-step how to use Pomona's and how to can using the boiling water bath method.
Did you have other contributors to the book?
I wrote this book in cooperation with the Partners at Pomona's Universal Pectin – Mary Lou and Connie. Additionally, several jam makers who use Pomona's submitted recipes and we included them in the book after careful testing.