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If you?ve ever put strawberry preserves on your grilled cheese, you can appreciate that jellies, marmalades and the like can be so much more than a mere breakfast condiment.

We recently snagged a copy of the cookbook Jam On: The Craft of Canning Fruit in the hope of perfecting our own jam-making techniques. (And we?re thrilled to report that it?s actually pretty easy.)

You may already know Laena McCarthy and her Brooklyn-based artisanal canning company, Anarchy in a Jar, which sells everywhere from Murray?s Cheese and Blue Ribbon Bakery to Whole Foods to Anthropologie. But here she spills her secrets to the small-batch process, from picking the right fruit (frozen, if out of season) to processing the final product (boiling full, sealed jars to properly preserve).

And the recipes aren?t your ordinary grape-gelatin variety: Her unconventional ideas include rhubarb-and-hibiscus jam, garlic-and-tarragon jelly, sour-cherry preserves and more. Even fruit butters, chutneys, syrups and pickled fruit get due credit.

McCarthy also throws in recipes for full dishes like beer-jelly-glazed duck and beet risotto to incorporate the killer jams you just made--or ended up buying at Beecher?s (no judgment).

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