Giveaway: New Products from EcoJarz

EcoJarz giveaway products

One of the continuing joys of running this site is having a professional mandate to stay on top of the many different products people are making to work with mason jars. Back when I started writing, you could get screens for seed sprouting in canning jars, but that was about it. Now we live in a time when you can turn jars into travel mugs, cocktail shakers, spice jars, and even nut choppers.

EcoJarz is one company that have been consistently innovating in the area of mason jar attachments and recently they sent me three of their new products to try out.

blendit

The first item is a sturdy coiled spring called a Blendit. It’s designed to be popped into a mason jar when you want to shake something up. It’s a useful tool for emulsifying salad dressings or mixing protein powder into liquid.

ecojarz dose

Next up is the EcoJarz Dose. It’s a pour over coffee brewer that attaches snugly to a wide mouth mason. It comes with stainless steel filter, a stamper, a stainless steel flat lid, and a reusable cloth filter. The whole thing packs down to fit into a wide mouth pint jar, so it can go on the road with you.

jarhugger holster

Last up is the JarHugger Holster. It’s a demin cozy (complete with pocket) that helps pad your jars and allows you to take them on the go. It comes with EcoJarz standard drink top converter as well.

The nice folks at EcoJarz have offered up five sets of the products described up above for this week’s giveaway. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what your dream mason jar add-on product would be. Does it already exist? Or do you long to invent something new?
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, October 4, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by the end of the day on Sunday, October 25, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: EcoJarz sent me the items you see above for testing and photography purposes. They are also providing the prizes for the giveaway. No additional compensation was provided. 

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Upcoming Events: Philly! Princeton! Lancaster!

All set up at the opening day of the Headhouse Square Farmers Market. I'm here until 2 pm!

The book tour frenzy is quieting down, but there are still ways to see me over the next few weeks. If you’ve been thinking about picking up a copy of one of my books for a gift, come on out!

September 30, Philadelphia
It’s the final meal in the series of preserving-focused dinner at High Street at 9 pm. You come, you have a lovely meal, I say a few words about canning and preserving, and you head off into the night. It costs just $25 and you can call (215) 625-0988 to reserve your seat.

October 2, Downingtown, PA
I’ll be demonstrating small batches of jam and book signing at the Growing Roots Partners Farmers Markets, 3-8 pm.

October 3, Old City, Philadelphia
I’ll be at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Old City for a pair of small batch jam demonstrations at their monthly First Friday event. Demos are at 5:30 and 6:45 pm and the evening is entirely free. I’ll have books available for sale and signature. This event will also be livestreamed and once I have the link, I’ll share it.

October 4, South Philadelphia
I’ll be at Fante’s in the Italian Market from 11 am – 2 pm to demonstrate my small batch technique and to sign copies of Preserving by the Pint. This is a free, drop-in event.

October 5, Havertown, PA
I’m teaming up with the nice folks at the Havertown Free Library to teach another hands on class. This time we’re making pickles! The class runs from 2-4 pm and costs just $5 to sign up (it’s a steal of a deal). Click here to sign up.

October 8, Swarthmore, PA
I’ll be teaching a canning class Harvey Oak Mercantile from 6-8 pm. There will be books available for sale and signature. Registration details to come.

October 9, Princeton, NJ
Thanks to a friend who has made all the arrangements, I’m headed to Princeton to offer a batch canning demonstration at the Whole Earth Center. Event is from 7-9 pm and tickets can be obtained here. Books will be available!

October 11, Lancaster, PA
I’m spending a Saturday at Fillmore Container, offering a pair of canning classes in their warehouse. The first class is from 10 am – 12 noon, in which we’ll focus on preserving pears in batches large and small (including information about how to use Pomona’s Pectin). From 1-3 pm, we’ll dig into how to preserve tomatoes, including how to make tomato jam and how to preserve whole peeled tomatoes. To register for both classes (they’re $35 a piece), click here. We’re also going to offer a book signing at the end of the day.

October 12, Cherry Hill, NJ
I’m hopping over the bridge to South Jersey for a small batch jam demonstration and book signing at Williams-Sonoma at the Cherry Hill Mall. The event is from 1-3 pm and is free and open to all.

October 14, Philadelphia
I’m teaching a sauerkraut class at the German Society of Pennsylvania from 7-9 pm. Everyone will make their own quart jar of sauerkraut to take home with them. Class fee is $15 and you can register by emailing librarian@germansociety.org. More details about this class can be found here.

October 18, Philadelphia
Canning demos and book signing at the Weaver’s Way Farm at Saul HS Harvest on Henry Festival. I’ll do a couple of demonstrations and will help judge the pie contest! More details can be found here. The festival runs from 1-5 pm and is open to all.

 

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Links: Pickles, Concord Grapes, and a Cypress Grove Winner

I've done 20 quarts of tomato purée in the last three days. #foodinjars

I made dinner five nights out of seven last week. I cannot even begin to imagine how long it has been since I managed to do that and it felt ridiculously wonderful. Being on the road with the book over the last six months has been a joy, but it’s so good to be home a little bit more. I do so love having a solid, well-established routine! Now, links.

Cypress Grove cheeses

The winner of last week’s Cypress Grove giveaway is #69/Kat. She said, “My husband makes a wonderful red pepper jelly, which we eat with Jarlsburg all the time!” Sounds like a delicious combination!

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Other People’s Preserves: Caulikraut

caulikraut jar

Other People’s Preserve is my opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the very delicious jams, pickles, and preserves being made by dedicated professional canners. If you spot one of these products in the wild, make sure to scoop up a jar.

This week’s featured preserve is Caulikraut. Made by hand in the Messy Brine kitchen, this tangy and slightly sweet condiment is a cross between a traditional vinegar pickle and a relish. It is bright and would go equally well in an elegant salad or on top of a hot dog. As a dedicated fan of pickled cauliflower, I’m delighted to have this one in my current rotation.

inside caulikraut

Caulikraut comes in two speeds, regular and spicy. I only tasted the basic version, but I can imagine how nicely a bit of heat would play with the sweet, tart brine.

Now. Just a word of warning. For you fermentation fans, do not be misled by the inclusion of the word “kraut” in the title. This is a vinegar-based pickle, not a lacto-fermented one.

Disclosure: The nice folks at Messy Brine sent me this jar to try. However, I only feature the truly delicious and worthy things in this column, so you can trust that the opinions expressed here are heartfelt and entirely mine. 

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Preserves in Action: Peanut Butter and Spicy Apricot Jam

pb and j

I spend a goodly amount of my time dreaming up novel ways to use homemade jams, jellies, and fruit butters as a way of helping both new and seasoned canners use up their stash. I embrace this charge and enjoy the ways in which it makes explore and experiment.

However, for all the fresh applications I develop, I also believe firmly that there’s often no higher calling for these homemade fruit preserves than a slice of well-buttered toast or a peanut butter sandwich on soft whole wheat. There is a reason that these are classic combinations and that’s because they’re downright delicious.

spicy apricot pbj

One of the pleasures of making your own fruit spreads is that your able to create interesting flavor combinations that are simply unavailable at grocery stores or from small batch producers. Then you can use these ever-so-slightly wacky jams in traditional ways for all sorts of deliciousness.

I recently needed a quick lunch and so made myself a quick peanut butter and jam sandwich. The first jar of jam I could find was a batch of apricot that was gently spiked with a little red chili flake. Instead of searching for something else, I figured that it couldn’t be that spicy and went with it.

The jam did pack a fairly might punch of heat, but was absolutely delicious paired with the sturdy, savory peanut butter. It was an unexpected use of a sweet/savory jam that I’ll be repeating again.

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Cashew Curry Savory Granola from OATrageous Oatmeals

Oatrageous Oatmeals

Oats are one of my staple foods. I eat them throughout the spring and summer in the form of granola or simple muesli and the once the days get chilly, I make daily bowls of warm, creamy oatmeal (topped with generous dollops of jam or fruit butter).

I often grind rolled oats into flour in my Vitamix to use in baked goods, and I regularly use them to add bulk and fiber to turkey meatloaf (it’s a trick I learned from my mom). Oats! They can do so much!

When Kathy Hester told me that her next book (she’s also the author of The Vegan Slow Cooker, Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You, and The Great Vegan Bean Book) was going to be all about oatmeal, I got kind of excited. So excited, in fact, that she invited me to be part of the blog tour for OATrageous Oatmeals. And so here we are.

curry cashew savory granola

I’ve spent a couple weeks with this book now, earmarking recipes to try and mentally depleting my stash of oats. In the very near future, I’m planning to make the Southern-Style Oat Biscuits (page 28), the Baked Meyer Lemon Steel-Cut Oatmeal (page 43), the Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats (page 69), the Pepita Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars (page 96), and the Slow Cooker Black Bean Oat Groat Soup (page 104). Of course, there are more recipes that speak to me, but those are the ones that are currently topping my hopeful hit parade.

However, I’m not coming to you entirely empty-handed. I have tried the Cashew Curry Savory Granola on page 90 already and it is so good. Crunchy, salty, and slightly spicy, I made a batch yesterday and have been nibbling ever since.

savory cashew granola

I picked that recipe as the first one to try because I’ve long been a fan of savory granolas. They are an easy way to add a healthy layer of flavor, texture, and protein to homemade soups and salads. They keep well. And they are one of those things that give you a whole heck of a lot of bang for your buck.

I came up with a recipe for a savory granola a couple of years back when I was still writing for Grid Philly (the roasted tomato vinaigrette in that piece is also delicious) that I’ve returned to many times when I’ve needed a little crunchy, hearty snack, but I think it has now been supplanted.

jar of savory cashew granola

There is just one thing I’ll change next time I make this granola and that is that stir the raisins into the granola after it is finished baking. I find that they got just a little bit too cooked and ended up sort of acrid and a little too chewy for me. But it’s a minor quibble and one that’s easy enough to fix next time around.

Do you have a favorite savory granola?

Continue Reading →

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