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Giveaway: Chalk Tops from Masontops

chalk top boxes

One of the reasons that so many of us love canning jars is that they are so versatile. Sure, you can in them (and goodness knows, I certainly do). They’re also great to use as drinking glasses (during the summer, I try to drink at least three quarts of water a day and use a big green jar to help me keep track), as containers for leftovers, and to store grains, beans, and other pantry staples.

chalk tops on jars

As more people turn to canning jars for all sorts of tasks, more companies have sprung up to make the experience even better. One such business is Masontops. They started with a small line of products to make it easier to ferment in jars (their pickle pebbles and the pickle jar packing tool are both so smart, sturdy, and useful).

Recently, they added another product to their line. Called Chalk Tops, these storage (not canning) lids seal tightly with a conventional ring and can be written on again and again. I realize that many of you have made similar products by covering lids with chalk board paint, but I’ve found that those almost always end up with a dry finish that feels terrible to the touch. The lids made by Masontops are smooth, easy to write on, and erase cleanly.

chalk top boxes offset

This week, Masontops is offering up three sets of their Chalk Top combo packs for giveaway. Each set includes 8 regular mouth and 8 wide mouth Chalk Tops. They’ve also created a discount code for Food in Jars readers to use on their Amazon store. Use the code “FDINJARS” on an order of Chalk Tops, Pickle Pebbles, or the Pickle Packer and get 10% off your order.

Here’s how to enter the Chalk Top giveaway:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you use your mason jars. If all you do is can in them, that okay. But if you use them to hold your dish soap, pantry goods, leftovers, or morning coffee, I want to hear about it.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, July 4, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, July 5, 2015.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: The Masontops folks send me a collection of their products for photography purposes. They did not provide any additional compensation for this post and all opinions expressed here are my own. 

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Giveaway: New Edition of the Ball Blue Book

Ball Blue Book cover

The Ball Brothers started making canning jars as we know them in Buffalo, NY in 1884. In 1888, production began in Muncie, Indiana (thanks mostly to an abundance of natural gas and a friendly cadre of local businessmen). And in 1909, they published the first edition of their canning guide and recipe pamphlet.

Ball Blue Book intro

Initial printings bore the title The Correct Method of Preserving Fruit. A few years later, it was called The Ball Preserving Book. And in 1915, the first edition was printed that included the name The Ball Blue Book.

Ball Blue Book contents

When I first became aware of the Ball Blue Book, I wondered briefly about how it came to bear that name. Soon after, I read somewhere that originally the cover was blue and so people gave it that nickname for ease. However, the term blue book (think Kelley Blue Book) has also long been a phrase used to describe an authoritative handbook or reference book, so chances are that’s how it acquired the name.

Ball Blue Book pH info

The Ball Blue Book has gone through a multitude of editions and revisions in its 106 year history and 2015 marks the release of the 37th edition. It is 200 pages long, features more than 500 recipes (75 of which are brand spanking new), and is a really great resource for anyone who cans.

I own several editions at this point in my canning career and have often reference them when looking for both hard facts and canning inspiration.

Ball Blue Book Pickles

This new edition has much to offer. The authors have streamlined the recipe language to make it as clear and straightforward as possible. The recipes are organized by style of preserve (whole fruit, jams and jellies, pickles, etc.). They indicate clearly places where you can safely adapt and personalize recipes. And for those of you who itch to get more use out of your pressure canner, pages 97 to 119 will please you mightily.

Ball Blue Book tomatoes

This week, I have three copies of this new edition of the Ball Blue Book to give away. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share a story or memory of the Ball Blue Book. Did your grandmother can from a copy? Did you learn to can from an earlier edition? Was your family loyal to a different canning bible? Or, is this the first you’re hearing of it?
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, June 27, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, June 28, 2015.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: The PR team for Jarden Home Brands (parent company of Ball Canning) sent me a review copy of the Ball Blue Book that you see pictured here. They have not compensated me for this post and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

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Links: Cherries, Chick Pea Crackers, and Winners

It's sour cherry day! Thanks for growing such great fruit, @3springsfruit!

I’m not sure when it started, but somewhere in the last few years, I started marking the passage of summer by seasonal fruit. And so by the fruit calendar, summer is flying by (despite the fact that it only officially started today). Rhubarb and strawberries are gone and the cherries are present but they last so briefly. I’m just grateful that there’s still so much more wonderful stuff to come. Now, links.

stars on paper straws

Time to announce the winners in last week’s wildly popular Fillmore Container giveaway! They are #51/Marie and #802/Kristine. Thank you all for taking the time to enter!

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Giveaway: Fillmore Container $50 Gift Codes

Just some of the fun gear at the @fillmorejars booth at the PA Farm Show!

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Fillmore Container. They are a jar distributor based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and they sell a whole world of jars, accessories, lids, cookbooks, and other great gear.

straight sided jars

Two lucky winners will each get a $50 gift code with which they can order anything they want from the wide array of gear that Fillmore sells. While the choices are entirely up to the winners, I thought it might be fun to suggest a few of my favorite things from their online store.

First up are the jars. They carry the entire line of Ball/Kerr jars and have often been my source for my beloved wide mouth half pint jars. However, because they also sell to commercial canners, you can also get fun, unbranded, smooth-sided jars. I particularly like the squat regular mouth half pints and the super smooth quarter pint jars you see pictured above. If you want jars that will take a label nicely, these are your best bet.

four sizes of hex jars

For even more exotic jar options, there are always the hex jars. These close with lug lids and give your home canning a professional look. For instructions on how to work with these jars, make sure to read this post. Another fun jar in their stock is the French Square Bottle. I love these for stashing batches of homemade iced tea.

jar cherry pitter

If you’re all set on the jar front, there’s still fun stuff to be had at Fillmore. I am a huge fan of this old-style cherry pitter that screws on to a regular mouth mason jar. It makes quick work of pitting cherries and catches all the pits right in the jar. For those of you just starting out with this whole food preservation thing, the six piece canning set should be the first thing in your shopping cart.

stars on paper straws

If you have a 4th of July party on the calendar next month, think how fun and festive it would be to have a jar of these red and blue paper straws out to go with your drinks. If you’re sipping out of jars, pair them with these one piece lids with drink holes to prevent spills.

4th burner pot

Last, but not certainly least is the 4th burner pot. Fillmore Container just recently added this sturdy little pot to their inventory and I couldn’t be more pleased. I use this pot as a small batch canner, for heating pickling brine, and as a blanching pot for little batches of beans and asparagus. When not canning, it gets pressed into service to heat stock for risotto, to bring water to a boil for iced tea, and to hard boil eggs. It’s one of the hardest working pieces of cookware in my kitchen.

This week, Fillmore is giving away one of these handy pots, so make sure to head over to their blog to enter.

Here’s how to enter the giveaway for one of $50 gift certificates!

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you’d spend $50 on the Fillmore Container website.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, June 20, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, June 21, 2015.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Fillmore Container is providing the gift codes for this giveaway. They sent me the some of the jars and gear pictured above. They are also a Food in Jars sponsor and so do help contribute to the running of this site. 

Links: Cherries, Pickles, and a Winner

oatmeal with roasted rhubarb

No matter what the calendar says, summer has arrived (at least in Philadelphia). Cherries are here and I spotted the very first apricots at the farmers market on Saturday. I bought my first watermelon on Thursday and I’ve been scooping up garlic scapes everywhere I see them. This time of year makes me so darn happy. Now, links!

Perfect Pickle Sampler 640

It was so fun to hear about all your favorite pickles this week! The winner of the Mrs. Wages Perfect Pickle Sampler is #222/Peggy P. Hope you have fun with all those pickle spices and mixes, Peggy!

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Giveaway: Mrs. Wages Perfect Pickle Sampler

Perfect Pickle Sampler 640

This week’s giveaway comes to us from long-time Food in Jars sponsor Mrs. Wages. I’ve been doing a bit of work with the folks from Mrs. Wages for the last five years and one element of our annual partnership is that they always offer up one or two awesome baskets of their mixes, spices, and starters for me to give away to my equally awesome readers. Happily, this summer is no exception!

This is the first of two baskets of goodies I’ll be giving away from Mrs. Wages this summer. This Perfect Pickle Sampler basket contains every single pickle product that Mrs. Wages makes, which should make the pickle lovers out there very, very happy. Here’s exactly what’s in the prize.

        • Pickling Lime
        • Pickling and Canning Salt
        • Kosher Dill Pickles Quick Process Pickle Mix
        • Zesty Bread & Butter Pickle Quick Process Pickle Mix
        • Polish Dill Pickles Quick Process Pickle Mix
        • Sweet Pickle Relish Quick Process Pickle Mix
        • Bread & Butter Pickles Quick Process Pickle Mix
        • Sweet Pickles Quick Process Pickle Mix
        • Spicy Pickles Quick Process Pickle Mix
        • Dill Pickles Quick Process Pickle Mix
        • Kosher Dill Pickles Refrigerator Pickle Mix
        • Filled Green Beans Refrigerator or Canning Mix
        • Sweet Pickles Refrigerator Pickle Mix
        • Polish Dill Pickles Refrigerator Pickle Mix
        • Spicy Pickles Refrigerator Pickle Mix
        • Pickled Beets Refrigerator or Canning Mix
        • Pickled Vegetables Refrigerator or Canning Mix
        • The Mrs. Wages Home Canning Guide and Recipes

If this massive collection of pickle spices and starts appeals to you, here’s how to enter the giveaway.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your current favorite pickle. Whether it’s one you make, one your mom always has in her fridge, or just your favorite local brand, I want to hear about it.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, June 13, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, June 15, 2015.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Mrs. Wages is providing the basket for the giveaway. They are also a Food in Jars sponsor and so do help contribute to the running of this site.