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Links: Cranberries, Quick Breads, and Winners

Cool vintage jars! If only I had more space!

Last week was the first seven-day period since March when I didn’t have to drive 60+ miles or do a canning demonstration. It was glorious. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love sharing my excitement around food preservation and getting to meet you guys when I’m out and about. I’ve just also found that in order to maintain my appreciation for this work I do, I need some time off from it on occasion. Now, links!

fermentools gear

Big thanks to everyone who took the time to enter last week’s Fermentools giveaway! It was fun to read all about your favorite ferments! The winners are…

And stay tuned. I’ll have a couple different fun giveaways coming this week!

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Giveaway: Fermentools Starter Kits

fermentools set-up (1)

Whether you are a dedicated fermenter, or it’s something you’ve just been considering doing, you’re going to like this week’s giveaway. It comes to us from Fermentools, a company that make a fermenting set-up that is designed to make it nearly foolproof to make all manner of brined pickles and preserves.

fermentools gear

Their basic kit consists of a pre-drilled lid, rubber gasket, glass weight (that fits perfectly into a wide mouth mason), air lock, and two stoppers for the jar (one has a hole for the air lock and the other is solid).

Fermentools also sells a starter kit that includes all the gear in the basic kit, along with a bag of very finely milled Himalayan salt that dissolves like a dream.

fermentools salt

Now, you might wonder why you need a kit like this to ferment. Truly, you can happily make a batch of brined pickles or sauerkraut without anything more than a jar, salt, and vegetables. But if you struggle with fermenting (and I’ve heard from you guys and I know that it’s a challenge for some), using a kit that includes an air lock can help you better control the environment and ensure that it turns out well.

fermentools lid

Thanks to Matt at Fermentools, I have three of their starter kits to give away this week. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post. Tell me about your favorite ferment. Are you all about the half sour? Or do you have a crock of sauerkraut going as we speak? It doesn’t have to be something you’ve made either, just something you like.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, November 22, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by Sunday, November 23, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents only (so sorry, further-flung readers).
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Fermentools is providing the kits for this giveaway. They also provided a set for photography and testing purposes. What’s more, Fermentools is a Food in Jars sponsor, but they did not provide any additional compensation beyond their sponsorship purchase. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely mine. 

 

Giveaway: Mason Tap, Coffee Sock, and BNTO from Cuppow

cuppow pack

This week’s giveaway comes to us from our friends at Cuppow (they’re also regular Food in Jars sponsors). Recently, they’ve been focusing on expanding the mason jar-related products they carry and have picked up a couple really terrific items lately.

mason tap

The first piece of gear that they recently added to their online shop is the Mason Tap. Designed to fit snugly onto a regular mouth mason, the tap allows you to dispense from a jar easily and without making a mess. I’ve got one on a bottle of salad dressing and my sister hooked one up to her jar of chia seeds.

mason tap on jar

Another new product that they’re carrying is the CoffeeSock. These reusable coffee filters come in seven different sizes (including ones designed for cold brew, Hario, and Chemex) and are amazing for the amount of trash they can reduce. I realize that they aren’t specifically related to mason jars, but they fit in perfectly with the rest of the Cuppow products in that they’re all designed to help you reuse things and reduce waste.

cuppow gear

A couple weeks back, the guys at Cuppow sent me a big box of lids, BNTOs, Mason Taps, and CoffeeSocks. Today, I’m passing some of the mason jar abundance on to you guys. I’ve put together five sets of gear. Each of the five winners will receive a couple Cuppow lids, a BNTO, a Mason Tap, and a CoffeeSock. Colors and styles of CoffeeSocks will vary. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you’d use a Mason Tap. Salad dressing, maple syrup, chia seeds or something else? There is no wrong answer.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Sunday, November 9, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by Monday, November 10, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to all.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Cuppow is providing all the gear for the giveaway. I am keeping a couple of the Mason Taps because they are awesome. Cuppow is a Food in Jars sponsor, but they did not provide any additional compensation beyond their sponsorship purchase. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely mine. 

 

Links: Quick Pickles, Savory Pies, and Winners

Pies in jars!

Last Tuesday, I flew down to Austin to meet my brand new nephew and hang with my sister and her family for a week. I fully intended to keep posting here on the blog (I even had a schedule) but I quickly slipped into the rhythm of their life and lost my grip on my best laid plans.

Instead of writing, I’ve spent countless hours snuggling (and bouncing) a three week old, playing trains and reading books with the three year old, and making food (squash gratin! soup! pasta sauce! granola!). I taught my brother-in-law how to make jam and gave my sister a crash course in homemade sauerkraut. In my book, it has been time very well spent.

Now, links!

Quench cover

The winners in last week’s Quench giveaway are #70/Jen and #298/Kim Murphy. Thanks to all who took the time to enter!

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Giveaway: Quench by Ashley English

Quench cover

For first 23 years of my life, homemade drinks were limited to coffee, tea, and orange juice reconstituted from frozen concentrate. Soon after I moved to Philadelphia, I learned what a pleasure it could be to make infused iced teas (black spiced with lavender and green steeped with a few apple slices are still favorites from those days). Since then, I’ve played with syrups, shrubs, kombucha, and the occasional homemade soda carbonated with champagne yeast.

Quench intro

However, Ashley English‘s new book (which officially comes out tomorrow!) makes me realize that I’ve only just tapped at the surface of what is possible in the world of homemade beverages. Called Quench, this lovely little hardback features shrubs, infused spirits, fermented sips, herbal tisanes, sweet/tart sodas, party punches, and inventive cocktails.

Quench infused liquors

What I particularly like about this book is that there is something here for just about everyone. Kids will love helping to make the homemade Lemon Lime Soda (page 23), while parents will be happy that it only requires five ingredients (and other than citric acid, they’re all kitchen staples). Hard core DIY folks will dig the wine making tutorial (page 155), while those of us who like a good infusion will happily explore the chapter called Spirited (it starts on page 103).

Quench gin and tonic punch

I am also taken by the fact that Quench includes both recipes for seasonal, serviceable basics (like the Pear Bitters on page 143) and then suggestions for how to use them in something delicious, like the Cozy Cardigan Cocktail, (further down on page 143). I’ve also made a mental note that I must someday frost a cake with the Lavender and Honey Ganache that is used in the Lavender Hot Chocolate on page 84.

Quench back

I’ve had a serious crush on this book since last winter, when Ashley’s editor sent me a copy of the bound manuscript and asked if I might write a blurb for the back. I spent half a day lost in the words and recipes, and have looked forward to the finished book ever since. The completed version is better than I could have imagined, printed on sturdy paper and illustrated with Jen Altman’s perfect photography.

Quench spine

Thanks to Ashley and Roost Books, I have two copies of Quench to give away. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite homemade beverage. It can be hard or soft, simple or complex. OR, if you prefer, share something that’s on your to-make list.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, November 1, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by the end of the day on Sunday, November 2, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to all.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Roost Books sent me three copies of Quench. One was for photography and review purposes, and the other two were to give away. No additional compensation was required and, as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely mine. 

 

Links: Seed Saving, Shrubs, and a Winner

Pear and chocolate jam, with some gorgeous bread from Talking Breads.

Last week was the first since March when I didn’t have a book events to do. It was singularly amazing. I made dinner every night and made serious progress in shifting some of the clutter that has built up in the corners around my desk. We even managed to have a few friends over for a little soup potluck earlier tonight. It was nice to experience normal life again.

My time at home is short lived, though. I head for Austin, TX on Tuesday to meet my increasingly alert new nephew and celebrate nephew number one’s third birthday. Now, links!

a kitchen box

The winner of last week’s A Kitchen Box giveaway is #91/Michelle in VA. If you didn’t win and are still curious about these kitchen-themed subscription boxes, don’t forget that they’re offering all Food in Jars readers $10 off the first month of any new AKB Subscription, along with a free Mini Box (while their limited stash lasts). If you want in on the deal, use the code ‘foodinjars’ in the coupon field at check-out.

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