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A Winner, a Book and Some Links

pasta in jars

Last Friday, I offered up a copy of Catherine Friend’s memoir A Compassionate Carnivore as a fun little giveaway until I have a fresh batch of jam ready to go. I’m a little behind posting the winner, but better late than not at all, right? The random number generator spat out the number five, which corresponds the comment left by Holly, the blogger over at The Unintended By-Products of Domestic Bliss. Hooray Holly!

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A couple of months back, I heard tell of a book that sounded very much like one I hoped to write someday. Called, Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It, it tries to make jams, pickles, basic salumi and other kitchen crafts accessible and available to the people out there who have never committed fruit to jar, or veg to brine. When I got my hands on a review copy, I was delighted by the book (and relieved to see that it wasn’t entirely the same volume I imagined myself writing on the topic). I have yet to cook or craft anything out of it yet (mostly because I’ve been happily making up my own recipes of late), but I’ve been keeping it on my coffee table for inspiration, as well as a reminder to write about it.

Another reminder that this book deserved a mention came today, when I noticed that Erin (of Erin Cooks!) had made the Toaster Tarts on page 98. Erin did a great job with the recipe, altering it slightly from the neat squares that author Karen Solomon recommends to charming heart cut-outs.

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I’ve had a couple of open pages in my browser for weeks now and it’s time to finally commit their links to this blog, so that I can close those tabs without forgetting their contents. Both are from Kevin of Closet Cooking and, if you’re like me, fond of both mangos and putting food in jars, they are most certainly for you as well. The first is a recipe for an aromatic and spicy Mango Chutney and the second is a Mango and Cardamom Jam. Don’t they sound good? Both have been added to my “Must Make” list (which grows longer by the day).

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Honey Lemon Marmalade Winner!

honey-lemon-winner We have a winner in the Honey Lemon Marmalade! The lucky lady is my friend Kate, who is one of the best event planners I’ve ever encountered (she is miraculously organized). Kate’s husband is an avid canner, but from what I’ve heard, he hasn’t yet made any marmalade, so maybe this will inspire him to take on a new project!

Coming up this week, I’m finally going to pickle some asparagus (I unexpectly found myself at a Wegman’s in South Jersey today, and they had a really good price on asparagus. I guess because of Easter). I’m also hoping to put a step-by-step, intro to canning post up, for those of you who are intimidated by the very idea of sterilizing empty jars and water bath processing your filled jars.

Has anyone done anything fun with food in jars over the weekend?

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Blood Orange Marmalade Winner!

bo-marmalade-winner It appears I’m about 24 hours late in posting the Blood Orange Marmalade winner. In my defense, I did Fork You Live (the monthly live version of my online cooking show) yesterday afternoon and it left me totally exhausted (normally I do it with Scott, but he was out of town this weekend, so I was on my own, talking in front of an audience for a full hour. It’s tiring).

Anyway, enough with the stalling. The winner of the pint of Blood Orange Marmalade is Maggie of Pithy and Cleaver (featuring grilled cheese sandwiches all month long)! A fellow Portlander, Maggie and I recently figured out that we knew some of the same people when we were growing up. You’ve gotta love the internet!

Next up this week, I’m hoping to finally make that batch of Honey Lemon Marmalade that I’ve been talking about, wrapping up this marmalade phase. I’m finally seeing domestic asparagus in my local markets (as opposed to from Mexico) so I do believe pickled asparagus will hit my personal canning schedule sometime this week.

How about the rest of you? Anyone doing anything fun with food in jars this week?

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Rhubarb Jam Winner

rhubarb-random-number The comments have been tallied and the randomizer has been consulted. The lucky winner of this week’s giveaway, a jar of delicious (if I do say so myself) Vanilla-Rhubard Jam, is Jessica, one of the lovely bloggers over at A Bit Better.

As for what’s coming next, I have a few ideas bubbling away. I bought a huge hunk of fresh ginger a couple of days ago, with the intention of trying a candying technique my friend Erin told me about. It’s a process in which you peel and thinly slice the ginger, and then pack it into a jar in layers, spreading a few spoonfuls of sugar out between each level of ginger. You pop it into the fridge and let it mellow for a couple of days, until the ginger releases its liquid and starts to crystallize. She recommends using it in fruit salad or scones.

Additionally, I’m still hoping to see some local asparagus at the farmers market this weekend and I’ve also got a batch of honey lemon marmalade in my mental hopper.

Anyone have any good cooking/canning/pickling plans for the weekend?

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Marmalade Winner!

marmalade-random-number According to the random number generator, the winner of this week’s jar of Orange-Ginger Marmalade is the lovely E. She is an extremely talented baker (you can check our her cakes at Northern Liberties’ A Full Plate Cafe) and blogger (find her at Foodaphilia and The Sugar). Her win is particularly lucky for me, as I’ll be seeing her tonight at the Philly Food Blogger potluck (oh how I love me a good potluck!).

This weekend, depending on what the Rittenhouse Square Farmers’ Market yields, I’ll either be making Pickled Asparagus (using a recipe based on the one in Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Pickling) or Vanilla-Rhubard Jam (recipe plucked from the depths of my brain). If they have both, well then, good times will truly be had by all.

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