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Nominated in the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards!

fun with cooking

Holy smokes kids, it’s a red-letter day in my food blogging career.

A little after 12 noon today, I was sitting at work, responding to an email and contemplating lunch, when I saw that people were tweeting about the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. I followed a link over to that site, logged in and began placing my votes. I was methodically working my way through the categories when my universe shifted every so slightly. I clicked on the page for the Best Special Interest Blog, scrolled down and spotted a familiar site (sight).

This site. My site. Food in Jars.

I think I incoherently chortled first. Then I mumbled a few choice words that my grandma Bunny would have called “work language.” There was a tweet too.

Earlier today, a co-worker asked me if it was true what they always say. Is it really good just to be nominated? So far, my answer is an unequivocal yes. I am delighted. Honored, in fact, that those arbiters of delectability at Saveur think that this blog is worth their attention.

However, as much fun as I’m having being nominated, I can’t help think that it might also be nice to win. If you’re interested in helping me find out what winning might feel like, you can go here to cast your vote (yes, you do have to sign up for a Saveur membership, but it’s fairly quick and quite painless). While you’re there, make sure to vote for the other categories as well. Some of my favorite blogs are up for awards as well, like Homesick Texan, Ezra Pound Cake and The Kitchn.

Oh, one more thing. So many thanks to all of you who come back day after day and read about my canning projects, Dark Days meals and sundry baking endeavors. I couldn’t do it without every one of you.

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Thanksgiving Favorites

Turkey side view
As some of you may know, before I started this blog, I spent a lot of my time writing about food for Slashfood. Over the two years I was there, I amassed a fairly significant collection of holiday recipes and I thought it would be fun, as we prepare to head into the Thanksgiving frenzy, to point out some of my favorites. Even if most these recipes don’t actually include many (or even any) foods in jars.

In addition to those Slashfood recipes, there’s also the classic Fork You Thanksgiving series, in which we made:

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Beer in Jars + Jars on Blogs

beer in jar

Last night, Scott and I had headed down to Headhouse Square for the fifth annual Good Food, Good Beer evening. It’s a fundraiser for our local Slow Food organization and it’s the third year in a row that we’ve attended. It’s a fun event, because you get to taste five different small plates from local restaurants and drink a whole bunch of beer (nicer for me than for Scott, as he’s not a beer guy) for $32 (no worse than what you’d pay for any other night out).

I made a point to bring my own glass, because otherwise, I end up tossing a whole bunch of plastic tasting cups. And, because it’s me, my to-go glass was actually the wide-mouth pint jar you see above (pint jars also work nicely as a reusable cup for iced coffee. Just sayin’). I feel refreshed just looking at it!

And on to the jars on blogs…

Cherry tomato jam (as well as a nod at canteloupe jam, but no recipe. I’m intrigued!).

Canning apricots and cherries (although not in the same jar).

Hello cajun pickles! Oh, and three takes on the same pickle brine.

Pickled zucchini. Pickled radishes. Pickled bing cherries.

Apricot compote with Scotch whisky. I am dazzled.

I used my mint syrup to make a quart-sized mojito last Friday night. Here are a couple more homemade cocktail syrups.

And a couple of canning safety questions. Re-nest looks into whether there’s BPA in your home canned goods and Rebekah Denn ponders the safety of home canning.

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Winners + Linkage

blue book picture

Wow. There were a lot of you who wanted this book. Unfortunately, I have but two copies to pass along (I calculated it out, and it would have cost more than $500 to send each one of you a copy. Until I become independently wealthy, that’s just not in the budget). I turned to the very handy Randomizer to pick the winners and it spit out numbers 9 and 43. That means that the lucky recipients are Pat and Meghan. I’ll be in touch with the two of you posthaste.

In other news, have you heard about the Can-volution? A bunch of us jar-crazy folk are putting together a coast-to-coast canstravaganza for the weekend of August 29th and 30th. The goal is for people to get together in groups and do a whole bunch of puttin’ up. I’m actually going to be heading out to Seattle that weekend, to attend a canning party with a few of my favorite bloggers and hopefully teach a canning class. Leave a comment if you’re interested in participating and I’ll do my best to hook you up with other canners in your area.

Also, I did an interview with Jen A. Miller (aka Jersey Shore Jen) recently in which we talk about canning, preserving and fresh produce. She posted it to NJ Monthly earlier this week and you can find it here if you’re inclined. .

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Sour Cherry Winner, Classes + More

sour cherries

Once again, I’m a bit later in announcing the giveaway winner than I had intended. However, I’ve had a lovely weekend, in which I taught a peach jam class (I’ll be posting the recipe tomorrow), spent some quality time with my fiance, finally got the mess of the apartment under control and ate some delicious summer produce (I think the highlight was the purple potato salad with sweet onions and homemade mayo), so I just don’t feel bad about my tardiness.

This little jar of sour cherry jam goes to Heather, commenter #14. Congratulations Heather (I’ll be emailing you shortly). I do wish I had enough to share with all of you, as this was a particularly delicious batch, but sadly, my supplies are quite limited. I do have good news for those of you in the Philly area, though. I was down at the Headhouse Square Farmers Market this morning, and I spotted sour cherries at Three Springs Fruit Farm, so there are still some to be had if you want to make your own jam.

In other news, I’ve got a new class to announce. I’m going to be leading a community canning workshop at Philly Kitchen Share on Saturday, July 25th, from 2-6 p.m. The reason for the extended block of time is that this a hands-on session in which we’ll peel and process 120 pounds of tomatoes. The workshop is limited to ten people, and all participants will be taking home 4 quarts of tomatoes. There are still a few spots left, so click here if you want to sign up. Cost is $30 per person.

And now, some links!

Veggicurious has been making savory jellies. They look gorgeous.

Culinate’s Caroline Cummins remembers her father-in-law and the jams he made.

Canning is so hot right now that it’s getting a mention in the Washington Post.

Minimally Invasive made a rosemary-thyme syrup that sounds totally divine.

Rich in peaches? Check out Doris and Jilly’s post on how to have homemade peach sherbet in January.

The Kitchn makes Blenheim apricot jam and discusses the differences between jams, jellies, conserves and more.

And pickles! Pickled mustard greens. Pickled shallots. Tarragon-garlic pickles.

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A few canning links

I spent yesterday at the Fancy Food Show up in New York, and I’m still catching up on life after just one day away. I took a bunch of pictures of various foods in jars while there, and I hope to have a post up for you guys about what I saw there (as well as a recipe for sour cherry jam) up in the next day or so. In the meantime, to tide you all over, here are some links to good canning stuff elsewhere.

There are a couple of interesting conversations going on about canning over on MetaFilter right now, including one that mentions this here blog (thanks for the nod sararah!). The Oregonian has a terrific article on preserving cherries and the recipe for gooseberry jam on Doris and Jilly Cooks (made out of gleaned berries) looks wonderful.

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