Food in Jars and Fillmore Container at the Pennsylvania Farm Show

Farm Show Picture

Here in Pennsylvania, we don’t have a summertime state fair. We have the PA Farm Show, which sets up each January in the the sprawling PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center (and if you think about it, it makes sense. Farmers, growers, and preservers don’t have time for a fair during the height of the season. Doing it in winter is far smarter).

For the last two years now, I’ve spent a couple of days at the Farm Show, hanging out with my friends from Fillmore Container, offering a series of canning demos, and sampling the many treats that the farm show has to offer. This year, I’ll be there on Monday, January 11 and Tuesday, January 12, to demonstration and hopefully sell a few books.

Here’s the schedule:

Monday, January 11
1:30 pm Pear Ginger Conserve from Food in Jars
3:00 pm Winter Fruit Mostarda from Preserving by the Pint
6:00 pm Honey Sweetened Pear Vanilla Jam from Naturally Sweet Food in Jars

Tuesday, January 12
10:00 am Winter Fruit Mostarda from Preserving by the Pint
1:00 pm Honey Sweetened Pear Vanilla Jam from Naturally Sweet Food in Jars @ Family Living Stage
3:00 pm Spicy Pickled Cauliflower from Preserving by the Pint
6:30 pm Caramelized Red Onion Relish from Food in Jars

In celebration of the Farm Show, Fillmore Container is currently offering up a giveaway of some of my favorite canning gear. The pack includes a signed copy of Food in Jars, a blossom trivet, a case of my beloved wide mouth half pint jars, and other good stuff. Click here to enter.

Fillmore Container will also be hosting Amanda Feifer (author of the fabulous Ferment Your Vegetables) and Richard Kralj from the Penn State Cooperative during the show. Amanda will be there on Wednesday, January 13 and Thursday, January 14, talking about fermentation. Richard will be there to offer up a pressure canning demo the morning of Wednesday, January 13.

They’re also currently hosting a giveaway of some of Amanda’s favorite fermenting gear. Make sure to enter that one here.

For more about the preserving events and activities taking place at the Fillmore Container booth at the PA Farm Show, check out this post. You’ll find us on the Main Floor of the complex, in the Family Living area.

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Pondering and Planning for 2016

January 15

My inbox, Instagram account, and feed reader are awash in resolutions. No matter where I cast my gaze, my eye catches a goal or intention that someone has set for themselves in this fresh, new year. I find the urge to publicly declare an infectious one and so have spent the last week contemplating what my own hopes are for 2016 so that I can share them here.

Last year, I set some good goals for myself in relationship to this site. In looking back at the past 12 months through the lens of those intentions, I must confess that I feel like I didn’t do particularly well. In thinking about why, I realize that while I set the goals (and even taped them to my computer monitor), I never created time to invite them into being.

There are so many reasons why that is the case. I was writing a book. I said yes to more classes, demos, and events than I should have. My mother-in-law got sick. And most of all, I was simply tired (I’ve been doing the independent hustle for more than four years now, and it’s hard).

So for this year, I’m keeping my professional goals simple. If I am able to do more than this, great. If not, that’s okay too.

  • Keep blogging – I simply want to continue to show up here. There will be new recipes, ways to use up what you’ve preserved, and the occasional essay. This blog is my home base in this ever-changing virtual world and I want it continue to exist and thrive.
  • Do a good job promoting my new bookNaturally Sweet Food in Jars comes out on March 22 and I want to do it justice. I am going to travel and promote (though not as much as I did with Preserving by the Pint. I overdid it there and it was a big part of why I was so wiped out last year).
  • Keep making a podcast – Back in August, my friend Joy and I launched a podcast called Local Mouthful and we’ve released one episode a week ever since. Since we both live in Philadelphia, we do occasionally talk about things happening in our region, but I’d say that about 70% of each half hour episode is applicable to anyone who enjoys shopping for, preparing, and eating food (no matter where you live). Making this podcast has been incredibly fun and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.

And that’s it. I’d love to say that this was the year for me to launch an online video series, or a line of canning products, but here’s the truth. I am just one person. I do my best every day, but I can’t make it all happen. And I’m okay with that.

How about the rest of you? How are you feeling about the start of the year?

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January Sponsors: Cuppow, Fillmore Container, MightyNest, Hobby Hill Farm Fresh, and Mason Jar Lifestyle

Food in Jars at the Farm Show

Happy New Year, dear readers! I hope you’ve had a lovely holiday season and that you’re ready to leap into this fresh new year! As is the way of things around here, it’s the beginning of the month and so I’m shining a spotlight on the businesses that help make this blog possible.

Our friends at Cuppow are back in the top spot once again. They are the creator of the original mason jar travel mug topper and the BNTO, a small plastic cup that transforms a canning jar into a snack or lunch box. Back in December, they launched a number of new lid colors and I’ve got my eye on the chartreuse one.

Next up are our friends at Fillmore Container. They are a family-owned business based in Lancaster, PA that sells all manner of canning jars, lids, and other preservation gear. Next week (and for the third year in a row), I’ll be joining them at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Come say hi on January 11 and 12!

MightyNest is an amazing resource for non-toxic, natural, and organic products for homes and families. Right now, new members can join their monthly product subscription program (called the MightyFix) for just $5 (half off the regularly monthly fee of $10). Subscribers get a green, reusable product and free shipping on everything else you add to your order! Subscribe using the form in this post to get the deal.

Hobby Hill Farm is with us again this month. Based in Powhatan, Virginia, they sell locally made jams and preserves, homemade pretzels, candies, and cheese making kits (including the mozzarella kit I demoed here). What’s more, if you’re in the area, owner Sharon regularly teaches cheese making classes around central Virginia.

Mason Jar Lifestyle is a one-stop shopping site for all the jar lovers out there! They’ve gotsilicone drink lids, fruit infusers, silicone jar seals (great for those times when you want to ensure that your jars aren’t going to leak), copper regular mouth lids (fun for gifts!), and even pin cushion toppers.

If your company or small business is interested in becoming a sponsor, you can find more details here. I offer discounts for multiple month purchases and am always happy to work with your budget. Leave a comment on this post or drop me a note to learn more!

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Sponsored Post: Resolve to Ditch Disposables with the MightyFix from MightyNest

Lifefactory water bottle on window sill - Food in Jars

With just hours to go until the new year arrives, the time is ripe to set some resolutions for the new year. I’m still working on the bulk of mine, but there’s one I can announce with confidence. This is the year that I stop buying bottled water.

It’s not an issue when I’m at home, but often enough, I head out into the world to run a few errands and find myself desperately thirsty. Often the most ready and accessible solution is to buy a bottle of water. Sixteen ounces later, my thirst is quenched and I’m in possession of a plastic bottle to add to the refuse flow.

Lifefactory water bottle in bag - Food in Jars

The solution to the problem? A small reusable water bottle that seals tightly and can be kept in my purse, like this 12 ounce one from Lifefactory (it’s dishwasher safe and so sturdy). Right now, you can get this bottle for just $5, by signing up for the MightyFix from MightyNest. They’re offering this discount to all new users who sign up through the widget below.

Lifefactory water bottle measurements - Food in Jars

If you’ve missed my previous posts about the MightyFix, it’s a monthly subscription service that sends full sized non-toxic products for the kitchen and home. It costs $10 a month and ships for free. What’s more, anything you want to add to your monthly order from MightyNest will also ship for free.

Without the FIX, this Lifefactory bottle costs $18 + $5.95 in shipping. When you sign up, you’ll get it for just $5. Then, for just $10 a month going forward, you’ll get regular shipments of items that help you make small but rewarding changes throughout the year. It’s a great way to start the year off right!

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Rye Crepes and Apple Cardamom Compote + Anolon Advanced Umber Crepe Pan Giveaway

overhead crepe scene

One of my resolutions for 2016 is to make more crepes. They work for any meal of the day, disguise leftovers beautifully, and can be made in advance and reheated just before serving. They’re also a great vehicle for all manner of homemade jams, preserves, and compotes. Truly, they’re a dream for home cooks.

Recently, my friends at Anolon asked me to develop a crepe recipe using their Anolon Advanced Umber 9.5-inch Crepe Pan. After doing a bit of playing around, I made these Rye Crepes with Buttery Apple Compote.

rye crepe ingredients

I’ve been making crepes for more than 20 years now and have learned a few things in the process. I find that using a blender eliminates any pesky lumps in the batter. Don’t fear the crepe, if one crumples or tears when you flip it, just do your best and keep moving forward. And finally, it helps to have a good pan (like this one from Anolon).

This particular crepe batter is one of my favorites, as the rye flour keeps it tender, and the minimal amount of sugar means you can use it to wrap both sweet and savory fillings. I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it work for you!

finished apple compote

Thanks to the kind folks at Anolon, I have one of these Anolon Advanced Umber 9.5-inch Crepe Pans to give away. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

For more from Anolon and their Holiday Hosting Campaign, make sure to follow them on social media.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Holidays and Giveaway Winners

decorating cookies

Happy holidays, friends! So sorry that I’ve disappeared for the last week. I’ve been in Austin, TX with my family a little over a week now. I meant to get a couple more holiday-centric recipes up to share with you all, but I got lost in the hubbub of small children and the inevitable cold they gave me.

I did want to drop in and announce the winners of the Old Blue Raw Honey and Lagostina Risotto Pot giveaways I hosted before things got crazy.

The Old Blue Raw Honey winners are #14/Lizzie, #72/keapdx, and #159/Lynn.

The Lagostina Risotto Pot winner is #237/Daryl Shawn.

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