Classes and Events: Philly! Horsham! New Jersey! Lancaster!

On Monday, I wrote about some of my upcoming events. In order to round out the balance of the month, here’s the rest of what’s coming up in July. I’m also throwing in a couple of events in early August, since time seems to be passing so quickly these days.

(Click here to see my events July 11 through July 22.)

On Monday, July 23, I’ll be at the Callowhill Whole Foods Market from 5 – 7 pm doing an apricot jam demo in the produce section. They’ll have books on hand for sale and I’ll have samples of fresh, hot apricot jam right around 6 pm.

Tuesday, July 24, I’m teaching a class at Pennypack Farm and Education Center in Horsham, PA. This three-hour class (6 – 9 pm) will be an introduction to boiling water canning and will feature dilly beans and peach chutney. The class costs $40 and you can sign up by clicking here.

At 2 pm on Wednesday, July 25, I’ll be talking about canning and signing books at the Mercer County, New Jersey’s Lawrence Headquarters Branch Library. Books will be available for purchase and I’ll be bringing a couple of treats from my pantry.

For those of you in Bucks County, I’ll be at the Ottsville Farmers’ Market on Friday, July 27 from 4 – 8 pm, signing books and answering canning questions.

On Sunday, July 29 from 12 noon – 2 pm, I’m teaching a canning class at the very elegantly appointed Cook in Center City Philadelphia. We’re making spiced peach jam, a gingery plum chutney and quick-pickled cucumber pickles. The class costs $85 and is kept small so that students have the opportunity to ask questions and really observe the process. Click here to sign up.

On Thursday, August 2, I’ll be at Greensgrow during their CSA pick-up and market hours, selling and signing books and answering canning questions. Stop by from 3 – 7 pm!

Friday, August 3, you’ll find me out in Lancaster, PA for an evening of events. Many thanks to Betsey Gerstein Sterenfeld, owner of Essen Cooking School for helping set up the following events.

  • 4 – 5 pm, I’ll be at DogStar Books (401 W. Lemon Street), signing books and saying hi.
  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm, I’ll be teaching a canning class at Lemon Street Market (241 W. Lemon Street). That class costs $20 and you can sign up by clicking here.
  • 7 – 9 pm, I’ll be at the Essen Cookbook Club at Manheim Township Public Library. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share from (or inspired by) the Food in Jars cookbook. This event is free, but reservations are required. Click here or call 717-391-8270 to sign up.

On Saturday, August 4, I’m teaching a class at Indy Hall in Philly. This class runs from 11 am – 1 pm and will focus on low sugar canning. I’ll walk students through the steps of using Pomona’s Pectin and offer tips on making a satisfying jam without a lot of sugar. Click here for more information and details on how to sign up.

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Upcoming Events! Scranton! Philly! Hellertown! Boston!

If all those blog posts about book events in Seattle, Portland and points south made you east coasters envious, this post is for you. I have a number of events up and down the eastern seaboard in the next couple weeks. Mark your calendars!

On Wednesday, July 11 at 6 pm, I’ll be in the fine town of Scranton, PA for a food swap with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Swappers and cookbook signing. Click here for more info.

This Saturday, July 14 I’ll be at Fante’s in the Italian Market from 2-4 pm. I’ll be there to sign books, answer canning questions and make sure everyone tries my pickled onions and rhubarb chutney (as well as a few other treats from the book). Click here to RSVP so that we make sure to have enough treats on hand!

On Sunday, July 15, you’ll find me at the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market in Hellertown, PA from 11 am – 1 pm. I’ll be doing a jam making demonstration and will have books for sale as well. Starting at 1:30 pm, I’ll be at the Upper Bucks County Food Swap, trading my jam for other delicious things. There are still tickets available if you want to join the swap.

Next Tuesday, July 17, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, I’ll be teaching a Dilly Bean class at the Whole Foods Market in Plymouth Meeting, PA. The class costs $35 per and there are still a number of spots available. Click here to sign up.

Then I head to the Boston area. On Thursday, July 19 at 6 pm, I’m doing a canning demo at TAGS Hardware in conjunction with Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. Click here for more information on that one.

The next night, Friday, July 20, Maggie Battista from Eat Boutique and I are teaming up for a potluck. We’ll be gathering at her place to eat, drink, be merry and sign books from 7 – 9 pm (we’ll have them to sell if you don’t have one). The event is free, just come with a dish to share. Click here to sign up.

I’m teaching two classes at Create-a-Cook the following day. Currently, they’re both sold out, but it never hurts to grab a spot on the waiting list.

I feel breathless just writing all that down! Hope to see some of you in my travels!

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A Thimbleful of Jam

black raspberries

I’ve been home from my west coast book tour for just over a week now. My suitcases are unpacked but not put away. I’ve nearly made it through the mail and magazines that piled up while I was away. And sleeping in my own bed remains a delightful novelty.

I readjusted to the three-hour time difference fairly quickly, but I’m still experiencing a bit of temporal dislocation. You see, when I left Philadelphia, it was barely summer. We’d had some hot weather, but with peas and baby lettuces in the markets, it still felt more like spring. Once out west, the cool days in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco reinforced the feeling that it was April, not June.

mashed black raspberries

Returning to Philly felt like being thrust forward a month or more. I’m out of sync with the weather and worst yet (particularly for a canner), my understanding of what’s in season is entirely out of whack.

Last Tuesday, in an attempt to refresh my awareness of seasonality, I drove out to Lancaster County with my friend Shay so that we could go to Root’s Country Market. It’s a produce market, food auction and flea market and if something’s in currently in season in PA, you’ll find it there.


There were mountains of corn, as well as tomatoes, stonefruit and local melon. Summer food, all of it. Sweet cherries could still be had and a single stand had sour cherries for sale. I bought two quarts and counted myself lucky to have found them (it has been a bad year for them all over the country).

I had my eyes peeled for black raspberries and for a great while was convinced that I really had missed them entirely. But then, as we turned a corner, I found a table with a few lone baskets. At $3.95 a half pint, they were pricy and I’d already spent most all the money I’d budgeted for fruit on the cherries and two bunches of red, red rhubarb. So I bought just a single, shallow basket and decided to make the smallest batch of jam ever.

Last year, I had a full flat of black raspberries to work with and this year, just a half pint. Though part of me wishes for the abundance of last June, I’m also tickled by the contrast. I really wanted a little taste of black raspberry jam and that’s exactly what I got.

Providing a recipe for this miniature batch of jam feels a little silly, but nonetheless, here’s what I did.

Rinse the raspberries and pick them over for any moldy bits. Tumble them into a measuring cup and smash them. Once you have pulp, eyeball the measurement and add half as much sugar (I got about 2/3 cup of mashed berries and so added 1/3 cup sugar). Stir to combine. Scrape the sweetened fruit into a small saucepan and cook until it thickens (my batch took all of five minutes).

The final yield was about half a cup. Not enough to bother with canning, but certainly enough to enjoy for awhile.

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Regular Mouth Cuppow Review + Giveaway

Back in the early days of my canning jar obsession, there really weren’t fun accessories for mason jars. We had the regular old two-piece lids, the commercial one-piece lids and those white plastic lids designed for dry goods storage. That was it. There weren’t any reCAPs, leather sleeves and if you had a jar cozy, chances were good that it had been a sock in a previous life.

packaged regular mouth Cuppow

Things have changed rapidly in the last four+ years. Of all the new doo-dads now available for jars, my favorite is the Cuppow. I wrote about the original wide mouth version when it was released back in January and even then had a feeling that I was going to be a rabid fan of this sturdy plastic disk. And I was right. It has rapidly become a favorite in my travel mug world.


About a week ago, I got an email from the creators of the Cuppow. They wanted to let me know that they’d decided to release another lid, this one designed to fit regular mouth jars. What’s more, the new lid was going to feature something they’re calling “Straw-Tek.” That means they’ve designed the sippy hole in such a way that you can also insert a drinking straw into it without entirely crushing the straw.

In addition to really liking the fact that I can fit a straw into this lid, I’m also pleased with its performance as a drinking lid. They’ve made the opposite vent hole slightly bigger on this lid than on my original wide mouth version, and so it doesn’t have that slight whistle that the first one had. Like the original, it’s also easy to clean, entirely free of BPA and doesn’t have any funky, plastic-y scent.

Cuppow with straw

It will come as no surprise to you that I was giddy when my two-pack of regular mouth lids arrived. I popped one open, gave it a rinse and poured myself a jar of iced tea. It was love at first sip.

Because Cuppow creators Joshua and Aaron know that my readers are just as crazy for all things jar as I am, they’ve given me five sets of Cuppows to give away. As in, each winner gets a regular mouth and a wide mouth Cuppow. Pretty nice of them, don’t you think?

If you want a chance to win, here’s what you do.

  1. Leave a comment on this post, telling me about your favorite hot weather beverage.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Wednesday, July 11. Winner will be chosen at random (using and will be posted to the blog on Thursday, July 12, 2012.
  3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.
Disclosure: Cuppow gave me two review units and are also providing the sets for this giveaway. However, my opinions remain, as always, entirely my own. 

The 10! Show and Radio Times

iced coffee

I hope all you in the US have had a safe, relaxing and fun Independence Day! I spent my holiday Wednesday taking a long walk with Joy, floating in the pool with friends, eating pizza and watching the various July 4th celebrations on TV. Not an entirely traditional way to celebrate, but perfectly lovely.

I just wanted to drop in and let you all know about a couple of my upcoming media appearances, should you be inclined to tune in. On July 5 (that’s tomorrow), I’ll be doing a pickling demo on The 10! Show. It’s one of Philly’s local morning shows and can be found on NBC10 at 11 am.

Then, on Friday, July 6, I’ll be a guest on Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane during the 11 am hour. Radio Times airs on WHYY, Philly’s local NPR station. The show streams live online, so you can tune in even if you’re not in the broadcast area. They take calls, so if you want to call in to ask canning questions or say hi, please do. I’d really love to hear from a blog reader or two!

Finally, did you hear the big news? Cuppow released a lid that fits regular mouth jars on Tuesday! I’ve already got mine (thanks Cuppow!) and am entirely enamored of it. I’ll have a review and giveaway up on the blog tomorrow.

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Wüsthof Chai Dao Knife Giveaway Winner

I realized earlier today that in all the book tour frenzy, I never posted the winner to the Wüsthof knife giveaway I ran a couple weeks ago. My apologies to all of you who have been waiting with bated breath.

The winner is commenter #546, Harvitron. She says, “Hunger? Kidding; my favorite motivation is a good playlist. I even have a post-cooking clean-up playlist!” And I agree, music can be such good kitchen inspiration!

Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to enter!

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