Upcoming Classes: Glenside! Greensgrow! Blooming Glen Farm!

lilacs in a green bottle

Happy Monday, friends! I’ll be back later with the weekly giveaway post, but I wanted to drop in this morning and share a couple of events I’ve got on the schedule for the next seven days. I’ll have cookbooks with me for sale at all three of these events!

This Thursday, May 16, I’ll be at the Glenside Free Library in Glenside, PA at 6:30 pm to teach an introduction to pickling class. We’ll talk about hot pack, cold pack, and how to ensure a crisp pickle. This is a free event and there will be plenty of pickles to taste at the end of the evening.

On Saturday, May 18, I’m teaching a low-sugar strawberry mint jam class at Greensgrow (an urban farm in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood). The class is from 12 noon to 2 pm and costs just $35. Click here to sign up.

Finally, on Sunday, May 19, I’m teaching a strawberry vanilla jam class at Blooming Glen Farm in Perkasie, PA. This class is from 10 am – 12 noon and costs $50 per person. If you’ve never been, Blooming Glen is an impossibly beautiful farm and offers a lovely setting for a class. Click here to sign up.

Note: Registration for the classes this weekend is currently low, so in order to ensure that they goes forward, please sign up sooner rather than later.

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Links: Strawberries, Rhubarb, and a Cooking With Flowers Winner

May salad kit

My favorite farmers market opened for the season last weekend. I missed the first day because I was sleeping off the effects of food poisoning (which led straight into a week-long cold. The last month has been a doozy for me in terms of health), but I got out of bed this morning in plenty of time to fill my shopping bag with arugula, russian kale, asparagus, sorrel, green garlic, and an entirely indulgence cluster of fragrant lilac. Spring is here and it feels amazing.

Here are some of the links that tickled my fancy this week:

Cooking with Flowers cover

cooking with flowers winner Reading all your comments over the course of the last week on the Cooking With Flowers giveaway, about the many ways in which you guys eat flowers, made me continually hungry! Thank goodness spring is here and flowers are everywhere (even here in the city).

The winner is commenter #165, which is Linda. She said, “I like to add my arugula flowers to my salad.” Sounds delicious!

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Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam + Rhubarb Recipes from the Archives

rhubarb and strawberries

Last weekend, on the very tail end of our vacation, Scott and I spent an hour walking through the Allentown Farmers Market. While there weren’t any local strawberries to be found, there was plenty of ruby stalks of rhubarb from area farms and gardens. I bought a generous sackful and have been throwing a little one-woman rhubarb festival in my kitchen this week (between sneezes from a most irritating spring cold).

macerating strawberries and rhubarb

I cooked up a small batch of strawberry rhubarb jam that went live over on Food 52 earlier today. I liked that one so much that I made a second batch that I spiked with three tablespoons of rose flower water (influenced by Cooking With Flowers!). I also made another batch of this roasted rhubarb compote with vanilla (it’s insanely good). I’m currently out of rhubarb, but plan on getting more this weekend to cook into chutney and syrup.

roasted rhubarb pieces

When that’s all done, if there’s time, I’m going to make a batch of strawberry rhubarb butter, and another of rhubarb jelly with rosemary (I don’t mean to be a tease, but it’s a recipe from the new book! And it’s so, so good). It’s such a joy to have something fresh and good to work with.

How are you guys using rhubarb these days?

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Giveaway: Cooking With Flowers + Dandelion Jam Recipe

Cooking with Flowers cover

A few years back, I was a member of a CSA share that regularly included edible flowers in with the lettuces, tomatoes, and zucchini. While I was charmed by the presence of these flowers, I was always flummoxed when it came to actually using them. If only Miche Bacher’s new book, Cooking with Flowers had been around then. I would have done so much more with those tasty blooms.

Hibiscus Popsicles

Organized by variety of flower, each section begins with details about the particular blossom being featured. Then come the recipes, which manage to straddle the line between being appealing new and still familiar enough to get the old salivary glands working (for instances, how about a scoop of Lilac Sorbet).


As a preserver, I’m particularly interested in the ways that flowers can enhance my preserves. I often used dried lavender buds in jams and jellies to add a floral note, but now I’m contemplating the ways that lilac, nasturtium, and rose petals could improve or add interest to my basic sweet spreads. Makes the mind boggle a little, doesn’t it?

Pansy Tea Sandwiches

Thanks to the nice folks at Quirk Books, I have two treats to share from this book today. First is a giveaway of a copy. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about a time you ate a flower. Could be at as a garnish on sculpted white rice or the time when you were six and learned that guava flowers were delicious (true story).
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Saturday, May 11, 2013. Winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday.
  3. Giveaway open to U.S. resident only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

The second treat is a recipe for Dandelion Jam. It’s a recipe that was originally intended to go in the book, but because of space constraints, was cut from the volume. However, Eric from Quirk knows I happen to have a thing for jams and so asked if I’d like to feature the recipe here. I said yes and here we are.

I’ve not made this jam, but having read the recipe, I do believe it should work. For a preserve like this one, cooking it up to 220 degrees F will improve your chances of getting a good set from it. Also, do note that while it instructs you to put the finished jam in sterilized jars and seal them, it also requires that you store them in the fridge. This is because the jam doesn’t have the proper acidity for boiling water bath canning.

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Links: Rhubarb, Fiddleheads, and Aladdin Tumbler Winners

new friendship bowls

I’m back from vacation. It was a lovely respite from regular life and though we didn’t go anywhere particularly exotic, Scott and I really enjoyed bopping around Lancaster County and the Lehigh Valley. I had plenty of blog reading time while we were away and so here are some of the links I’ve collected to share.

Aladdin Original Insulated Mason Tumbler

aladdin winners Time for winners in the Aladdin Mason Tumbler. Thanks to all of you who took the time to enter and share your favorite vacations! Our winners are commenter numbers #75 (Paula), #166 (Athena), and #422 (Anotai Udomwittyakrai). I’ll be in touch with all the winners shortly.

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“The Return of Spring” at Art in the Age

food in jars at Central Market

In the past, my work as a writer, teacher, and food preserver has taken me to libraries, barns, farmers markets, and private homes. Tonight, for the first time, it’s taking me (or at least, my books and jars) to an art gallery. A collection of my jams, pickles, and preserves, along with copies of my book, will be part of the new show at the Art in the Age shop/gallery in Old City, Philadelphia.

Called The Return of Spring, this group exhibition features an eclectic mix of work from environmentally inspired artists and craftspeople from the Philadelphia region. It opens tonight at part of First Friday and runs through the end of the month. There’s a reception tonight from 6-8 pm and you can get more details about that here. I hope some of you can make it!

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