Giveaway: Blossom Trivets from Spice Ratchet

black blossom trivet

Sometimes the best pieces of canning gear were never actually intended for use in food preservation. Case in point? The blossom trivet! It’s the best, most flexible canning rack I’ve found in my travels (and believe me, I go through life looking at kitchenware to see if I can somehow use it my canning flow).

red blossom trivet

I like to use these trivets as canning racks because they are heatproof, flexible, and never break down in the water like metal racks can do. You can take them apart, use them as one long strip, or you can button two together to make a rack for a larger pot.

pot on black trivet

I have heard from some people that they sometimes struggle to get their blossom trivets to lay flat in the pot when the water is at a rolling boil. The trick for that is that you turn the heat off or slide the pot off the hot burner for just a moment. That will calm the boil and give you a chance to lay the trivet back into place (a jar lifter does the job nicely). Then put the first full jar in on top of the now-flat trivet and it will stay in place. Problem solved!

pot and trivet

This week’s giveaway comes to us from Spice Ratchet. They are the makers of the blossom trivet (along with these nifty blossom jar toppers) and are regular Food in Jars sponsors. They’ve offered up four sets of trivets to my readers for the giveaway. Each set will include two red trivets and one translucent red trivet. You’ll be all set for canning season 2015! Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite preserve from 2014 has been.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, December 6, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by Sunday, December 7, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents only (so sorry, further-flung readers).
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Spice Ratchet is a Food in Jars sponsor and helps make this site possible. 

Big Cyber Monday Sale at Cuppow

cuppow sale!

Attention canning jar fans, do I have a sale for you! The folks at Cuppow have put their entire stock on sale. If you want to pick up some lids, BNTO adapters, CoffeeSocks, Mason Taps, or any thing else jar-related (the price on the Mason Shaker is pretty darn great), do it now while everything is 25% off. You don’t need a coupon code, prices are automatically adjusted to reflect the lower prices.

The sale started yesterday and runs through Tuesday, December 2.

Make sure to check out the gift pack options as well, because they’ve got some good ones, like the Perk Me Up! (a full pour over coffee set-up for your favorite caffeine addict). Oh, and they still have a few signed copies of Preserving by the Pint. I hear those make excellent gifts.

Finally, do remember that Cuppow gives 5% of all profits to charity, so the more you buy, the more they give to organizations like Cradles to Crayons and Team Rubicon.

(Disclosure: Cuppow is a loyal Food in Jars sponsor. However, I’m writing this blog post because I think they make an awesome product and I wanted to make sure that you guys didn’t miss out on this deal.)

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Giveaway: The Preservationist Gift Set from MightyNest

FIJset 640

I hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving yesterday! As today marks the traditional beginning of the holiday shopping season, I’m sharing some very fun gift ideas from our friends at MightyNest. They’ve teamed up with four cookbook authors/bloggers to create gift-ready kits for your favorite people.

There’s a Blender Girl set (for your juice and smoothie fans), the Traditionalist set from Jenny at Nourished Kitchen, a Real Foodie set filled with Lisa Leake’s favorites, and the Preservationist set, which includes the 4th burner pot, a case of mini tulip Weck jars, and a copy of Preserving by the Pint.

mightynest image

The Preservationist set costs just $85.90 and would make a really good gift for someone who wanted to get started with small batch preserving! Another great thing about buying from MightyNest this weekend is that they are giving back 20% of your entire to the school of your choice through Monday, December 1. That means that if you buy the Preservationist set, $17 will go back to whichever school you select.

preservationist set image

And because no Black Friday is complete without a giveaway, the folks at MightyNest have given me one of the Preservationist kits to give away to a Food in Jars reader. Just click on the pledge below to entire. Happy shopping!

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Cranberries for Thanksgiving and Beyond

bag of cranberries

I realize that Thanksgiving is mere moments away, but I thought I’d do a quick round-up of my personal cranberry-centric writing, just in case anyone was still searching for a new jam, chutney, or sauce for this year. Additionally, while these preserves are most traditional on the fourth Thursday in November, they also make good accents (and gifts!) throughout the holiday season.

cranberry apple jam

First up are my cranberry-based jams. These spreads can be served on Thanksgiving morning on a toasted scone, or with the turkey later that day. Because cranberries have so much natural pectin, these jams make an excellent filling in thumbprint cookies because they won’t get runny during baking.

molded cranberry sauce

Now for sauces and marmalades. These tend to be a little less sweet than the jams above, but just as delicious

pickled cranberries

The rest of these cranberry items resist being grouped into a single category. There’s my pickled cranberries, which may well be my favorite cranberry preserve ever and pair up best with dark meat. A couple years back, I wrote a piece for Grid Philly that featured cranberries, and the oven-roasted butternut squash and cranberry dish in that article is one I love.

If you prefer cranberries in quick breads, these mini-loaves will please you (of course, they can also be baked in a muffin tin or even a conventional loaf pan).

cranberry clafoutis

Another delicious cranberry treatment is this clafoutis from Yvette Van Boven’s book, Home Made Winter. It works for dessert, or on a brunch buffet.

Finally, I’ve got two Thanksgiving suggestions that don’t involve cranberries, but are so good they require shout-outs. The first is the lentil pate from Kim O’Donnel’s book The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations. It hits all the flavor notes that a batch chopped liver does, but without necessitating that you actually deal with liver.

The second suggestion is the sweet potato puree that I wrote about for Table Matters two years ago. The recipe is adapted from one that Heidi Swanson posted back in 2006 and has been a favorite of mine since I first spotted it.

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Giveaway: Preserving Book Bundle

preserving books

Friends, so many good preserving books came out in the last year. Truly, I feel like we’re in a golden age for jams, pickles, chutneys, ferments, and even low acid home canning. For this week’s giveaway, I have a short stack of recent preserving releases that would be a fantastic addition to any DIY library.

Now, just to be clear, this is not my definitive list of the best preserving books to hit the shelves this year. I just happen to have extra copies of all three of these books (thanks to the publishers who helped bring these works into the world) and thought it would be nice to bundle them up and give them away to one of my readers.

Asian Pickles cover

First up in the giveaway stack is Karen Solomon’s excellent book, Asian Pickles. I wrote a bit about this book last June and the longer I have it in my collection, the more I love it. Truly, anyone who wants to expand their understanding of home picking should pick up a copy post haste.

Fermented Vegetables cover

Next is Fermented Vegetables, which has been out just over a month now. Written by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey, this book is one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly books on fermentation that I’ve seen recently. The pictures are beautiful and lend additional clarity to step-by-step recipes that might otherwise be troublesome.

Last month, I used their recipe for brined dilly beans and I was so pleased by the results that I started entertaining the idea of getting myself a mini-fridge so that I could make more.

Mrs. Wheelbarrow's cover

Last in the stack is Cathy Barrow’s much-anticipated book, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry. This is such an amazing book for home cooks who want to start building up a pantry filled with homemade staples. Sure, it has plenty of boiling water bath recipes, but it also deals with pressure canning, charcuterie, basic home dairy, and smoking. Anyone who likes a food project should have this one on their shelf.

There will be just one winner in this giveaway, who will receive a box with these three books in them. Here’s how to enter the giveaway.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite food preservation resource. It can be a website, book, online video, or person. Share the love so that we can all expand our knowledge.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, November 29, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by Sunday, November 30, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to all.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

The winner of this giveaway is #380/Tina! Congratulations Tina!

Disclosure: All three of these books were received as review copies. No one paid me to say nice things about them. Additionally, Karen and Cathy are both friends of mine. However, they did not ask me to run this giveaway or say these things. I do it because I like to share the good stuff with you guys.  

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Links: Cranberries, Quick Breads, and Winners

Cool vintage jars! If only I had more space!

Last week was the first seven-day period since March when I didn’t have to drive 60+ miles or do a canning demonstration. It was glorious. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love sharing my excitement around food preservation and getting to meet you guys when I’m out and about. I’ve just also found that in order to maintain my appreciation for this work I do, I need some time off from it on occasion. Now, links!

fermentools gear

Big thanks to everyone who took the time to enter last week’s Fermentools giveaway! It was fun to read all about your favorite ferments! The winners are…

And stay tuned. I’ll have a couple different fun giveaways coming this week!

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