Giveaway: Straight Sided Half Pint Jars from Fillmore Container

various half pint shapes

I realize it would have been better to use an empty regular half pint jar, but I couldn’t find even a single one in my apartment. It’s been a busy canning season around these parts.

Happy New Year friends! I am back home in Philadelphia after nearly two weeks on the west coast with my family. It was a really lovely vacation, filled with plenty of sleep, lots of delicious food, and multiple thrift storing outings. I came down with a mild cold towards the end of my visit and even that was kind of nice, because it meant hours spent on my parents’ couch watching British costume dramas on Netflix. After an intensely busy year, it was good to do nothing for a day.

bottoms of jars

I am kicking things off in this new year with a giveaway from Fillmore Container. They have just recently started carrying a very nice line of straight-sided half pint jars that can be sealed with either a standard regular mouth lid and ring or a one-piece plastisol-lined lid (here’s my post on canning with these one-piece lids). They are a little shorter than conventional half pint jars and just a bit taller than the wide mouth half pint jars that are sold under the Kerr imprint.

stacked half pint jars

These jars are entirely without embossing, which makes them ideal for stickers and labels. They’re a good option for home canners who want a more professional look but don’t feel comfortable with jars that use lug lids (here’s my post on how to use that style of lid). They also just feel nice in the hand and would make sweet little wine glasses or votive  holders (though I struggle to use edible food for decorative purposes, I do love the look of an inch of red or yellow lentils in the bottom of a jar to keep a candle in place).

food in jars + preserving by the pint

Next week, I’m teaming up in person with Fillmore Container at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. On Monday, January 6 and Tuesday, January 7, I’ll be doing a series of canning demonstrations at their Preservation Station and will also be on hand to sell and sign copies of my cookbook. I’ll also have postcards for the new book on hand (it comes out on March 25, 2014 and can be pre-ordered here) and will be handing them out as I answer canning and preserving questions. If you’re in the area, I do hope you stop by.

For those of you who want to enter to win a dozen of these straight-sided jars (you also get a dozen lids of your choice), here’s what to do.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share a food-related resolution for 2014. If you’re not the type who makes resolutions, how about sharing a dish you’re hoping to make or a cookbook you hope to explore.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Friday, January 10, 2014. Winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, January 12, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post. I can not accept submissions via email.

Speaking of giveaways, Fillmore Container is also hosting a number of giveaways during the Farm Show, both at the show itself and on their blog. Click over to their blog to check out the Canner’s Treasure Chest as well as the other items you could win!

Disclosure: Fillmore Container gave me a dozen of these straight-sided half pint jars for photography and review purposes. They are also site sponsor. However, my opinions do still remain my own and are not altered by my partnership with Fillmore. 

Happy Holidays and a Winner

It just never gets old to look for my book at Powell's.

I’ve been in Portland with my family for the last week and it has been so, so good. My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew flew in the same day I arrived and we spent our time together eating lots of good food (burgers with roasted sprouts! conveyor belt sushi! donuts! turkey!), consuming much excellent Stumptown coffee, and generally enjoying being together in my parents’ cozy house. Emmett came down with a case of crud on Christmas Eve, but managed to muster an appropriate amount of Christmas morning enthusiasm nonetheless.

cuppowbnto winnerI’m here for a few more days and will head back to Philly and Scott (he spent the holidays with his mama at our place) on Monday. Expect things to stay quiet around these parts until I get back (I need to soak up at much parent time as possible).

Oh! Just one more thing! The winner of the Cuppow Gift Pack giveaway is #233. Congratulations, Beth!

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Giveaway: Cuppow Total Collection Gift Pack

Cuppow lids

Okay jar lovers, I have a very fun giveaway for you all this week from Cuppow. As many of you probably know, they make fab drink lids and snack cup convertors for mason jars out of BPA-free, recycled plastic (and they’re a regular Food in Jars sponsor. Thanks guys!). These are highly useful tools that mean less waste and more canning jar fun for all.

BNTO containers

In the past when I’ve offered giveaways from Cuppow, they’ve been the sort where there are a large number winners and everyone gets a single Cuppow lid or BNTO. This time, instead of doling out one piece per person, I’m giving away the Total Collection Gift Pack to a single winner. This lucky individual will get six Cuppow lids (one in every side and color they make), and five BNTO cups (in blue, green, pink, orange, and clear). You can choose to share out your bounty with friends, or keep it all for your household.


Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your travel plans this holiday season (after all, Cuppow transforms your mason jar into a travel mug!). Whether you’re flying across the country or walking to your neighbor’s house, I want to know.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, December 21, 2013. Winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday.
  3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post. I can not accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Cuppow is a sponsor of this site and has provided both samples of their product for my use as well as the gift pack for this giveaway. However, all opinions expressed here remain my own. 

Links: Shortbread, Jam Tarts, and a Winner

Jars of jams and jellies on the table.

Is it just me, or is December speeding by at a breakneck pace? I’m embarrassed that I’ve not managed to post even a single recipe designed for holiday giving in this space this season. Some of my favorite holiday cookies are up at Table Matters, I based a batch of jam on the flavors of a pomander ball for Simple Bites, and I made some tasty truffles for the FN Dish, but I’ve been struggling to shift into the holiday frame of mind without an assignment to do so. However, I predict a flood of tasty treats for later this week, as I’m headed to Portland on Wednesday and being around my family always shakes loose my inspiration. Now, links.

SantokuTahoe 640
nwkw winner Thank you to New West Knifeworks for sponsoring last week’s giveaway, as well as to all of you who took the time to enter. It was such a pleasure to read the many things you like about winter. Our winner is Nicole, #484. She said, “I love the frost in the air when I first walk out of the house i the morning. Even though I shiver bitterly once the North Wind kicks in, I secretly enjoy the first bit of chill.”

Stay tuned, I’ll have another good giveaway up tomorrow afternoon.

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Cookbooks for Canners, Picklers, and Preservers

preserving books spine

I am something of a last minute holiday shopper (I am deeply motivated by deadlines). It’s only in the last week that I’ve truly started applying my brain to the collection of gifts for my family members (thank goodness for the ease of online shopping). And so it makes sense that I’m only now getting around to sharing this list of books. Think of it as half gift guide, and half round-up of the recent good books that deal with preserving.

first five books

  • The first book in this pile came out in 2012, so including it in this list is a bit of a cheat. However, there is no better volume than Elizabeth Field’s book Marmalade on the topic of, well, marmalade. If you have a citrus lover in your life, I can’t imagine a more perfect gift than a copy of this book paired with a box of Meyer lemons (I order ten pounds from the Lemon Ladies every January).
  • If you’re curious about homemade hot sauce, The Hot Sauce Cookbook by Robb Walsh should be your starting point. This book has quick salsas, long-fermented sauces, pungent pickles, and lots of recipes to help you put those spicy condiments to use. And if the predicted sriracha shortage comes to be, don’t fear, just turn to page 109 and make your own.
  • For small batches with a Southern twist, seek out Southern Living’s Little Jars, Big Flavors. It’s a handy book bursting with dependable, heavily tested recipes. I devoted an entire post to back in July.
  • I make a goodly number of apple-based preserves each year, but Amy Pennington’s Apples: From Harvest to Table has me thinking about this autumn fruit in a whole new way. Think fresh apple relish spiked with kimchi brine and pickled apple slices with star anise.
  • Mayonnaise. Mustard. Steak sauce. Vinegar. Nut butters. The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook has it all. Written by Erin Coopey, this volume is destined to become a kitchen essential for home cooks who are committed to making instead of buying.

second four books

  • Emma Christensen’s True Brews is the best book available for people who want to start brewing their own beer, wine, mead, cider, and kombucha at home in small batches. I tested several of her recipes last summer for a Table Matters piece and was so impressed with the quality of instruction and the relative ease of the projects. It is a winner of a cookbook.
  • For devoted home canners who have moved beyond the basics of preserving, Kevin West’s gorgeous book, Saving the Season, is the way to go. It has depth, good storytelling, and deliberate pace that is rare in cookbooks these days. I find it a lovely book to read for inspiration, illumination, and pleasure.
  • So many canners fall into the same trap. They spend a summer and fall making exotic preserves like chokecherry jelly and zucchini relish. Once winter hits, they have a full pantry and no idea how to use what they’ve canned. Happily, that’s where Sherri Brooks Vinton comes in. Her book, Put ‘em Up! Fruit, will show you how to use up what you’ve put up. It’s genius and should be on your shelf.
  • Fermentation is all the rage these days. Between beer making, sourdough baking, and tangy brined pickles, everyone seems to be doing it. However, for those who can’t seem to move past a basic batch of kraut, Mastering Fermentation, is a fantastic volume for upping your game and making fermented foods a more regular part of your culinary life.

last four books

  • For people who want to preserve without much additional sugar, or who want to sweetened with honey or fruit juice concentrates, there’s no better tool than Pomona’s Pectin. The recent release of Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy has made it even easier for canners to explore low sugar jam and jelly making. I highly recommend the Ginger Vanilla Rhubarb Jam on page 58.
  • Preserving Wild Foods is a delightful book for foragers, hunters, people who fish, and those who like their food to taste just a little bit wild. You’ll find things like geranium-scented tomato jam, blueberry maple spoon fruit, and black walnut chutney. It’s a glorious volume that didn’t get nearly enough love when it came out in late 2012.
  • For those of us who like a bit of charm and twinkle with our recipes for red raspberry jam and traditional treacle bread, look no further than Irish Pantry by Noel McMeel. It came out just a few weeks ago and is already a welcome and oft-reached for addition to my library. The recipes are for sturdy baked goods that are so satisfying this time of year. If you crave warmth and cheer, this book should be yours.
  • Last on this list of books for canners, picklers, and preservers is Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese by Tenaya Darlington (disclosure – Tenaya is a dear friend). Some might find it strange to include a book about cheese here, but I firmly believe that every homemade preserve has a cheese soulmate just waiting to be found and this book can help in that search. For those canners who are intimated by the cheese counter, there is no better guide to bellying up to the cheese case than this excellent volume. It also has a carefully selected assortment of recipes and some truly stunning photography.

Disclosure: Many of the books listed here came into my life as review copies (there are a few that I bought). All the links are affiliate ones, I get a couple of cents if you click through and buy a copy. All that said, I only recommend books that I think are beautiful, useful, and well-written. These are my true opinions and nothing more. 

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Giveaway: New West KnifeWorks Santoku

SantokuTahoe 640

This week’s giveaway comes from new Food in Jars sponsor New West KnifeWorks. They make some of the most gloriously beautiful kitchen knives you can find. The handles are crafted from layers of colored hardwood that are treated to be incredibly sturdy and easy to hold.

The blades are made from domestic steel and are fabricated in Massachusetts (in a facility run entirely on green hydro-power). Truly, a great gift for someone who loves to cook and is dedicated to supporting environmentally friendly US industry.

The winner of this giveaway will get a New West KnifeWorks Santoku Chef Knife with a Fusionwood 2.0. handle. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share something you love about this time of year.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, December 14, 2013. Winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday.
  3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post. I can not accept submissions via email.

sewing seasons winner 150Disclosure: New West KnifeWorks is a sponsor of this site. However, all opinions expressed here remain my own. I’ve used their knives since 2010 and find them to be well-made, useful tools. 

One more thing. The winner of the Sewing for all Seasons giveaway is #281, Michelle. She said, “I like to make my own cloth coffee filters.”  Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter that flash giveaway! I so enjoyed reading about all your crafty, handmade ways.