Garlicky Pickled Green Beans on Freshly Preserved Ideas

Ball-pickled-green-beans

Last month, I mentioned that I’ve teaming up with the folks at Ball Canning (much like I did last year) to help spread the word about the many pleasures of home canning. As part of our collaboration, I developed a series of five recipes that will live on the Ball Canning Tumblr, Freshly Preserving Ideas.

I’m here today to share the second recipe I cooked up. These Garlicky Pickled Green Beans have all the flavor of a classic garlic dill cucumber, but with the crunch-keeping power of string beans. Snappy, flavorful, and shelf stable, they may well be the perfect pickle (at the very least, they are MY perfect pickle).

While we’re talking Ball Canning, I also want to make sure that you guys have your calendars marked for the annual International Can-It-Forward Day. This year, it will be taking place on Friday, July 22, 2016, starting at 10 am and wrapping up at 5 pm (eastern time).

Make sure to sign the participation pledge, which will get you a coupon for $5 off for the Fresh Preserving online store, and will ensure that you’re kept in the loop about all the CIFD happenings!

Disclosure: I am a paid ambassador for Ball Canning. 

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Sweet Cherry Barbecue Sauce

Sweet cherry barbecue sauce. It’s bright, tangy, and perfect for the summer cookout season.

A four ounce jar of sweet cherry barbecue sauce

A couple weeks ago, just before I headed out of town to teach my Omega workshop and then go to my cousin’s wedding, I did a bunch of canning. I made roasted peach jam. I made a tiny batch of gooseberry jam. And I made a batch of sweet cherry barbecue sauce, using three pounds of cherries from my Canbassador booty.

Three pounds of sweet cherries in an All-Clad stock pot.

I have mixed feelings about barbecue sauce. I think this is, in part, because of my parents’ position on the stuff. My dad loves it (and once invested in a friend’s sauce making venture) and my mom can’t stand it. What’s more, I’ve spent the entirety of my adult life without any grilling space. So my ability to make things appropriate for barbecue is limited at best.

Three pounds of simmered sweet cherries for barbecue sauce.

However, in recent years, I’ve discovered just how good these homemade sauces are when poured into slow cookers and used as a tasty braising medium for things like pork shoulders and boneless, skinless chicken thighs. And so, I’ve gradually expanding the number I make each year.

The finished yield of sweet cherry barbecue sauce.

Whether you’re a huge fan of barbecue sauce or you’re lukewarm on the topic, I highly encourage you to explore this one!

Oh, and a quick tip about pitting cherries for things you’re going to cook down. Instead of working each one through the cherry pitter, remove the stems and heap them into the pan you’re going to use to cook the sauce. Add half a cup of water, cover the pot, and simmer the cherries for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from the stove and let it cool. Then, reach in and use your fingers to pop the pits out of the cherries. Wear gloves if you’re concerned about staining your fingers. It takes no more than 10 minutes to pop the pits out of the cherries when prepped this way. Easy.

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Food in Jars on Facebook Live!

assorted jars with labels

We are smack dab in the middle of canning season and judging from the number of emails I’ve been getting lately, many of you are starting to have questions about adapting recipes, changing the sizes of your batches, and whether the preserves you’ve been making are safe and shelf stable.

Next Tuesday, July 12, I’m going to spend an hour on Facebook Live, making a small batch of honey sweetened jam and answering those canning questions that you’ve been sending me. As with all things like this that I do, this will be something of an experiment. I have no idea how many people will show up, or how well it will go. But I’m hopeful it will be useful and fun for all of us.

I’ll be streaming live starting at 9 pm eastern time (I’m starting kind of late my time, in the hopes that it will make it more accessible for those of you who live out west). It will live on the Food in Jars Facebook page, and if you can’t make it when I’m on live, you should be able to view it later.

I should be able to interact with everyone live during the stream, but I thought it would make sense to gather some questions with which to kick off the evening. So if you’ve got a burning canning question for which you’ve been unable to find an answer, ask it as a comment on this post. Or send it to me via Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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July Sponsors: Cuppow, Fillmore Container, Knives Ship Free, Mrs. Wages, and more!

three half pint jars

Happy July 1! It’s the beginning of the month, which means it’s time to thank the companies that help make Food in Jars possible! Tell them you appreciate their support of my work with a purchase or a social follow!

Back in the top spot are our friends at Cuppow. 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. Parents and kids love their EIO set, with its grippy silicone sleeve and a lid that makes for easy sipping.

Lancaster, PA-based and family-owned Fillmore Container are next! They sell all manner of canning jars, lids, and other preservation gear. Their blog has been in high gear for the canning season, with lots of recipes and round-ups to help you find your next preserving project. Check out this recipe for Savory Spiced-Mango Conserve and this post, all about using lavender in preserving.

New to the sponsorship rolls is Knives Ship Free. They sell all manner of knives, from blades designed for hunting and foraging, to the high end cutlery we all dream about having in our kitchens. And, if you’re looking for a deal, don’t miss their closeout page. Bargains abound!

Our friends at Mrs. Wages are on the roster again this month. They make pectin, vinegar, and more canning mixes than I can count. Their website is an incredible preserving resource and I can’t say enough good things about their salsa mix. I’ll have one more giveaway from them later in the summer, so stay tuned for that!

Looking for a culinary travel adventure? Don’t miss the Italian tours that Sean Timberlake from Punk Domestics leads. He’s currently booking a trip for the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It takes place October 6-12 and is not to be missed!

Mason Jar Lifestyle is a one-stop shopping site for all the jar lovers out there. They sell all manner of mason jar accessories and adaptors. If you’re in the market for lids, straws, and cozies to transform your mason jars into travel mugs, make sure to check them out!

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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Strawberry Ginger Jam

strawberry ginger vertical

Strawberry season is breathing its last gasps, and before it’s over for good, I wanted to share one last recipe.

Flat of strawberries

This recipe for strawberry ginger jam is one that I can’t quite believe I haven’t shared at some point in the past. Truly, I thought I’d posted every variation on strawberry jam that was possible. Happily I was wrong.

strawberries in a colander (1)

This jam gets its kick from a goodly application of freshly grated ginger root. I’ve found that there’s no better tool for grating ginger than a microplane zester.

sugared berries

With small berries, I don’t even bother to chop them. Instead, half way through cooking, I go in with a potato masher (this is my favorite) and work them until the fruit is pulverized. It works nicely and saves you a goodly amount of knife work.

finished strawberry ginger jam

Finally, if I’d had my wits about me, I would have canned this one in five half pint jars (as that makes for better quantities for sharing). However, I was clean out of half pints the day I made this jam and so used a motley collection of pints and quarter pints.

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Giveaway: Bee’s Wrap Sandwich Wrappers

An assortment of Bee's Wrap sandwich wrappers

I first tried Bee’s Wrap back in early 2013 and quickly tumbled into food storage love with it. It’s a reusable food storage product made from wax-imbued fabric. You mold it over plates, bowls, and things like hunks of cheese in place of plastic wrap or foil, using nothing more that the heat of your hands and the slight natural stickiness of the wax to keep it in place. Using it gives my after dinner clean-up a sense of satisfying timelessness.

An opened Bee's Wrap sandwich wrapper

In the beginning, Bee’s Wrap only came in flat sheets, but more recently they’ve started making wrappers designed to keep your sandwich neatly contained and ready for lunch time. These sandwich wrappers come in three designs (classic, geometric, and clover) and the button is imprinted with the image of a busy bee. Needless to say, I am entirely charmed by these wrappers.

Close-up of the Bee's Wrap sandwich wrapper

And so, that’s what I’m giving away this week. Three Bee’s Wrap sandwich wrappers. There will be three winners, each person receiving one of these nifty wraps. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me something that’s cooking in your kitchen this week.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, July 2, 2016. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, July 3, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States and Canadian residents. Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Bee’s Wrap sent me the wrappers you see pictured above for photography and review purposes, and has also providing the giveaway units. The warpers were provided at no cost to me. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.