Upcoming Events: Philly! Ambler! Bryn Mawr! Chestnut Hill!

I just signed all the copies of my book at  the Powell's on Hawthorne! Go get 'em!

I got back to Philadelphia last Thursday and have since been trying to catch up with life. There has been a goodly amount of unpacking, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and catching up with friends, family, and my endlessly patient husband. I get to stick around Philadelphia for the next ten days or so and will be offering classes, demos, and book signings at a variety of spots around the region. Come out and tell your friends!

July 10
My editor Kristen Wiewora and I will be having a conversation about Preserving by the Pint at the Central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia at 7:30 pm. The event is free and will be followed by a book signing. More details here.

July 12
In the morning, I’ll be at the Ambler Farmers Market from 9 am to 1 pm with books for sale and signature. I’ll also be demoing batches of honey sweetened stone fruit jam at 9:30 and 11:30 am.

From 2-4 pm, I’ll be at Main Point Books in Bryn Mawr with samples of jam and a pen, ready to sign copies of Preserving by the Pint.

July 13
You’ll find me at the Saucon Valley Farmers Market in Hellertown, PA from 10 am to 12 noon, doing a jam demo and selling/signing books.

July 14
I’ll teaching a demonstration class at the Plymouth Meeting Whole Foods Market from 6-8 pm. Come check out all my small batch tricks and have a taste of jam. Sign up by emailing Genevieve.Greco@wholefoods.com or calling 610-832-0010.

July 15
I’m teaming up with Weaver’s Way Co-op for another preserving class at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse. The class is from 7-9 pm. Click here to sign up.

 July 16
I’ll be at the Devon Whole Foods Market from 2-5 pm, making a pair of recipes from Preserving by the Pint and signing books.

For the rest of my summer signings, classes, and demos, make sure to check out my events page.

Comments { 2 }

July Sponsors: Cuppow, Fillmore Container, MightyNest, Mrs. Wages, & Preserving Now

All set up to demo a small batch of plum jam at the phoenixville farmers market.

It’s the beginning of a new month and so it’s time to shine the spotlight on the companies and organizations that help make it possible for me to do what I do here on this site.

First up is jar accessory maker Cuppow! They are the creator of the original mason jar travel mug topper and, more recently, of the BNTO, a cup that fits into a wide mouth mason jar and transforms it into a lunch box. They also have a small stash of signed copies of Preserving by the Pint.

Next is our friends at Fillmore Container. They sell all manner of canning jars and lids, as well as a handful of books and jar accessories. They’re a family-owned business based in Lancaster, PA and they happily work with home canners and commercial producers alike. Visit their blog for lots of good canning tricks and tips.

Our friends at MightyNest are back for July as well. They are an amazing resource for non-toxic, natural, and organic products for homes and families and recently added my beloved 4th Burner Pot to their stock.

Mrs. Wages is also back for another month of canning goodness! I’ve written for them for the last three summers and this year, we’re teaming up for an official partnership. They make all sorts of pectins and canning mixes. Make sure to sign up for their newsletter for monthly installments of canning goodness.

Last, but certainly not least is Preserving Now! Operated by Lyn Deardorff, Preserving Now is both a website and school dedicated to helping people expand their canning and preserving skills. If you’re in the Atlanta area, make sure to check out her schedule of upcoming classes and events!

If you’d like to be a sponsor, there are lots of spots available, starting at just $75 a month.
Please visit my sponsorship page for more details!

Comments { 0 }

Links: Strawberries, Pickled Cherries, and Links

The shelves at The Pantry bring me such joy!

I landed in Los Angeles late last night, picked up a rental car, and drove to my best-friend-from-college’s apartment. As I zipped along the freeway, I felt both totally at home and entirely out of place. I was born in this city and lived here until I was nearly nine years old. I have a sense of deep, near-cellular recognition with this land and its scents (eucalyptus! dry grass! smog!). I am happy to visit (and to teach a class at The Gourmandise School on Tuesday!), but it is not my place.

After that, I fly back to Portland for all of 29 hours, spend a little time with my sister and curly-headed nephew and then back to Philadelphia. It has been a wonderful west coast book tour and I’m so grateful to all the people who had me into their store, gave me places to sleep, and came out to see me and say hi.

Now, links.

down a warehouse aisle

Thanks to Fillmore Container, for hosting such a generous giveaway last week, as well as to all of you who took the time to leave a comment and share your jar longings! The winner (selected at random) is #914/Shannon. She said, “Love this website! Immediately I found this pour lid that attaches to the canning jar which is perfect for when I make salad dressings. So whether or not (which I hope so) win I will be buying this and more.”

Congratulations, Shannon!

Comments { 8 }

Cookbooks: Asian Pickles by Karen Solomon

Asian Pickles cover

I have been looking forward to the release of Karen Solomon’s new book, Asian Pickles for at least two years now. Karen is a friend and I stayed with her when I came through San Francisco during my first book tour back in 2012.

During my brief visit, we spent a goodly amount of time talking about our upcoming projects. I told her about Preserving by the Pint (which at that point was nothing more than an idea and a list of possible recipes) and she talked about Asian Pickles.

Asian Pickles spine

At that point, the book was actually mostly finished, because her publisher was trying something new with it. Instead of simply publishing the physical version, they were going to periodically release smaller ebooks, featuring approximately half of the recipes from the five main chapters.

Asian Pickles intro

I saw each of the ebooks as they came out. They were gorgeously designed, bursting with useful recipes, and made me ridiculously excited to get into the kitchen and start pickling. I made her Pickled Asian Pears with Lemon for the blog and tried a couple other things that were wonderful but just never made it into post form (it happens).

Asian Pickles water kimchi

Back in early January, I spent a solid two days reading through a xeroxed manuscript of the book, dog earring pages and trying to craft a quote for the back cover. It’s was nearly impossible to squeeze every complimentary thing I wanted to say into two sentences, but I think I managed. Happily, this blog post gives me the opportunity to gush just a little bit more.

Asian Pickles cucumber kimchi

What I find so delightful about this book is that it gives me the chance to dive into a world of pickles that had previously been veiled and mysterious. Karen starts each section (Japan, Korea, China, India, and Southeast Asia) which an introduction to each region’s unique pickle culture (truly, it makes the North American pickle tradition look puny).

Asian Pickles chutney

Once the stage is set for the flavors and techniques you’ll encounter, she leads you into the recipes. The headnotes are both entertaining and full of useful information, and the recipes themselves are clearly written but not so deeply technical that you have to read and reread to unpack the instructions.

Asian Pickles glossary

One adjustment that most North American preservers will have to make with these pickles is that for the most part, they are not safe for boiling water bath canning. Many of the pickles are ferments, which will lose both their texture and happy bacteria when heat processed. While there are others that are made with vinegar, the concentration of acid is typically not high enough to make them safe as a preserved pickle.

I do think you’ll find that the recipes make pickles delicious enough that you won’t begrudge the refrigerator space necessary to keep them.

Asian Pickles back

The final word is that I recommend this book for anyone who loves pickled things and wants to move beyond the array traditionally found in western cultures. I have a long list of things I plan on making from it and love that it has both recipes that can be made quickly and longer term projects. If you think of yourself as a homemade pickle aficionado, this book should be on your shelf.

Comments { 7 }

A Handy Way to Store Your Canning Rings and Lids

bag of canning gear

Here in Portland, it is raspberry season. I couldn’t resist picking up a half flat of gorgeous berries on Saturday at the Beaverton Farmers Market. When I got home, I asked my mom to pull out her canning stuff so that I could make a quick batch of jam. She ducked into the garage and came back in with her shiny stainless steel stock pot and a plastic comforter bag filled with canning jar rings (as well as couple boxes of new lids).

canning rings close up

Using a stock pot and blossom trivet as a canning pot is a trick I taught her, but using an old blanket or comforter bag to corral canning gear was entirely new to me and I was stunned by the simple brilliance of it. At home, I use a pair of two gallon zip top bags to keep my rings in check. However, they’ve always been an imperfect solution because the zippers eventually fail and they’re just not quite big enough. The comforter bag has a real zipper, the plastic is sturdier, it holds a ton, and it does a good job of keeping the dust and dirt out.

If you have one of these bags floating around your house, consider doing like my mom and using it to store your gear.

Comments { 33 }

Giveaway: $100 in Jar Credit From Fillmore Container

down a warehouse aisle

Everyone’s path to canning is a little bit different. Some start doing it because they want to make the most of a produce glut. Others preserve because it helps them feel close to their mother, aunt, or grandmother. And then there are those for whom the jars themselves were the gateway to total canning preoccupation.

four ounce comparison

That’s how it was for me. While I did grow up with a mother who canned, I was acquiring jars long before I began filling them up and processing them. Truly, I am something of a jar junkie.

Over the last few years, one of my favorite sources for canning jars beyond the narrow range you can get at the grocery store has been Fillmore Container (I liked their jars so much that I talked them into becoming a site sponsor!). While they offer all the Ball jars you could possibly want, they also have a deliciously wide array of other options.

solo four ounce jar

And so, for this week’s giveaway, the lovely folks at Fillmore Container and I thought we’d do something a little different. Instead of picking out a particular style of jar to feature and then giving some of that size and shape away, I’m going to feature a few of my favorite jars from their catalog and let the winner choose their perfect jar.

solo four ounce jar

One jar that they carry that I love is the straight, smooth-sided four ounce jar. They don’t have any of that quilted nonsense and they’re perfect for preserves meant for gifting. I wrote about them nearly two years ago and still adore them.

various half pint shapes

Another jar that makes me happy is their eight ounce regular mouth jar. It’s a bit squatter than the the conventional half pint jar, but that just makes it feel extra sturdy in the hand. A few more pictures of that particular style can be found here.

four sizes of hex jars

For those of you who can’t bear for your holiday gifts to look just the same as everyone else’s, then the hex jar is for you. Fillmore Container keeps four sizes in stock. The 1.5 ounce is perfect for samples and variety gift baskets, the 4 ounce option is the same size at the smallest quilted jelly jars that Ball makes, 6 ounces is a nice in-between size that you can’t get with a mason jar, and 9 ounces is simply a generous half pint jar. 

six hex jars filled with peach and tomato jam

And just so you know, Fillmore Container doesn’t just carry jars and closures. They also have a number of fun jar accessories. You can get everything from lids with holes in them for straws to the stripy paper straws to pair with those lids.

Here’s how to enter this giveaway:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you’d spent $100 at Fillmore Container. Would you get yourself some new jars? Buy a few cookbooks? Or would you go crazy with the accessories and candle making gear?
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Saturday, June 28, 2014. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, June 29, 2014
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

P.S. I got to go behind the scenes at Fillmore Container a few years ago. The photos from that tour can be found here.

Disclosure: Fillmore Container has sent me lots of jars over the years to test and try. They’re a site sponsor. And they’re providing the prize for this giveaway at no cost to me. However, my opinions remain entirely unbiased and my own.