This Weekend: Eat Boutique Spring Pop Up Market at Fringe!

First sighting of the new book in the wild! It is a rare and unique joy.

Hey Boston! I’m coming to see you this weekend. I’ll be at the Eat Boutique Spring Pop Up Market at Fringe on Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 5 pm to show off my small batch canning tricks, sign books (we’ll have copies of both Food in Jars and Preserving by the Pint), and answer canning questions.

What’s more, the nice folks at Cuppow are giving a free BNTO to everyone who buys a copy of one of my books (I’m also going to be showing some of the cool things you can do with a BNTO).

Here are all the details:
When: Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6, 12 noon to 5 pm.
Where: Fringe Union
9 Olive Square
Somerville, Massachusetts 02143
How much: Totally free!

Comments { 4 }

Links: Mango Butter, Savory Crumbles, and Winners

I'm at the Fair Food Farmstand! Come say hi!

I spent four hours on Saturday hanging out at the Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market, sharing tastes of Honey Sweetened Strawberry Jam and signing copies Preserving by the Pint. It was a great day and so fun to meet so many of you! Thanks to everyone who braved the torrential rain to come out! Now, links.

Preserving by the Pint cover - Food in Jars

Thank you all so much for your kind words about the new book last week! The three giveaway copies go to…

Stay tuned, I’ll have a fresh giveaway up tomorrow.

Comments { 6 }

Cookbooks: Power Hungry

Power Hungry cover - Food in Jars

These days, my brain is entirely occupied by thoughts of my upcoming book tour. Next Friday, I head to Boston for a weekend of demos and book signings at the Eat Boutique Pop-Up Market. Soon after that, I’m road tripping my way through Charlottesville, Asheville, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Memphis.

I have page after page of to-do lists in my notebook, covering topics like demo supplies, book sourcing, day-to-day logistics, and even road snacks (because while I’ll have a back seat full of pickles and jam, preserves do not a filling meal make).

Power Hungry title spread - Food in Jars

Happily, thanks to Camille V. Saulsbury and her book Power Hungry my car snacks are in good hands. Released last fall, this book features recipes for granola bars, energy balls, and super healthy brownies that are the perfect thing to reach for when you’re driving from one state to another.

The book opens with an introduction to the pantry staples used in the recipes. From there Camilla moves into the section she calls “Super Natural Knock Offs.” If you have a favorite store bought bar, look here first, because chances are good that you’ll find a recipe that will get you something perfectly similar here.

Power Hungry Friend Bars - Food in Jars

From there, you move through chapters for Activity Bars (these are original recipes that are bursting with flavor to get you through a workout or a busy day), Endurance Bars (these are higher in protein and fat, for even more energy), Protein Bars (they get their protein from beans, or from whey or vegan protein powders), and Raw and Almost Raw Bars (these are the easiest bars in the book, because you just combine ingredients and pack them into shape).

So far, my favorite recipe in the book is the one for Friend Bars. They’re Camilla’s version of Kind Bars and the coconut almond variation has helped me kick my habit of picking up three or four at Trader Joe’s each time I grocery shop.

Power Hungry back - Food in Jars

This week, one of the things on the ever-lengthening to-do list is to make a couple batches of these bars, wrap them individually and stash them in the freezer. I’ll grab a few for next weekend’s trip and even more when I head south.

I’m so looking forward to the fact that I won’t be dependent on expensive store bought bars for all this upcoming travel. What’s more, there’s really nothing better than having something homemade when I’m on the road. It becomes an edible touchstone for home and the life I’m so happy to lead.

Comments { 4 }

Urban Preserving: Strawberry Kiwi Jam

strawberries and kiwis - Food in Jars

When it comes to travel prep, my husband and I are not well matched. He likes to be fully packed at least 36 hours before a trip, so that he can get a peaceful night of sleep before a flight or drive. I am a bit more frenzied, often packing and re-packing my suitcase moments before it’s time to leave. What’s more, my last minute nature extends to preserving projects.

cooking strawberry kiwi jam - Food in Jars

Last December, the last thing I did before putting my coat on to head to the airport was take half a dozen jars out of the hot water bath and turn off the stove. I had a citron melon with a broken rind. It would not last and I couldn’t bare to throw it away. It had to be done.

finished strawberry kiwi jam - Food in Jars

More recently, I found myself in the kitchen at 11:30 pm, having that familiar debate. Trash can or jam pan? You see, we had most of a pound of strawberries in the fridge that would not last my absence and four wrinkly kiwis that would be well on their way to hooch if left in the fruit basket another four days. I could either bear the responsibility for wasting them or make a quick batch of jam.

strawberry kiwi jam in a jar - Food in Jars

And so, I made jam. I followed the formula you’ve all seen me employ before. I chopped the berries, scooped the kiwi out of its fuzzy wrapper, and heaped them both into a measuring cup to eyeball my volume. Three cups. I added in 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar (I calculate half as much sugar as fruit and then use a bit less than that) stirred until it was juicy. The fruit and sugar combo then went into a skillet, where I cooked it until thick and spreadable (in the last two minutes of cooking, I added a little lemon juice to balance the sweetness).

Instead of being in possession of fading fruit, I had two half pints of tangy strawberry kiwi jam. I may not have gotten as much sleep as I could have used, but I was set free from the guilt of wasted fruit. A fair trade, in my book. And just this morning, I ate a bit on a slice of peanut butter toast and thought fondly of that late night investment of time.

Where do you all fall on the pre-travel canning continuum? Do you preserve at all costs, or do you occasionally let the produce go?

Continue Reading →

Comments { 28 }

A Peek Inside Preserving by the Pint + Giveaway

Preserving by the Pint cover - Food in Jars

I’ve been showing you all the cover of my new book, Preserving by the Pint, for months now. I thought that since today is its official release date (though Amazon makes such things mostly moot by shipping pre-orders as soon as it has them in stock), it might be fun to show you what it looks like on the inside.

Preserving by the Pint inside spread - Food in Jars

This book is full of tiny batches and was written with farmers market shoppers, CSA subscribers, and container gardeners in mind (though truly, if you’re not among those groups, the book is still for you). All the recipes start with either a pint, a quart, or a pound (or two) because those are the units of measure that so many of us end up with after a trip to the green market, grocery store, or farm share pick-up.

Instead of giving away your excess produce, or worse, tossing on the compost pile, you can preserve it. Make pesto from that giant bundle of Thai basil. Cook excess zucchini down into a creamy, garlicky butter. And transform those alien-like heads of kohlrabi into crisp, tasty pickles.

Preserving by the Pint Spring - Food in Jars

Unlike my first book, which was arranged by type of preserve, Preserving by the Pint is set up seasonally. The idea is that you can start at the beginning with Spring and preserve your way through both the year and the book. As someone who did essentially that while writing the book, I can promise, you’ll end up with a delightfully varied assortment of things in your pantry and freezer when that year is up.

Marinated Sugar Snap Peas - Food in Jars

One thing you’ll start to notice about this book is that while all the recipes do preserve the season, they don’t all do it through canning. A generous handful of the recipes are designed for refrigerator storage and yet others are best frozen. I made the storage choices I did in order to create the best finished product possible.

These marinated sugar snap peas, for instances, are a quick pickle because if you were to process them in a boiling water bath canner, all those spritely peas would lose their snap and crunch. Kept in the fridge, they last a respectable amount of time and are far more delicious.

Pizza Sauce - Food in Jars

This quick tomato sauce is one of my very favorite recipes in the book. Most years, I buy a 100 pounds of tomatoes and spend a week preserving them whole or as puree. However, throughout the summer, there are often small deals on cracked or otherwise marred tomatoes at my local market that I hate to pass up.

This sauce makes it possible to spend a dollar or two, invest a little time peeling and cooking, and end up with two half pints of glorious, flavorful pizza sauce from each batch. Because I make four or five batches over the course of the summer, I end up with enough sauce to last all year, but it doesn’t feel like any work at all and costs nearly nothing.

Sweet Pear Caramel - Food in Jars

In writing this book, I also worked hard to come up with recipes that solved problems. I often hear from people that they wish they could can caramel sauces. While this sweet pear caramel doesn’t have the creamy mouthfeel of a batch made with heavy cream, it’s a really delicious sauce that can be used in place of traditional caramel drizzles (and if you don’t like pears, try it with peach or raspberry puree).

Preserving by the Pint back - Food in Jars

I am really proud of how this book turned out and am so grateful to Running Press for helping me turn an idea into a beautiful, useful thing.

Finally, it’s time for the weekly giveaway to return. I have three signed copies of Preserving by the Pint, liberated from my stash of author copies, to give away. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you think about the new book. Or, if you’re not ready to share your thoughts, tell me about your favorite small batch preserving project.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, March 30, 2014.
  3. Giveaway open all.
  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. The new book has gotten a bit of love from some of my local media outlets. Here’s what the Philly’s Citypaper, Geekadelphia, and Table Matters have to say.

Book Signing at the Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market this Saturday!

PbtP stack

Friends! The season of book signings, canning demos, and weekly reminders about all my crazy travels are upon us!

For my first official, post-release event, I’m staying close to home. Locals will find me at the Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia this Saturday, March 29, 2014, from 10 am to 2 pm. I’ll be standing behind the cheese case, handing out tastes of my honey sweetened strawberry jam and signing books.

We’ll have copies of the new book on hand for sale, as well as a few of the old one as well (I’m also happy to sign copies of the books that you might already own). Please come out, pick up a book, and say hi! I hope to see a number of you there!

P.S. My cold is finally gone, so you can come out, safe in the knowledge that I won’t pass an early spring bug along to you!

Comments { 10 }