July Canning Classes: Goodwill at Homefields & Christina Maser Co.

tomatoes for honey sweetened jam

It feels a little hard to believe, but I only have two classes left to teach this month (summer seems to be flying by!). Both of these classes are out in the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania. If you’re within a couple hours drive, it’s a great region for a day trip! Here’s all the info!

This Saturday, July 18, you’ll find me at Goodwill at Homefields Farm (Manor Township – 150 Letort Road, Millersville, PA). The class is from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and we’ll be making spiced nectarine jam. I’ll also talk about boiling water bath canning, best practices, and pantry storage. To register, contact Heather Conlon-Keller at 717-808-7060 or heather@homefields.org. Class fee is $22 per person, payable to Homefields.

Next Saturday, July 25, you’ll find me in Lancaster City, at the Christina Maser Co., talking about tomatoes. In this very hands-on class, we’ll make both cold packed whole peeled tomatoes and hot packed crushed tomatoes. Everyone will go home with samples from the class, a tomato canning how-to packet, and the knowledge to do it again. The class is from 10 am to 1 pm and costs $65. Click here to sign up.

To sweeten the deal, our friends at Fillmore Container are also giving away a stainless steel canner to a one participant in this class. More details about that are here.

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Giveaway: Spicy Preserves from PRiMO

three jars of Primo

One of the more interesting preserving trends I’ve noticed in recent years is that of taking sweet jams and jellies and making them spicy. Sure, people have been making pepper jellies for years, but it wasn’t until the last decade did you start to see companies bringing things like sweet cherries preserved with smoked peppers to market.

raspberry jam interior

This week’s giveaway comes to us from PRiMO, a preserves company that specializes and excels in the arena of sweet heat. All their preserves are made by hand in small batches with good ingredients and are designed to be balanced. The goal is not to wipe out your tastebuds with heat, but instead to enhance the flavors of the fruit with complementary chiles.

Primo stamp

The giveaway is one three-pack of preserves to a single, very lucky winner. Winner will get to choose the three preserves from PRiMO’s current stock (I highly recommend the Raspberry Habanero). Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you add spice to your preserves. Are you a pepper jelly fan? Do you do apricot with red pepper flakes? Have you tucked ancho chiles into cherries? Inquiring minds want to know.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, July18, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, July 19, 2015.
  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.

Disclosure: Vic from PRiMO sent me the preserves you see pictured above for tasting and photography purposes. No additional compensation was provided for this post and all opinions expressed here are my own. 

Culinary Nutrition Conference – A Free, Online Event


In the craziness of the last few weeks, I realized that I haven’t made mention of an event that I’m part of that is happening tomorrow. Called the Culinary Nutrition Conference, it’s a free, online one-day event featuring an array of speakers talking about health, nutrition, and cooking and food. This event is being hosted by Meghan Telpner (you may know her from her book The UnDiet) and the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.

Now, I realize that some of you might think that a conference about nutrition isn’t for you (and at first, I wasn’t sure I was the best fit to participate). However, if the conversation that Meghan and I had is any indication, it’s really an event for people who love food and are looking to be inspired to eat better and more deliciously.

If that feels like it resonates, I do I hope that I’ll “see” some of you there!

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Links: Berry Jams and Cucumber Soup

box of open jars

Last week was intense. Between the photo shoot for the new book, finishing edits on the manuscript, recording audio for a new podcasting project, and also staying present and focused for my husband and mother-in-law as they dealt with her health struggles, I ended the week feeling pretty spent. I’ve spent most of today cleaning up the apartment, doing some closet purging, and trying to get myself back on track.

Here are a few of the links I’ve collected for you!

peaches in jars

No giveaway winners this week, because the MightyNest giveaway is still in progress. If you haven’t entered yet, now’s the time!

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Small Batch Peach Jam for Live Online Class

cut peaches in a bowl

Tomorrow night at 8 pm eastern time, I’ll be teaching my third live online class of the summer. For this one, I’ll make a small batch of peach jam and talk about how to preserve summer stonefruit without making yourself crazy. During the first class, a participant suggested that I make demonstration recipes available ahead of time, so that if you so desired, you could can along with me. So that’s what I’m doing!

This is the recipe I’ll be making on Monday night. You’ll want to have your canning pot prepped, your peaches peeled and chopped, and your sugar measured out. The rest we’ll do together.

And just to be clear, you don’t HAVE to can along with me to take the class. However, I do love the idea of all of us making the same thing at the same time.

When: Monday, July 13 at 8 pm Eastern Time
Where: Your living room, kitchen or office, via Concert Window
Cost: Pay what you wish

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International Can-It-Forward Day and Curried Fruit Compote from the Ball Blue Book

compote fruit assortment

Saturday, August 1 is the fifth annual Can-It-Forward day. This yearly event is organized and hosted by Jarden Home Brands, the company that makes all of our beloved Ball and Kerr products. In the past, they’ve offered a day of live streaming canning and jar usage demonstrations from New York City. This year, they’re bringing the festivities home to their new headquarters in Fishers, Indiana.


Last year, I hopped a train up to New York and joined the fun in Brooklyn. This year, I’m really excited to be heading to Indiana for the weekend to demonstrate my recipe for Sweet and Tangy Pickled Blueberries. I’ll have that recipe for you all in a couple weeks. Today, I want to talk about an entirely different preserve.

curried fruit compote recipe

As we were planning ways to get the word out about this year’s Can-It-Forward day, the nice folks from Ball Home Preserving suggested that I could pick out a couple of recipes from the Ball Blue Book to share with you guys. I went flipping through and picked out a handful of options. One that we settled on was the Curried Fruit Compote on page 134 of the newest edition of the book.


I chose this one because I’ve been digging compotes lately (they’re so easy! And such a good way to capture fleeting summer fruit) and I was intrigued by the idea of an assortment of adding a savory spice blend like curry to a heap of sweet fruit.

curry powder

So, after a busy week of photo shoots and book edits, I went to my local product market to round up a ripe pineapple, a not too ripe cantaloupe (so that it would hold its shape after cutting), three pounds of peaches, and a lime (I already had the necessary apricots from last weekend’s half bushel).

bowl of chopped fruit

With products like this, the bulk of the work is in the preparation. Once you’ve peeled the peaches, pitted the apricots, seeded the cantaloupe, and tackled the pineapple, the cooking happens in a snap. I brought my curry-spiked syrup to a boil as I was finishing up removing all those pesky eyes from the pineapple and then once it was bubbling, heaped the fruit into the pot.

all the fruit in the pot

Once the fruit seemed to be heated through, I used a slotted spoon to portion out the fruit into a two-cup measuring cup and filled up the jars. The recipe in the book called for quart jars, but I opted for pints instead, because I knew that it would be a better, more usable portion for my household (and I kept the processing time the same, just to be safe).

finished compote

Once all the jars were filled, I had a few bobbing bits of fruit in the pot. I tasted a hunk of pineapple and the curry flavor was pleasantly mild. I think that come winter, I’ll be pairing this compote with scoops of cottage cheese for easy workday lunches.

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