Jam & Tea at Valley Forge Flowers with WHYY

spring flowers

On Sunday, May 8, I’m teaming up with WHYY and Valley Forge Flowers for a special canning demo and book signing. There will be tea, jam, and the chance to watch me make jam from a comfortable seat. Tickets are still available for this event and they cost $35 for WHYY members, and $42 for non-members (that price includes a copy of Naturally Sweet Food in Jars).

If you’re looking for something special to do with your mom or other favorite maternal person, this event is for you, because May 8 just happens to be Mother’s Day. However, the program is not Mother’s Day specific, so please come even if you don’t have a mother to fete.

The event is from 4-6 pm and tickets can be obtained here.

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Links: Strawberries, Maple Syrup Grading, and a Winner

sorrel soup

It took the better part of a week, but life is finally settling down into a normal rhythm again. It’s been a pleasure to cook regular food (I love jam, but after weeks of demos, it’s nice to make savory things), walk around my neighborhood, and sleep in my own bed. I do have a number of events coming up this week and next, but they’re all within driving distance of home, which is so nice. Now, links!

Curious who won the Mother’s Day Coffee Gift Set from Mason Jar Lifestyle? It’s Beth V.! For those of you who didn’t win, don’t forget that you have to get your order in tonight to get your set shipped in time for May 8.

Notes on the above photo. Last week, I had lunch the home of Nadia Hassani. She is the author of the lovely book Spoonfuls of Germany. She fed me sorrel soup from her book, the pumpernickel bread she wrote about here, and sparkling water spiked with fir tip syrup and lemon juice. Make sure to follow her on Facebook!

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May Sponsors: Cuppow, Masontops, Fillmore Container, Harvest Right, Mrs. Wages, Mason Jar Lifestyle

Mason Jar Lifestyle Mother's Day Mother's Day Coffee Gift Set - Food in Jars

We’re at the start of a new month and so it’s time to thank the people who help support this blog through sponsorship! Please do show them your love if you have a chance.

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. I feel like summer is prime Cuppow season, because it’s the perfect thing for no-waste iced drinks, so get yours dusted off!

The folks at Masontops joined the sponsorship roster this month. They sell an array of jar accessories, including Chalk Tops, Pickle Pebbles, the Pickle Packer, and (my favorite), the Pickle Pipe. If you’re looking to get into fermentation in a way that is easy and foolproof, make sure to check out their gear.

Lancaster, PA-based and family-owned Fillmore Container are next! They sell all manner of canning jars, lids, and other preservation gear. They posted a really terrific piece recently, featuring conversations with a number of canning bloggers, writers, and educators in which those folks share what canning means to them.

Harvest Right is back this month. They make freeze dryers for home use. Previously, it could cost as much as $30,000 to get freeze dryer, but the ones that Harvest Right sells are are 1/10 of that price. I don’t have space for one in my home, but I so wish that I did!

Our friends at Mrs. Wages are back for another season. 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 mixSign up for their newsletter for monthly installments of canning goodness.

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. I recently had a chance to try out their cork jar stoppers and have become totally obsessed. It’s the perfect way to use mason jars for easy access storage. I’ve got a small tower of finishing salts in wide mouth half pints next to my stove, closed with these corks. Seriously, I love them. (And don’t forget about their Mother’s Day Coffee Gift Set!)

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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Sponsored Post: A Lifefactory Deal from MightyNest’s MightyFix

orange Lifefactory bottle - Food in Jars

Fun fact about me. I have a minor water bottle obsession. I’ve been this way since my high school days, when I kept a tall disposable bottle (refilled for ages before being recycled) in my backpack. In college, I carried a brightly colored Nalgene.

Once on my own, I acquired a small collection of aluminum Sigg bottles. These days, I use stainless steel and glass water bottles exclusively, because they don’t impact the taste of the water, and they seem to be the healthiest choices available.

Lifefactory water bottle in bag - Food in Jars

Of all the glass water bottles I’ve used, the ones made by Lifefactory are my favorite, both for their grippy silicone sheaths and for the lids that are so easy to put on and take off (plus, they’re essentially big jars, which pleases me more than it should).

As we head into summer (prime time for starting a water bottle habit), our friends over at MightyNest thought some of you guys would also like to get in on the glass water bottle action. How do you do it? By joining MightyFix!

Lifefactory URL - Food in Jars

If you’ve missed my earlier posts about the MightyFix, it’s a monthly subscription service that sends full sized non-toxic products for the kitchen and home. It costs $10 a month and ships for free. What’s more, anything you want to add to your monthly order from MightyNest will also ship for free.

Without the FIX, this 12 ounce Lifefactory bottle costs $18 + $5.95 in shipping. When you sign up, you’ll get it for just $5. Then, for just $10 a month going forward, you’ll get regular shipments that will allow you make small but rewarding changes to help both you and the planet.

full Lifefactory bottle - Food in Jars

This deal is only open to new FIX subscribers. Unfortunately, if you’ve joined up in the past, you won’t be eligible for the discount (so sorry!). However, if you’re new to the FIX and ready to hop on board, use this link to head over to MightyNest (it’s got the discount code already applied). If that link gives you trouble, use the code FIJBOTTLEFIX at check out instead.

Just to recap. If you’re new to MightyFix, you’ll get this water bottle as your first FIX when they sign up for the subscription service. The cost of the FIX is $10 a month and the products are always valued more than $10. Your first month is $5 and you’ll get a Lifefactory glass water bottle valued at $18 + $5.95 in shipping. It’s a pretty nifty deal!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. MightyNest is a regular Food in Jars partner and occasional sponsor. They sent me the orange water bottle you see pictured here back in December, for photography purposes. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

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In My Toolbox: Gear for Traveling Canning Classes and Demos

Gear for Canning Events - Food in Jars

One of the things that often surprises people is the fact that when I go on the road to promote my books, I bring everything I need for my classes and demonstrations with me. While I occasionally find myself teaching in spaces that have fully stocked kitchens, more often that not, I’m working at farmers markets, bookstores, and other impromptu venues.

The upside is that one quick stop at a grocery store and I have everything I need to make a recipe from my book. The downside is that I do not travel light. Happily, it’s a trade-off I am most willing to make.

Pots for Canning - Food in Jars

The Cookware

For Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, I’m traveling with two pieces of cookware. A low, wide, non-reactive pan in which to cook the preserves and a small canner. When I was promoting Preserving by the Pint, I swapped a 12-inch skillet in for the larger pot.

I have a few different pieces that serve as the preserving pan, but my very favorite is low, wide 8 quart All-Clad stockpot pictured above. I’ve had a version of this pot for nearly seven years now and it is beloved in my kitchen. I was never able to take mine on the road with me, because the model I had didn’t work with an induction cooktop. Thankfully, the kind folks at All-Clad took pity on me this year and sent me one that works with my traveling induction burner.

My trusty 4th burner pot serves as small batch canning pot during my traveling demos. If I need a larger canning pot for on-the-road classes, I make arrangements to borrow one, as I just can’t fit a giant stockpot into my suitcase (one has to draw the line somewhere).

Induction Burner - Food in Jars

The Cooktop

Outside of the cookware, the thing that takes up the most space in my suitcase of canning gear is my burner. I travel with a portable induction burner because all it needs to work is an electrical outlet. I’ve had two of these Duxtop burners for the last five years and they’ve been incredibly reliable and sturdy (though sadly, one did get destroyed on a recent flight. The TSA opened my suitcase, didn’t secure the wrappings around the burner well, and it cracked).

I also make sure to tuck a short extension cord into my travel bag. This one is a ten footer, which is enough to reach an outlet in most situations (and if I know that I’m going to need more length than that, I make arrangements ahead of time).

various tools - Food in Jars

Tools and Utensils

The rest of the gear is an assortment of small tools and utensils, chosen for their ability to pack small and work hard.

Oh, and they’re not pictured (because I left them in Portland), but I also always tuck a pair of Blossom Trivets into my suitcase as well. All this gear makes for a jangly suitcase, but having this stuff with me means that I always have what I need.

Disclosure: In case it wasn’t clear earlier in the post, All-Clad gave me the 8 quart pot you see pictured above in exchange for promotional consideration. I bought everything else featured in this post. 

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Preserving the Edible Bounty at the Omega Institute

omega class products

Most of the time, when I teach canning and preserving classes, they last no more than two or three hours. Occasionally though, I offer longer, more intense workshops in order to give people a chance to dig deeply and really get hands on with the preserving experience.

I’m teaching one of these weekend-long workshops this June at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. It starts on Friday, June 24 and runs through Sunday, June 26. We’ll make between 10 and 12 different products and will make sure to touch on a variety of skills, including jam making, pickling, fermenting, drying, pressure canning, hot packed fruit pieces, natural sweeteners, and more.

For information, or to register for the workshop, click here.

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