Books at the Market at High Street and Headhouse Square Farmers Market

All set up at the opening day of the Headhouse Square Farmers Market. I'm here until 2 pm!

This weekend, I’m going to be at two Philadelphia area markets with stacks of my books to sell and sign. With canning season in full swing, this is a great opportunity to pick up a book and some produce for canning, all at the same time!

On Saturday, July 11, I’ll be at the Saturday farm stand at High Street on Market from 10:30 to 1:30 pm (the stand is open until 3:30 pm, but unfortunately I can’t stay that long). This French-style market features produce from Plowshare Farms and a rotating cast of special guests. This week I’ll be there along with Food and Ferments. If you can’t make it this weekend, Madame Fromage has the full list of future guest vendors.

Then, on Sunday, July 12, I’ll be at Headhouse Market from 10 am to 2 pm. Look for me positioned between The Food Trust’s table and the Buzby Produce stand.

I’ll have copies of both books with me, along with the last of the orange Food in Jars stickers for giveaway. The books cost $20 a piece and I can take cash or cards!

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Sweet Cherry Rhubarb Jam

cherries in colander (1)

When I got my box of fruit from the Washington State Fruit Commission back at the beginning of June, I had grand plans to dedicate a full week to my many delicious cherry creations. And then life got in the way (as it so often does). Instead, I’ve been publishing these tasty things in fits and starts.

measured sliced cherries

Today’s recipe is for a batch of cherry rhubarb jam, made with minimal sugar and set up with Pomona’s Pectin. The combination of cherries and tangy rhubarb make for a preserve that has a really nice balance of sweet and tart.

measured rhubarb

At this point, I must confess I am bereft of words to describe this recipe. The photo shoot for the next book started today (and I still have four more preserves I must make and deliver to the studio), my inbox is clamoring for my attention, and most difficult, my mother-in-law has been in the hospital since Friday night. Oof.

mixed cherries and rhubarb

I would like to point you to some of the other Canbassador projects I’ve posted in the past.

finished cherry rhubarb jam 1

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Home Canned Peaches in Fruit Juice + MightyNest Giveaway

This post is sponsored by our friends at MightyNest! Read through to the end for details about a giveaway worth $200!

row of jars side

There is a park near my apartment that hosts two weekly farmers markets. I almost always go to the Saturday market, but often miss the mid-week one. It takes place on Tuesdays from 10 am to 2 pm and so often, by the time I remember that it’s happening, I’ve already missed it.

empty week jars

Last week, though, the stars were aligned in my favor. I had been out running errands and on my walk home spotted the cheery row of white tents set up along the north edge of the square. It was nearly 2 pm, but the vendors all still had good things on offer. I bought three quarts of yellow and green beans for pickling, a half pint of black raspberries, and five pounds of hail-marked peaches for $5.

four pounds peaches

The peaches were a little beat up but it was nothing some careful work with a paring knife couldn’t fix. I set them out to ripen for a couple days and applied myself to the rest of the produce. I trimmed the beans, fit them into a large jar with garlic and spices, and covered them with brine (we’ll talk more about those next week when they’re finished fermenting). The raspberries? Those I ate with my lunch.

peach quarters

A few days later, the peaches were ripe and ready for canning (and eating! I did set aside a few for snacking). I considered turning them into jam, but I just discovered a cache of peach vanilla jam in the back of the cabinet, so that seemed unnecessary. Instead, I decided to can them in fruit juice for later in the year when all available fruit is being shipped from the other side of the world.

apple juice

Over the years, I’ve preserved fruit slices in syrups made from cane sugar, honey, and agave nectar, but when it comes to ease and virtue, there’s nothing better than plain old apple juice. When I first started working on my natural sweeteners book, I got into the habit of keeping a few canisters of 100% juice concentrate in the freezer because they’re so useful during canning season.

peaches in juice

I prepped the peaches by cutting them in quarters and laying them in a heatproof baking dish. Once they were ready, I put the pan in the sink (to help prevent large messes), brought a kettle of water to a boil and poured it over the peaches. This helps loosen the skins and when you’re working with relatively small amounts of peaches, makes for an easier peeling process.

peaches in jars

Once the peach quarters had sat in the hot water for about three minutes, I lifted a corner of the pan and tipped out most of the hot water. Then I ran some cool water from the tap over the fruit. Then, I peeled the skins off the peach segments. They lifted away easily enough, though some benefited from a little paring knife assistance.

peaches in jars top

I’d prepped the juice ahead of time (using the regular dilution of one can of concentrate to three cans of water) and brought it to a simmer in a four quart pot. After each peach segment was peeled, I dropped it into the hot juice. The acid content in the juice is enough to help prevent oxidation, and the heat helps the fruit release some of its trapped air, making for a finished product that should siphon less that peaches that were done using the cold pack method.

single jar of peaches

Once all the peaches were peeled and in the simmering juice, I pulled three clean, hot 1/2 liter Weck tulip jarsout of my prepped canning pot and filled them with peach slices. I ladled in enough juice to cover, leaving about 1/4 inch headspace (make sure to wiggle out any trapped air bubbles).

Finally, I wiped the rims, eased on the seals and lids, and clamped them in place with the metal clips. Because they were a hot packed product, these jars (which are the functional equivalent of pint jars) spent just 20 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

finished peaches

Once the time was up, I slide the pot off the hot burner, removed the lid, and let the jars cool for ten minutes still in the water. This is another way to help prevent the siphoning of the liquid to which whole fruit is so prone.

Finally, I pulled the jars out of the water and let them rest on a folded kitchen towel. You can always tell with Weck jars that they’ve formed a seal because the little rubber tab will point downward.

down turned tab

Now, here’s the fun part. Our friends at MightyNest are huge canning fans and want to help one lucky Food in Jars reader get set up for a very successful canning season. To that end, they’re letting me give away a canning pot, jar lifter, stainless funnel, and an assortment of jars. The total value is $200. Just plug your information into the widget below to enter.

Disclosure: MightyNest is a Food in Jars sponsor. Additionally, they provided the Weck jars you see featured in this post. However, all opinions remain entirely mine.

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Upcoming July Classes: Chestnut Hill! Lancaster County! Online!

class image revised

I’m teaching four classes this month! One is in Philly, two are out in Lancaster County, and one is another live, online class via Concert Window. I’m focusing hard on tomatoes a little earlier in the summer that I normally do, in the hopes of sharing those skills before the season starts rocking. I hope some of you can join me!

  • Wednesday, July 8 – Whole Peeled Tomatoes with Weaver’s Way. I’ll show you how to prep and preserve whole peeled tomatoes in the kitchen at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting House. 7-9 pm. Click here to register.
  • Monday, July 13 – Live online class via Concert Window. This time, I’ll be making a small batch of peach jam. I’ll publish the recipe ahead of time, so that you can cook and can right along with me. Pay what you wish. Starts at 8 pm eastern time. Sign up here.
  • Saturday, July 18 – Jam making class and book signing at Goodwill at Homefields Farm (Manor Township – 150 Letort Road, Millersville, PA). 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. To register, contact Heather Conlon-Keller at 717-808-7060 or Class fee is $22 per person, payable to Homefields.
  • Saturday, July 25 – Canning Tomatoes Two Ways at Christina Maser Co. We’ll cold pack whole peeled tomatoes and hot pack crushed tomatoes, all at Christina Maser Co. in Lancaster, PA. Class is from 10 am to 1 pm and costs $65. Click here to sign up.
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Links: Berry Jams, Pickles, and Winners

It's apricot season! A half bushel is seconds is all mine!

Oh friends. Canning season is on so hard right now. I have 25 pounds of apricots spread out on baking sheets on my living room floor, and I have four pounds of super ripe peaches on my kitchen counter. There are dilly beans fermenting on the dining room table, and I put a finished half gallon of kosher dills into the fridge. I both love and am totally overwhelmed by this time of year. Now, links!

chalk top boxes offset

I missed announcing winners in the Ball Blue Book giveaway from last week, so I’m going to double up and include those here as well as the winners in the Chalk Tops giveaway.

So, first the Ball Blue Book winners. They are #6/Rebecca, #75/Barbara Durkee, and #297/Eileen.

The Chalk Top winners are #37/Susie, #89/Deb, and #198/Sarah. Thanks to everyone who entered both these giveaways. I’ll have another fun one up tomorrow!

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Canning with Taste of Home Cooking School & Cooking Up a Story

holding jar over canner

Friends! I have two fun video-centric things to share with you. The first is that back at the beginning of May, I spent a day in a video studio in Connecticut co-hosting a series of canning how-to videos with the folks from the Taste of Home Cooking School.

My co-host was the delightful Nicki Sizemore and we spent the day making strawberry jam, a mixed pickle, and other tasty things. The Canning and Preserving course we recorded that day is now available for purchase and costs just $15. If you learn best by seeing other people do and demonstrate, this is a good one for you.

The other video news is that there’s a new piece from Cooking up a Story that features me! Rebecca and I met up last summer when I was in Portland and she saved some of the canning goodness we recorded that day for this season.

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