Links: Rhubarb, Blueberries, and a Winner

rows of strawberries

Last week’s trip to Chicago was so terrific. I did seven events in six days, caught up with friends, helped raise money for the Ferrer Foundation, and met so many of you lovely folks. I got home on Saturday morning, and have spent the last 36 hours doing laundry, catching up with work, and spending time with my husband (he’s such a good sport about my frequent travels). Now, links!

Perfect Pickle Sampler 640

The winner of last week’s Mrs. Wages giveaway is #161/Lily Walbridge.

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Hear Me Each Week on Local Mouthful

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Did you know that I make a podcast called Local Mouthful? Each week, my friend and co-host Joy Manning and I sit down at my dining room table or hers, and spend half an hour talking about a wildly broad range of food topics (including things like cookbooks, favorite seasonal ingredients, how to reclaim your kitchen routine, homemade pizza, and much more).

Part of what makes Local Mouthful unique is the fact that Joy and I have known one another for a very long time. We met back in 2003, when we worked together at a non-profit in the Philadelphia. We were both lowly assistants and ended up bonding over our shared misery. I left the job, we lost touch for awhile, and when we reconnected, we’d both stumbled into food writing jobs. We’ve been friends ever since.

Each episode of Local Mouthful is about half an hour long. You can listen directly on the website, or you can subscribe via iTunes or whichever other podcast app you most enjoy. It’s great company for walks, commutes, or any time you want some cheerful voices with you while you make dinner. Hopefully you’ll check it out!

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Blackberry Lavender Jam on Freshly Preserved Ideas

Ball-Blackberries-Animated-GIF

This summer, I’m teaming up with the folks at Ball Canning (much like I did last year) to help spread the word about the many pleasures of home canning AND their annual International Can-It-Forward Day. You’ll be hearing lots more about the various CIFD events and the fun new tools they’ve made available online this summer over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.

To kick off this year’s partnership, I’ve got a recipe for you. I’ve actually developed a series of recipes that will live on the new Tumblr from our Ball Canning friends, called Freshly Preserving Ideas. The first of those recipes, Blackberry Lavender Jam, went live today.

This jam contains a medium amount of sugar, has a mellow hint of lavender, and is just the right balance of sweet and tart. If blackberries are already in season where you live, I encourage you to make this one immediately. And if you’ve still got some time to go, bookmark it for the moment they arrive.

Disclosure: I am a paid ambassador for Ball Canning. 

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Free Canning Class at the Easton Public Market

strawberries in a pot

Attention Lehigh Valley area readers! I need your help! This Monday, June 13, I am going to be recording a canning video in the demo kitchen at the Easton Public Market. At 3 pm that day, we want to film a canning class in action, and for that, we need a live audience.

We need 5-8 people who are willing to hang out for an hour, watch as I demonstrate how to make jam, and who are okay with the possibility of briefly being on camera (the hour we film will probably get edited down to just a couple of minutes). In return for your help, I will bring an assortment of preserves and send each participant home with a jar of something delicious.

If you’re able to come and join us on Monday, use the form below to sign up. Thank you!

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Last Call for Food Preservation Workshop at the Omega Institute

Field at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.

Friends, consider this a workshop last call. In a little over two weeks, I’m teaching a weekend-long food preservation workshop 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 dig into a variety of skills, including jam making, pickling, fermenting, drying, pressure canning, hot packed fruit pieces, natural sweeteners, and more.

Currently, there are just four people signed up for this workshop, so it’s going to be an intimate session. It’s a particularly great opportunity for anyone who needs to learn through doing. You’ll have the chance to get your hands on everything we make, and I will share everything I know.

In addition to being a really fun weekend of food preservation knowledge, the Omega Institute is also a truly gorgeous, restorative place (as you can see from the photo above). In between our canning sessions, you can walk around the grounds, get a massage, treat yourself to locally made ice cream, meditate, or sit peacefully by a lake. If you’re in need of a escape from your regular life and want to spend some of taking a relaxing, deep dive into canning and preserving, this weekend is for you.

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

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A Canning Tee-Shirt to Benefit Seed Life Skills

Green canning tee-shirt with an image of canning jars on the front

Do you want to get an awesome canning tee-shirt and do some good? Here’s how.

Yesterday, Liana Krissoff, author of Canning for a New Generation*, launched a campaign on Teespring to help raise money for Seed Life Skills by selling cool canning tee-shirts. They are a nonprofit organization that is working to develop a home ec curriculum that is useful and relevant for today’s students (you might even say that it’s Home Ec for a New Generation).

Seed Life Skills was founded by Hugh Acheson after his disappointment with what his daughter was learning in her home ec program. After complaining to school administration, they challenged him to do it better and so he did. The students will learn any array of practical skills, like how to cook with real, whole food, how to minimize waste, how to can and preserve, how to mend their clothes, and also how to manage minor financial tasks like picking the best cell phone contract.

The program is launching this year in Athens, Georgia and the hope is that it will roll out across the country over the next couple of years. There is more about Seed Life Skills here.

Wanting to help, Liana teamed up with designer Jake Genen and he created the canning tee-shirt you see above. There are several versions up on Teespring and if enough people place orders, they will go into production. All the proceeds (minus taxes) will be donated to Seed Life Skills. The shirts are available until Thursday, June 16 at 11 pm.

*A new edition of Canning for a New Generation will be published next month, so if you’re thinking of pulling the trigger on a copy, consider waiting for the new one!

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