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!

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Honey Sweetened Cara Cara Orange Jam on Simple Bites

finished orange jam

I got back from Chicago last night with a stack of other peoples’ business cards, half a dozen water bottles from the Housewares Show (more on that soon), and a fog-inducing head cold. I’m good for nothing right now beyond curling up on the couch with a book and some tea.

Happily, I don’t have to leave you all entirely empty-handed. I wrote a piece for Simple Bites on Honey Sweetened Cara Cara Orange Jam that went live today. It’s bright, well-balanced, and can be used a number of different ways (on toast! with yogurt! in vinaigrette!). Please do head over there and take a look.

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Links: Preserved Lemonade, Hamantaschen, and Whole Grain Cornbread

Amazing ramen and kimchi. Yay for serendipitous IACP lunches!

I’m in Chicago. I got here on Friday afternoon and go home Tuesday night. The first few days were turned over entirely to the IACP conference and tomorrow and Tuesday, I’m headed to the International Home and Housewares Show. So far, it’s been a spectacular trip. I signed a bunch of my books last night at the Book & Blog Festival, there’ve been a number of delectable meals, and I’ve gotten to see so many people that I just adore. It has been so good. Now, links!

I’ve got no winners to announce because the weekly giveaway is on vacation! However, don’t fret! I will be back on Monday, March 24, so stay tuned!

 

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Sponsored Post: WÜSTHOF CLASSIC 8-inch Cook’s Knife Giveaway From Craftsy

Cook's Knife

Photo courtesy of Wüsthof

My love of fancypants kitchen knives is well documented and one of my very favorite knife makers is Wüsthof. I have a number of their knives on the magnetic strip in my kitchen, and use them nearly every day.

The Wüsthof knife I reach for most often is WÜSTHOF CLASSIC 8-inch Cook’s Knife. It’s well balanced, stays wickedly sharp, and is a joy to use. The one that lives in my kitchen came with my husband when we combined our households back in 2008. He still refers to it as his knife, but I think we all know that it’s really mine.

A few weeks back, I wrote a post about Craftsy’s free Complete Knife Skills class and all the useful things I’d learned from it (along with a recipe for carrot and red pepper refrigerator pickles). In order to continue the knife skills love, Craftsy has kindly offered to give away one WÜSTHOF CLASSIC 8-inch Cook’s Knife to a Food in Jars reader.

This giveaway is a little different from the ones I typically offer here, in that you need to go over to the Craftsy site to enter your name (comments left on this post won’t get you entry this time). If you don’t have one, you will need to create an account on Craftsy in order to enter, but it shouldn’t take long and they are good citizens when it comes to user information.

There’s just one entry per person. The winner will be chosen at random. The giveaway closes at 11:59 pm on Saturday, March 22, 2014.

Click here to enter to win a WÜSTHOF CLASSIC 8-inch Cook’s Knife!

PS: All Craftsy food and cooking classes are up to 50% off through the weekend, so if you’ve ever wanted to learn more at Artisan Bread Making, Mother Sauces, or Vietnamese Classics, this is your chance to do so at a bargain!

For more about this series of sponsored posts and my year-long partnership with Craftsy, please visit this post.

Official disclosure statement: This is sponsored post from Craftsy. I was compensated for this post. However, all opinions remain my own.

 

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Meyer Lemon Syrup

row of meyer lemon syrup

I’ve been a little off my preserving game of late. My pantry is still full to bursting, so I haven’t had much in the way of motivation to make anything new (though truly, that’s never stopped me before). Add to the fact this is one of the least interesting times of the year for produce, and it’s been at least two weeks since I pulled my canning pot out of the cabinet.

small meyer lemons

Even my annual box of Meyer lemons from the Lemon Ladies failed to motivate me fully. I made jam and curd, but beyond that, I’ve been keeping the bulk of my lemons in my crisper drawer, waiting for inspiration.

spent meyer lemon rinds

Knowing that my busy season is coming, I finally turned my attention to those lemons today. As I pondered them, I realized that I was experiencing something akin to writer’s block, only with preserves. I put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with interesting and novel recipes, and those expectations were tangling me up but good.

meyer lemon vinegar

As soon as I understood what was going on, I decided to let myself entirely off the hook. I released my crazy expectations and spent a moment thinking about what I could make from those lemons that I would most use and enjoy. After about two seconds, I realized that was I most wanted was a batch of Meyer lemon syrup.

meyer lemon syrup

Think of this like lemonade concentrate. It’s tangy first, sweet second, and is one of my favorite things drizzled into a glass of iced sparkling water. Cathartic canning, at its best.

Also! Once all your lemons are juiced, gather up the peels, push them into a large jar, and cover them with white vinegar. Let them sit for awhile, until the vinegar is infused with the lemon essence. Use it for household cleaning.

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