Learn to Can with The Domestic Wildflower

One of the things I’ve really come to understand in my years of teaching people how to can is that there are nearly as many learning styles out there as there are people. Everyone receives and integrates information in different ways. And so, for some of you the tutorials and recipes I offer on this site is enough. But I am quite certain that there’s a large population of you who would like their information presented differently.

For you, might I suggest an online class with Jenny, The Domestic Wildflower! She has put together a robust series of online courses designed to help you learn to can and then take those skills to the next level. For beginners, the Start Canning workshop is perfect. For those of you looking to expand your skills, check out her Steam Canning class. And anyone looking to get ready for tomato season should check out her Canning Tomatoes bundle.

If one of the classes appeal to you, make sure to use the code FOOD50 to get 50% off!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. 

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June Sponsors: Fillmore Container, EcoJarz, McDonald Paper, Mason Jar Lifestyle, and CanningCrafts

Happy June, dear readers! It’s the start of the month and that means that it’s time to thank the businesses that help make this site possible. Please do show them that you appreciate their support with your time and attention!  

Lancaster, PA-based and family-owned Fillmore Container are next! They sell all manner of canning jars, lids, and other preservation gear. As you gear up for this year’s canning season, make sure to check out their blog post, filled with tips on how to get ready for the summer abundance.

Our friends over at EcoJarz are another stalwart sponsor. They make an array of products designed to fit on top of mason jars, including cheese graterscoffee brewers, and stainless steel storage lids. I’m a huge fan of their smoothie lover’s gift set for frosty summer shakes and smoothies!

Back for another month is McDonald Paper & Restaurant Supply. Based in Brooklyn, they are open to the public and sell all manner of culinary supplies. Restaurant supply stores are a great way to get affordable, durable kitchen gear (including jars!)

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. If you’re in the market for lidsstrawssprouting lidsfermentation weightsairlockstea light converterscozies, they are there for you.

Next up is CanningCrafts. Shop owner Alison sells an array of ready made and custom mason jar labels for all your various preserves, syrups, and backyard honey. I love her Cute Fruit Jam Jar Collection for the jams I’m making to gift and share. Make sure to subscribe to the CanningCrafts newsletter, because you’ll get a 10% off coupon code!

And if your company, shop, or family business is interested in reaching the food-loving and engaged Food in Jars audience, you can find more details here. Leave a comment on this post or drop me a note to learn more!

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Jammy Baked Oatmeal with Mixed Berry Jam

This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.

Yesterday, I showed you how to make the Mixed Berry Jam on FreshPreserving.com. This easy, small batch of jam is versatile, flexible, and really delicious. You can use it any number of ways. Stirred into oatmeal! On peanut butter toast! In sparkling water! Dolloped in thumbprint cookies! Whisked into vinaigrette!

If you are unmoved by those suggestions, I’ve got one more for you. Baked oatmeal. Now, I realize that at first blush, baked oatmeal doesn’t sound like the most exciting dish ever. But here’s the thing. It’s a workhorse. A day saver. A morning mood lifter. Packed with whole grains, applesauce, and a couple eggs for protein and binding. It’s tasty, portable, and easy.

Another truly excellent thing about baked oatmeal is that it’s really easy to make. All you need is a bowl, a two-cup measuring cup, and square baking pan (greased with cooking spray or a small slick of neutral oil). I’ve included weight measurements so if you have a scale, you don’t have to dirty additional measuring cups.

You start by measuring out rolled oats, whole wheat flour (if you’re gluten-free, you can swap in your GF flour of choice), toasted nuts, and raisins (or any other raisin-sized dried fruit). Add some cinnamon (cardamom is another good option, if you prefer), baking powder (to help make it lighter), and salt.

Then, in the measuring cup, portion out milk, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk, add the wet to the dry, pour it into your prepared baking pan, and add dollops of jam in a grid pattern (like a tic tac toe board).

The oatmeal is baked in a hot (375F) oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the middle has lost its wobble, the edges start to pull away from the corners of the pan, and the puddles of jam sink slightly. You can serve it warm (perfect for mellow weekend brunches) or once it’s cooled, you can portion it out into containers for the work week.

I like to eat it straight from the fridge with a couple spoonfuls of plain yogurt, or warmed up with a little milk. Full recipe below!

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Mixed Berry Jam from Ball® Fresh Preserving Products

This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.

Nearly every summer since 2012, I’ve been issued a preserving challenge by my friends at Ball®Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands. Some years, they’ve asked me to develop a few new canning recipes. Other years, I’ve trekked to New York or Indiana to offer canning demos. This year, I’m really excited because they’ve given me a handful of their most popular recipes and asked me to create new ways to use them (a concept that’s much like my upcoming book!).

So from now until September, once a month I’ll be sharing my process for making the preserve and then unveiling a recipe that transforms it into something new and delicious. For this first month, the preserve was Mixed Berry Jam (I preserved it in some of the Ball® Smooth Sided Half-Pint Jars pictured above and available for purchase here. These are the best jars for labeling!).

Right off the bat, I was delighted with their pick of recipe. It’s a relatively small batch, with a short, simple ingredient list. I also know berry jams to be really versatile, so I knew I’d be able to make something interesting with it.

You start by washing and mashing enough fruit to yield 4 cups. For me, this wound up being about 1 3/4 pounds fruit (I used single 1 pound package of strawberries, and 1 1/2 clamshells of blueberries).

You want to make sure you have your jars warming and the lids washed before you start cooking the jam, because the cook time is quite short and you do want the jars to be ready for you when you’re ready for them.

Once the berries are well-mashed, they get scraped into a large pan. You add the pectin powder (4 1/2 tablespoons), stir well to combine and bring the fruit to a boil, stirring constantly.

Always take care when moving pots of hot jam!

Once the fruit is boiling madly, you stream in the sugar and stir to combine. Bring that to a rapid boil and cook for just a minute longer. Once the time is up, you pull the pot from the stove. As it starts to cool from the boiling point, you should see visible signs of set, both on the spatula and the walls of the pot.

Then, working one at a time, fill each jar to 1/4 inch headspace, wipe the rim clean with a damp cloth, and apply a new, clean lid and ring. When all jars are full, process them in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes (adjusting your processing time for altitude, if necessary).

The finished jam is well-set, brightly flavored, and gorgeously colored. Check in tomorrow to discover what I did with it (hint: It’s something you can make on the weekend and eat for breakfast all week long!).

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Newell Brands as part of a compensated partnership. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 

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Upcoming Classes: Hillsdale General Store on June 2

Here in the Northeast, the canning season is finally starting to get going. This means that it’s also time for me to hit the road and start teaching classes.

On Saturday, June 2, you’ll find me teaching at the Hillsdale General Store in Hillsdale, NY (convenient for folks in the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires) in one of their Home Chef classrooms. From 11 am to 1:30 pm, I’ll be teaching a class on boiling water bath canning in which we’ll make both strawberry jam and strawberry chutney. You can register for that class here.

From 2:30 to 4 pm, I’ll be teaching a class focused on pressure canning. We’ll make and preserve a batch of onion jam with rosemary and balsamic. This class is a great one to take if you’ve been curious about pressure canning, but you’re a little scared. I’ll walk you through the steps and will send you home feeling empowered to safely preserve low acid foods. You can register for this class here.

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Giveaway: Printable Jar Labels from Worldlabel

Looking for affordable, beautiful labels for your canning jars that you can easily customize and print at home? Look no further than Worldlabel!

I confess that when it comes to labeling jars, I can be a bit lazy. My first line of labeling defense is typically a quick scrawl with a permanent marker. I write the contents of the jar and the month and year it was made across the top of the lid. This is done to ensure that I keep things like tomato jam separate from the pizza sauce (two preserves that look nearly identical once in the jar).

Often, my first act of labeling is also my last. I’ve been known to give these unadorned jars to my cousins and neighbors without a second though. However, as I move further into my life as a canner (this is my 11th active canning season! The mind boggles!), I find that I do really like having the option of giving people preserves with more detail on the label.

I’ve also been considering the possibility of making limited edition batches to sell, which would require nicer labeling that I currently can muster.

Happily, just as I was pondering ways to up my label game, I got an email from the folks at Worldlabel. They sell a huge assortment of blank labels that can be endlessly customized. They’ve got lots of templates that you can use to design your own labels, or you can use their assortment of free, pre-designed printable label templates.

I wanted to keep things simple for my first attempt at creating my own labels and decided that I would simply make Food in Jars logo stickers that I could use to dress up my jars (and potentially also use to dress up the packages of books I occasionally send out).

The folks at Worldlabel sent me 2 inch round labels (in both white and craft) and rectangular shipping labels (also in white and craft). I opted to try the white rounds first and headed over to Worldlabel to find the right template. They offer them in a variety of file formats (Word, PDF, Illustrator, etc) and identifying the one I needed was really easy.

Once I had the right file, I opened it up in Word (I am not a designer), and dropped in my logo file. I had to do a little bit of tweaking, but it wasn’t hard. Then, it was just a matter of saving and printing.

I’m pretty pleased with how approachable it was and how cute my labels look.

Now, if you don’t have a cute logo to drop into a template, fret not. The folks at Worldlabel have a really robust assortment of already-designed labels that you can download and print at home. They also curate a highly useful Pinterest page where they collect free printables that will work with their labels.

I think my finished labels turned out really well and I can’t wait to start using them. And while the company did send me this package of labels at no cost so that I could play around with them, 100 sheets of these labels costs just $18.75. That works out to less than $.19 a sheet, which is pretty darn accessible for even the tightest budgets (far cheaper than the name brands you get at office supply stores).

Because Worldlabel wants to help canners feel empowered to create their own labels, they’re also sponsoring a giveaway. Five lucky readers will each win 20 sheets of labels that they can customize. Use the widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Worldlabel paid to appear in this space and provided the labels pictured above at no cost to me. All thoughts and opinions are honestly conveyed and entirely my own.

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