Upcoming Events: Philly, Carlisle, PA, and Harvest on Henry Festival

Marisa at Williams Sonoma

Upcoming events!

October 14, Philadelphia
I’m teaching a sauerkraut class at the German Society of Pennsylvania tonight 7-9 pm. Everyone will make their own quart jar of sauerkraut to take home with them. Class fee is $15 and you can register by emailing librarian@germansociety.org. More details about this class can be found here. I believe the class is full, but I know there was a waiting list, for any of you who feel moved to see if you can get in on a spur of the moment jar of sauerkraut.

October 15, Carlisle, PA
On Wednesday, I’m heading out to the center of Pennsylvania to do a canning demo at the Farmers on the Square market. I’ll be there from 3-5 pm and will have books on hand for sale and signature. I’m also happy to sign books you already own, so if you’re nearby and you’ve got copies, bring them with you!

October 18, Philadelphia
Canning demos and book signing at the Weaver’s Way Farm at Saul HS Harvest on Henry Festival. I’ll do a couple of demonstrations and will help judge the pie contest! More details can be found here. The festival runs from 1-5 pm and is open to all.

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Links: Maple, Carrot Tops, and Winners

Harvey Oak Mercantile is Weck Jar heaven.

The days have gotten cool and cloudy here in Philadelphia. The sun is setting earlier and I’m feeling an overwhelming desire to bake quick breads and pear tarts. I’d say that those are all good signs that fall has well and truly arrived. It might even be time to start opening up the strawberry jam! Now, links!

reCAP lids

Time for the winners in last week’s reCAP giveaway. I loved reading all the ways that you guys are using mason jars these days! Such creativity! The winners are…

If you didn’t win and want to get your hands on some reCAP lids, you can either check out their online shop, or contribute to their ongoing Kickstarter campaign to get the hottest and newest lids.

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Preserves in Action: Open Faced Kimchi & Egg Sandwich

Half a bagel, fried egg, kimchi.

Late last week, I came down with a cold. At first, I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, but it was not to be ignored. And so I spent the last five days in a bit of a haze, doing only the things that absolutely had to be done. I taught my classes and did the demos I’d committed to doing, but I skipped all extras, including grocery shopping.

Today was the first day that I felt anywhere near normal. I woke up ravenous and headed to the fridge, hoping for something fresh and delicious. Instead, I found a number of weird odds and ends, and no fresh vegetables whatsoever.

There was slightly stale half a bagel, a few eggs, and some end of a jar of the most delicious kimchi ever (it was from the July food swap and was so darn good). And so, I toasted the bagel and spread all the kimchi goodness into it (probiotics!). A single fried egg went on top. And it was delicious.

Eggs and kimchi. Make sure to try it.

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Urban Preserving: Concord Grape Jam

concord grapes

Two or three times a year, I pack up a big box of jam and mail it off to my sister and her family in Austin, TX. While Raina knows the fundamentals of jam making (and I know she has at least two cookbooks that could show her how), my mom and I easily (and happily) meet the bulk of her fruit spread needs.

grapes in a pan

In the last shipment, one of the jars I sent was a squat little half pint of concord grape jam. I’d made it as a test batch sometime last fall and hadn’t thought much about it beyond assuming that my nephew might dig it. When Raina reported back on the winners, the thing she raved about most was the grape jam. They ate through it in record time and were all a little sad to hear that there wasn’t even a drop more.

simmered grapes

So when concord grapes came into season this fall, I made a point to pick some up to make another batch of jam for Raina and her crew. I started with 2 pounds of concord grapes. I gave them a quick rinse, and popped them in a saucepan with 1/4 cup of water. I set the pan on the stove and brought it to a simmer. I let it go for a few minutes, just until the grapes popped.

Once the grapes where soft, I poured them into a food mill that I’d fitted with the finest screen and milled them through. This is the step that makes this preserve more of a jam than a jelly. It’s not going to have a ton of texture from the skin, but some gets through and gives the finished product a little more body.

grapes in a food mill

Once I couldn’t mill any more, I measured out the pulp. In my case, I had a little more than 3 1/2 cups, but your results will vary. I poured the pulp into a low, wide pan and added 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar (roughly half the volume of pulp) and the juice of half a lemon. Then I cooked it until it was thick (times vary, use your judgment).

Once the jam was done, I funneled it into two half pint jars (there was a little leftover for the fridge) and processed them in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes. They sealed perfectly and will be in my checked luggage when I head for Austin later this month to meet my new nephew (!!!). He was born at 7:59 this morning and everyone is well.

 

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Giveaway: Mason Jar Lids from reCAP + Flip Cap Kickstarter News

reCAP lids

Truly, it is a great time to be a mason jar lover. All those new products from EcoJarz that I featured last week are one good example. Another is the activity happening over that reCAP HQ these days.

They make those leakproof flip-top lids that are so good for using on jars that contain salad dressings, maple syrup, and really anything else you want to pour neatly from a jar. They also sell adaptors that convert mason jars into pumping dispensers and (my favorite) spray bottles. I have a bottle of orange-infused vinegar fitted with one of those spray lids that I keep on the kitchen counter for easy clean-ups.

regular mouth reCAP

The folks at reCAP are currently in the midst of a Kickstarter, working to fund their latest jar brainwave. It’s a flip-top lid that has a wide opening that can be popped open for easy dispensing of larger items. It can also be fitted with a shaker screen for sifting and dusting.

Their fundraising campaign is nearly halfway to the goal and if you’re so moved, they would love your help. Their campaign page can be found here (and don’t skip the video. It’s hilarious and once scene includes a copy of my first book).

new blue reCAP

One of the ways that the reCAP team is spreading the word about their Kickstarter is by sponsoring a number of product giveaways across the internet. This is one such giveaway. I have three sets of reCAPs to giveaway.

Each set contains one silver wide mouth reCAP, one silver regular mouth reCAP, and one of their new blue wide mouth reCAPs (pretend that the wide mouth lid featured in the image at the top of this post is a silver lid. I couldn’t find my silver one at picture time).

Here’s how you enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you’re using mason jars these days. Are you canning? Stashing leftovers? Using them for oatmeal? Painting them silver and filling them with flowers?
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, October 11, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by the end of the day on Sunday, October 12, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: reCAP sent me two of the lids you see above for testing and photography purposes (I had the black one floating around from a previous project). They are also providing the prizes for the giveaway. No additional compensation was provided. 

Upcoming Events: Princeton! Kennett Square! Lancaster!

Preserving by the Pint sliver

I know I’ve been saying this for weeks, but the end of my season of classes and events is now firmly in sight. If you’ve been wanting to take a class or pick up a signed copy of one of my books, now is the time. I have seven events left in October, two more in November and then I’m taking most of the next six months from doing classes, events, or book signings so that I can focus on writing my next book.

I’d like to draw particular attention to the pair of classes I’m teaching at Fillmore Container this weekend. These will be active, hands-on classes and all participants will get be taking home fresh, hot jars of delicious preserved food. If you’re at all interested in one or both of these classes, register today

October 8, Swarthmore, PA
I’ll doing a canning demo Harvey Oak Mercantile from 6-8 pm. There will be books available for sale and signature. Registration details to come.

October 9, Princeton, NJ
Thanks to a friend who has made all the arrangements, I’m headed to Princeton to offer a batch canning demonstration at the Whole Earth Center. Event is from 7-9 pm and tickets can be obtained here. Books will be available!

October 10, Kennett Square, PA
Every fall, Kennett Square throws a festival to celebrate all things fermented. I’ll be offering a quick sauerkraut demo and then will be appearing on a panel with some other ferment-friendly folks. The happenings will be at the Bayard Taylor Library. Demos will be from 6-7:30 pm, the discussion starts at 7:30, and admission is free. More details can be found here.

October 11, Lancaster, PA
I’m spending a Saturday at Fillmore Container, offering a pair of canning classes in their warehouse. The first class is from 10 am – 12 noon, in which we’ll focus on preserving pears in batches large and small (including information about how to use Pomona’s Pectin). From 1-3 pm, we’ll dig into how to preserve tomatoes, including how to make tomato jam and how to preserve whole peeled tomatoes. To register for both classes (they’re $35 a piece), click here. We’re also going to offer a book signing at the end of the day.

October 12, Cherry Hill, NJ
I’m hopping over the bridge to South Jersey for a small batch jam demonstration and book signing at Williams-Sonoma at the Cherry Hill Mall. The event is from 1-3 pm and is free and open to all.

October 14, Philadelphia
I’m teaching a sauerkraut class at the German Society of Pennsylvania from 7-9 pm. Everyone will make their own quart jar of sauerkraut to take home with them. Class fee is $15 and you can register by emailing librarian@germansociety.org. More details about this class can be found here.

October 18, Philadelphia
Canning demos and book signing at the Weaver’s Way Farm at Saul HS Harvest on Henry Festival. I’ll do a couple of demonstrations and will help judge the pie contest! More details can be found here. The festival runs from 1-5 pm and is open to all.

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