Links: Apple Butter, Pear Vodka, and Winners

light in the dining room

After nearly two weeks of congestion and exhaustion, the cold fog has finally started to lift. I made some excellent potato soup for dinner late last week, but beyond that, nothing of particular value has come out of my kitchen. I’m trying to clear out an email backlog and finish unpacking from my trip. I have a two pound bag of cranberries in my fridge at the moment, so expect something appropriately seasonal later this week. Now, links.

cuppow gear

A couple weeks back, I hosted a giveaway sponsored by Cuppow. I had five sets of Cuppow lids, BNTO adaptors, CoffeeSocks, and Mason Taps to share with you guys. The winners are:

Thanks to everyone who took the time share how they could envision using the Mason Tap in their kitchens. All those creative solutions just prove that it’s a winner of a product!

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Preserves in Action: Jam-filled Turnover

unbaked jam tart

Oh friends. So far, this month has been a doozy. Travel and sickness have kept me away from this space and I’ve missed it (and all of you!). Instead of recounting every detail of woe, I’m just going to dive back in and get things started again.

We are entering the season of pies. In my family, pumpkin and apple are traditional for Thanksgiving (it’s just two weeks away!) and are always homemade. From the time I was old enough to help, I’d be right there during pie making time. Sure, I was interested in how the pies came together, but mostly, I wanted first dibs on the leftover crust.

Once the pies were in the oven, my mom would let me roll out all the scraps with my tiny rolling pin, fill them with jam, and bake them off in the toaster oven. I thought my little tarts were the best thing ever.

baked jam tart

Fast forward to today, and I still love to fill leftover scraps of pie crust with jam. Any time I find myself with a little extra dough, I rummage through the fridge, looking for an open jar that will serve as filling and make an impromptu hand pie/crostada/tart thingie. If can spare an egg, I’ll whisk up an egg wash and paint it over the top so that it bakes up glossy and burnished.

I’ve included my favorite pie crust recipe here, in case you don’t have one that you love. If you’re on pie duty this holiday season, might I suggest making a couple of batches for the freezer this weekend? It will ease the way when you’re making pies a day or two before Thanksgiving and will bring a jam-filled tart within easy reach.

How do you guys use up your extra pie crust?

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November Sponsors: Cuppow, Spice Ratchet, Fillmore Container, Mrs. Wages, Blue Kitchen Canning, MightyNest, Fermentools, and The Vintage Pearl

A well-stocked canning section just makes me happy.

It’s the beginning of November and that means that it’s time to dedicate a blog post to the sponsors who help make this site possible. Please do take a moment to read this post and if they offer something that clicks for you, I know they would so appreciate your business.

First up is jar accessory maker Cuppow! They are the creator of the original mason jar travel mug topper and the BNTO, a small plastic cup that transforms a canning jar into a snack or lunch box.

Next up is Spice Ratchet. They make the blossom trivet that I use as a canning rack, and just recently, they released a line of silicone Blossom uCaps for mason jars. They are available as a storage cap, a sipping cap, and a flower frog.

Our friends at Fillmore Container are back as well. They sell all manner of canning jars and lids, as well as a handful of books and jar accessories. They’re a family-owned business based in Lancaster, PA and they happily work with home canners and commercial producers alike. Make sure to check out all the fun programming they’ve lined up for their booth in the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January.

Mrs. Wages is also back for another month of canning goodness! I’ve written for them for the last three summers and this year, we’re teaming up for an official partnership. They make all sorts of pectins and canning mixes. Make sure to sign up for their newsletter for monthly installments of canning goodness.

Blue Kitchen Canning is up next. They’re an online shop that sells all manner of canning gear. If you’re in the market for a new canning pot or you want to invest in a pressure canner, make sure to check them out!

Our friends at MightyNest are back for November as well. They are an amazing resource for non-toxic, natural, and organic products for homes and families and recently added my beloved 4th Burner Pot to their stock.

New to the sponsorship list is Fermentools. They make a brilliant fermentation starter kit that involves a heavy-duty glass pickling weight, an airlock, a lid with a reusable rubber seal, and mineral-rich salt. I’ll have a giveaway from them later in the month, so stay tuned!

Last on the list is The Vintage Pearl. They make beautiful, hand stamped jewelry and are offering all Food in Jars readers $15 off a purchase of $75. Just use the code “FIJ15.”

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Giveaway: Mason Tap, Coffee Sock, and BNTO from Cuppow

cuppow pack

This week’s giveaway comes to us from our friends at Cuppow (they’re also regular Food in Jars sponsors). Recently, they’ve been focusing on expanding the mason jar-related products they carry and have picked up a couple really terrific items lately.

mason tap

The first piece of gear that they recently added to their online shop is the Mason Tap. Designed to fit snugly onto a regular mouth mason, the tap allows you to dispense from a jar easily and without making a mess. I’ve got one on a bottle of salad dressing and my sister hooked one up to her jar of chia seeds.

mason tap on jar

Another new product that they’re carrying is the CoffeeSock. These reusable coffee filters come in seven different sizes (including ones designed for cold brew, Hario, and Chemex) and are amazing for the amount of trash they can reduce. I realize that they aren’t specifically related to mason jars, but they fit in perfectly with the rest of the Cuppow products in that they’re all designed to help you reuse things and reduce waste.

cuppow gear

A couple weeks back, the guys at Cuppow sent me a big box of lids, BNTOs, Mason Taps, and CoffeeSocks. Today, I’m passing some of the mason jar abundance on to you guys. I’ve put together five sets of gear. Each of the five winners will receive a couple Cuppow lids, a BNTO, a Mason Tap, and a CoffeeSock. Colors and styles of CoffeeSocks will vary. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you’d use a Mason Tap. Salad dressing, maple syrup, chia seeds or something else? There is no wrong answer.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Sunday, November 9, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by Monday, November 10, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to all.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Cuppow is providing all the gear for the giveaway. I am keeping a couple of the Mason Taps because they are awesome. Cuppow is a Food in Jars sponsor, but they did not provide any additional compensation beyond their sponsorship purchase. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely mine. 

 

Links: Quick Pickles, Savory Pies, and Winners

Pies in jars!

Last Tuesday, I flew down to Austin to meet my brand new nephew and hang with my sister and her family for a week. I fully intended to keep posting here on the blog (I even had a schedule) but I quickly slipped into the rhythm of their life and lost my grip on my best laid plans.

Instead of writing, I’ve spent countless hours snuggling (and bouncing) a three week old, playing trains and reading books with the three year old, and making food (squash gratin! soup! pasta sauce! granola!). I taught my brother-in-law how to make jam and gave my sister a crash course in homemade sauerkraut. In my book, it has been time very well spent.

Now, links!

Quench cover

The winners in last week’s Quench giveaway are #70/Jen and #298/Kim Murphy. Thanks to all who took the time to enter!

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Canning 101: Is Condensation Inside Sealed Jars Safe?

plum jam

Like so many Canning 101 posts that have come before, this week’s post is prompted by a handful of emailed questions I’ve gotten recently. People have been writing to ask about the condensation droplets on the undersides of their mason jar lids. Is it safe, they wonder?

It is entirely normal to have a few drops of moisture on the underside of freshly processed mason jar lids. You experience condensation when warm, moist air is cooled. The cooling air doesn’t have the same capacity for water vapor as the warm air, so the water transforms back into its liquid state. It just makes sense to see some drops of liquid inside the jar.

It is not a sign that your jars are spoiling or that some water from the canning pot leaked into the finished product. Typically, the condensation will eventually reintegrate into the product. If it doesn’t, it’s still not a sign that it is spoiling. As long as the seal is still good and the product doesn’t look significantly altered, all is well.

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