Links: Chicago Events, Strawberry Jam, and Winners

steamy strawberry jam

Yesterday morning, I hopped on a plane. Destination? Chicago! I’m in this lovely city for the next week, offering canning demos and signing books all around the city and surrounding suburbs. I was at the Botanic Garden this morning for a 10:30 am demo (after I was done, I had the good fortune to walk around the garden with a friend in the glorious weather). The rest of the schedule for my Illinois stay can be found here. Now, some links!

Broth & Stock cover - Food in Jars

I’ve got two giveaways to close up tonight! The first is the All-Clad D5 giveaway that launched two weeks ago. The winner there is #77/Sherri M.

The other is the Broth & Stock giveaway that ran last week. The winner there is #119/Joyce Almeida.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another giveaway, so stay tuned!

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Honey Sweetened Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Five jars of honey sweetened strawberry vanilla jam.

If this post is accurate (which, to my best count, it is), there are at least 14 ways to preserve strawberries in the archives of this site. There are yet more versions in my books. And yet, despite all these approaches, I can’t resist adding this honey sweetened strawberry vanilla jam variant to the conversation.

Sliced strawberries in a large pot, with honey drizzling down.

A couple of pieces of advice before you take on this recipe. Number one, use really delicious honey. The flavor of the honey really comes through in this recipe, so you want to use one that tastes amazing (I used some of the honey that Camille from Old Blue Raw Honey gave me when I saw her back in March).

Six jars of honey sweetened strawberry vanilla jam.

My second piece of advice is to get yourself a small stash of grade B vanilla beans from a purveyor like Beanilla. They have all the flavor of the grade A versions, and are markedly cheaper. And if vanilla beans aren’t in the cards for you, a jar of vanilla bean paste is better than vanilla extract, because you’ll still get the speckle and flavor from the seeds.

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June Sponsors: Cuppow, EcoJarz, Fillmore Container, Mrs. Wages, Mason Jar Lifestyle

A squat Atlas pint sized mason jar holding toasted almonds, closed with a cork stopper

We’re at the start of a new month and so it’s time to thank the people who help support this blog through sponsorship! Please do show them your love if you have a chance.

Back in the top spot are our friends at 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. Also among their products is the CoffeeSock Cold Brew Kit, which is the perfect way to keep cool as the summer heats up!

After some time away, our friends over at EcoJarz are back on the sponsorship rolls. They make an array of products designed to fit on top of mason jars, including a stainless steel shaker ball, a pour-over coffee kit called Dose, a set of grater and slicer lids, and stainless steel storage lids. I also love pairing their stainless steel bands with the Pickle Pipe from Masontops, because they don’t rust or corrode.

Lancaster, PA-based and family-owned Fillmore Container are next! They sell all manner of canning jars, lids, and other preservation gear. Right now, they’re offering 10% off all preserving tools if you use the code CANMORE. Oh, and their blog is such a good resource, and just yesterday, they posted news about the changing policies around steam canners.

Our friends at Mrs. Wages are also back. They make pectin, vinegar, and more canning mixes than I can count. Their website is an incredible preserving resource and I can’t say enough good things about their salsa mixSign up for their newsletter for monthly installments of canning goodness and keep your eyes peeled, as I’ll have a giveaway from them next week!

Mason Jar Lifestyle is a one-stop shopping site for all the jar lovers out there and they’re celebrating their first year of being in business this week with a giant sale. Now through June 8th, use the code BIRTHDAY20 for 20% off nearly everything in the shop. Additionally, the first 25 orders to use the sale code will also get a free wide mouth silicone drinking lid. I recommend using the sale code to get some of the cork stoppers. I just love them!

If your company or small business is interested in becoming a sponsor, you can find more details here. I offer discounts for multiple month purchases and am always happy to work with your budget. Leave a comment on this post or drop me a note to learn more!

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Rhubarb Yogurt Loaf with Noosa Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt

The finished rhubarb yogurt loaf cake with a cup of Noosa yoghurt.

A couple of weeks ago, the folks from Noosa sent me a box full of their strawberry rhubarb yoghurt (they’re from Australia) as a way to celebrate National Strawberry Month. Now, I don’t really need an excuse to celebrate strawberries, as I typically spend most of the spring in thrall to them, but I was happy for the excuse to indulge even more.

The unbaked rhubarb yogurt loaf cake, with a cup of Noosa yoghurt alongside.

I’ve been eating my way through the containers of sweet, creamy yogurt, but thought it would be nice to do a little baking with it. A rhubarb yogurt loaf cake is what sprang to mind. Dorie Greenspan’s yogurt loaf is my starting place any time I want to make a quick snacking cake with yogurt (one version is here).

A close-up of the rhubarb yogurt loaf cake, to show the finished texture.

I reduced the sugar to compensate for the sweetened yogurt, used white whole wheat for a bit of extra healthfulness, arranged some frozen rhubarb on top, and then dusted the whole thing with a packet of turbinado sugar for a little crunch. The finished cake is tender, mildly sweet, and perfect for breakfast, afternoon snacking, or a late night nibble.

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Giveaway: Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen

Broth & Stock cover - Food in Jars

I learned to make broth from my mom during my childhood, though there was never a point at which she sat me down for a lesson. It was simply something she did and in my way, I watched and absorbed the information. When I had my own kitchen, homemade chicken stock was one of the very first things I cooked.

Broth & Stock intro - Food in Jars

These pots of homemade broth are something I mostly do by feel, and while I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon, there’s a new book on the topic that I am delighted to welcome into my kitchen. Called Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen and written by Jennifer McGruther, this book offers info on making your own broths and stocks as well as recipes designed to help you make the most of every drop.

Broth & Stock scrap broth - Food in Jars

The book opens with an introduction that walks you through a brief history of broth (mention of portable broth in this section inspired me to cook two quarts of my own stock down into a single, concentrated cup, so it served me before I got to the first recipe!). From there, we get chapters entitled The Broth Maker’s Kitchen, Master Broths and Stocks, Poultry, Meat, Fish, and Vegetables. It’s a simple and highly useful method of organization.

Broth & Stock pho - Food in Jars

One of the things that I appreciate about this book is that it’s useful whether you’ve got a whole day or less than an hour to make your stock. What’s more, the recipes for using up the batches of broths and stocks you’ve made are appealing and aren’t limited to just soups and stews (risotto! glazed bok choy! gratins!). It makes me hungry every time I pick it up.

Broth & Stock back - Food in Jars

Thanks to the kind folks at Ten Speed Press, I have a copy of this book to give away. Here’s how to enter the giveaway.

  1. Leave a comment on this post that has something to do with homemade broth, stock, or soup.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, June 4, 2016. A winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, June 6, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States and Canadian residents. Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Ten Speed Press sent me the copy you see pictured above for photography and review purposes, and is also providing the giveaway unit. Both are being provided at no cost to me. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

Food in Jars Favorites: Earlywood Tasting Spoons

earlywood tasting spoons - Food in Jars

I first discovered Earlywood and the gorgeous wooden tools that Brad Bernhart makes thanks to a post on the blog, Dig This Chick nearly five years ago. As a lover of wooden spoons and spatulas, I was powerless in the face of her recommendation and ordered myself a large saute tool and a scraper.

earlywood handles - Food in Jars

Since then, Earlywood tools have become something I buy myself when I reach a milestone or am in need of an inexpensive splurge. For instance, when I turned in the manuscript for my third book, I bought myself a ladle. I’m at the point where most of the wooden tools in my kitchen started their life as a hunk of wood in Brad’s shop.

earlywood spoon bowls - Food in Jars

A few months ago, Brad sent me his tasting spoon set (you can also buy them one at a time), curious if I thought they might have particular application in a canning kitchen. After living with them for a while, I’ve come to find that I reach for them all the time, though not necessarily for tasting.

I’ve found that they’re a fabulous tool for poking air bubbles out of jars (I use both the bowl of the spoon and the handle, depending on the location of the bubble) and for ensuring that jam flows evenly into jars with shoulders. They are beautiful, useful objects and really, you can’t ask for more than that!

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