Upcoming Events: Greensgrow! Local Mouthful Potluck!

class image revised

Friends! My west coast book tour is coming very, very soon! However, before I fly off California, Oregon, and Washington, I want to make sure you guys knew about a couple Philly area events I have coming up this week.

First off is an Introduction to Natural Sweeteners class at Greensgrow Farms this Saturday, March 19 from 12 noon to 2 pm. I’ll show you the basics of how to swap these sweeteners into your favorite recipes, teach you how to use Pomona’s Pectin to get a good set, and make sure that you go home feeling comfortable with the canning process from beginning to end. We’ll make honey sweetened pear jam and blueberry jam sweetened with fruit juice.

Next up is the first ever Local Mouthful Cookbook Club potluck. Local Mouthful is a weekly podcast I’ve been making since last summer with fellow food writer Joy Manning. In January, we kicked off a cookbook club as part of the podcast, always with the goal to turn it into a mechanism to get together with fellow food lovers in the real world.

This Sunday, March 20 is the first of those real life gatherings. We’ll be holding a potluck at CultureWorks Philadelphia at 5 pm. All we ask is that you sign up in advance so that we know that you’re coming and that you bring a dish from one of the books we’ve focused on this year so far – Lucky Peach’s 101 Easy Asian Recipes, The New Persian Kitchen, or The Indian Family Kitchen.

Click here for my complete calendar of events

Comments { 0 }

Links: Canning Myths, Co-ops, and a Winner

January 26

Slowly but surely, we’re making our way back to normal again. My mother-in-law’s memorial is now behind us. The apartment is mostly back together after hosting the family for sandwiches, cookies, and comforting beverages. And we’ve made headway in clearing out her apartment.

It’s been an exceptionally bittersweet time, because as much as my heart is heavy, there’s also been a goodly amount of joy. Amazon started shipping Naturally Sweet Food in Jars last week and I’ve been heard from so many of you that you have it in your hands, that you’re flagging recipes, and that you’re even already cooking from it. It’s been a real bright spot in a bleak time.

Now, some links.

Beyond Canning Cover - Food in Jars

The winner of the Beyond Canning giveaway is #55/WendP. Congratulations!

Comments { 1 }

Other People’s Preserves: Genki-Su Drinking Vinegar

Genki-Su Drinking Vinegar - Food in Jars

Other People’s Preserve is my opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the very delicious jams, pickles, and preserved foods being made by some of the many dedicated professionals out there. If you see one of these products out in the wild, consider picking up a jar, tub, or bottle!

I first became aware of drinking vinegars (also known as shrubs) about five years ago, and started making my own soon afterwards (here’s the very first recipe I posted!). These days, not a week goes by when I make myself a concoction of sparkling water and a splash of sweet and tangy drinking vinegar.

Spoonful of Genki-Su - Food in Jars

When I first started making my own drinking vinegars, there were hardly any commercial versions available, but happily a number of small batch makers and producers have jumped into the fray in the last few years. One that I’ve been enjoying is Genki-Su. Made by hand in Portland, OR and using their old Japanese family recipes, these shrubs are brightly flavored and highly concentrated.

Drinking Vinegar and Seltzer - Food in Jars

Their product line currently consists of five flavors – Yuzu-Citron, Nashi (Asian Pear), Ginger-Honey, Shiso, and Cranberry. Of those five, I tried the Ginger-Honey and the Shiso. The first was earthy, with gentle heat coming from the ginger. The shiso variety is herbaceous and wonderfully green.

As we head into warmer days, there’s nothing like a little splash of drinking vinegar in a tall glass of fizzy water (gin or vodka are also nice additions!).

Disclosure: The folks at Genki-Su sent the two bottles pictured here for review purposes. No additional compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Comments { 1 }

Links: Jam Bars, Kinda Bars, and Winners

honey sweetened lemon curd

Friends, things are quite sad over here at Food in Jars HQ. My mother-in-law died on Sunday morning. She had spent the last nine months struggling with metastatic colorectal cancer and had gone into hospice just a week and a half ago. We knew the end was near, but we didn’t expect it to arrive quite so quickly. Right now, we’re wading through the details and arrangements, trying to keep our heads above the fog of grief.

I have a couple posts lined up for the next few days, but on the whole, posting it going to be a little bit slow around these parts during the later part of this week. Thank you for your compassion and understanding.

Now, some links.

New Cuppow Colors - Food in Jars

Here are the winners in last week’s Cuppow/BNTO giveaway.

I will email all the winners in the next couple days. And don’t forget to enter the Beyond Canning giveaway I’m running this week. It’s such a fantastic book!

Comments { 41 }

Cookbooks: Beyond Canning by Autumn Giles

Beyond Canning Cover - Food in Jars

Autumn Giles and I first met nearly six years ago. It was at a canning party in Kate Payne’s Brooklyn apartment on a hot, August morning, where we chopped, trimmed, pitted, and canned our way through nearly 100 pounds of produce.

She was a beginning canner in those days, but as you can see from her new book, Beyond Canning: New Techniques, Ingredients, and Flavors to Preserve, Pickle, and Ferment Like Never Before, she has become an expert preserver in the intervening years!

Beyond Canning Back - Food in Jars

The recipes in this book are divided up into three sections. You’ll find the Sweet Preserves first. That chapter includes appealing things like Tomato-Vanilla Jam, Hibiscus-Lime Jelly, Banana-Chocolate Butter, and Fig Jam with Toasted Fennel Seeds. I particularly like how Autumn makes good use of chiles and spices to add interest and flavor to familiar fruits.

Beyond Canning Jar Diagram - Food in Jars

Next comes the Pickles. This section positively vibrates with creativity and I want to make every single thing in it. Recipes that are particular stand-outs in my mind are the Broiled Pickled Onions (I love the idea of a little char in a pickle), the Maple Plum Mostarda (it’s made with mustard seeds rather than the oil, so that the ingredients are accessible for all makers), and the Green Chile Jam (I want to dollop some on eggs immediately).

Beyond Canning Smooth Cherry Limeade Jam - Food in Jars

The third section digs into various acts of Fermentation. You’ll find Dilly Beans (a long-time favorite), White Kimchi, Gochugaru Preserved Lemons, Chow-Chow Kraut, and so much more. If you’ve not yet dipped a toe into the fermentation pool, I promise, Autumn’s clear and confident instructions will help you get started without fear.

Beyond Canning Apple Chutney - Food in Jars

Beyond Canning has been out for a few weeks now, but today marks the start of the its online book tour and I am delighted to be kicking things off! If you like what you see here, make sure to check out the rest of the sites who will be writing about this lovely book in the coming days.

3/7: Food in Jars
3/8: Punk Domestics
3/9: CakeWalk
3/10: Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking
3/11: Snowflake Kitchen
3/14: Good. Food. Stories.
3/15: Heartbeet Kitchen
3/16: Brooklyn Supper
3/17: The Briny
3/18: The Preserved Life
3/21: Hitchhiking to Heaven
3/22: Hola Jalapeno
3/23: Cook Like a Champion
3/24:  Local Kitchen

Beyond Canning Lemony Sprouts KrautChi - Food in Jars

I have one copy of this fabulous book to give away this week. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share something that’s been sparking your culinary creativity in recent days.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, March 12, 2016. A winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, March 13, 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.

Beyond Canning Rose Wine Jelly - Food in Jars

I have one more treat from this book for you. Autumn and her publisher have given me permission to reprint the Rose Wine Jelly recipe. I’ll confess, I’ve not had the chance to make it yet, but I LOVE the idea of it and plan on turning to her formula the next time I have a bit of wine leftover from the bottle. That recipe is after the jump, so make sure to click through and give it a read!

Continue Reading →

All-Clad NS1 Nonstick Induction Stock Pot + Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

Finished Tomato Soup - Food in Jars

Back in the Fall, I did a little project with the folks at All-Clad, in which they sent me the NS1 Chef’s Pan from their their new line of NS1 Nonstick Induction cookware and I used it to make a batch of really delicious (and totally vegan, to boot) batch of Kabocha Squash, Coconut, and Wild Rice Stew.

It was a fun project, because it made think outside of my normal patterns, and I got to play with a really fabulous pan (that Chef’s Pan has become my go-to for batches of homemade fried rice. It’s a dream). So, when they got in touch again back in early February and asked if I might want to do it again, this time with their NS1 Stock Pot, I said sure.

All-Clad Stock Pot top - Food in Jars

Just to refresh our memories, this line of All-Clad is made from anodized aluminum, has a sturdy three-layer PFOA-free nonstick interior, and is induction-compatible thanks to steel base that also helps prevent warping. The stock pot has relatively narrow base and tall sides, which makes it ideal for making stock, soup, simmering beans, or even poaching whole chickens (something people just don’t do enough).

You could even drop a blossom trivet in the bottom and use it as a medium-sized canning pot. Currently, the NS1 Nonstick Induction line is available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma and this stock pot sells for $179.95.

All-Clad Stock Pot - Food in Jars

I’ve had this pot in my kitchen for about three weeks now and have come to appreciate its form and function a great deal. Every other stock pot I own holds 12 quarts or more, which means that when I make stock, I can’t help but make a lot (I know I could fill up the pot less, but that just never seems to happen).

tomatoes for roasting - Food in Jars

Having a sturdy stock pot that holds a third less that my other pots means that I end up making a more reasonable volume of stock, which is nice. The high sides do an excellent job of preventing excessive evaporation. And the durable non-stick surface makes for really easy clean-up. This particular pot has become a piece of cookware that I didn’t know I needed, but am now very grateful to have!

Roasted Tomatoes - Food in Jars

In choosing a recipe to devise in this pot, I turned to my pantry. There was a moment when I considered making a big batch of brothy white beans, flavored with rosemary and parmesan rind. Then I considered doing a pasta and potato concoction, a la Rachel Roddy. Finally, I settled on a big pot of roasted tomato and basil soup.

Cooking Tomato Soup - Food in Jars

I’ve been making variations on this soup for years now, always using Ina Garten’s recipe as a starting place. However, it’s become a particular favorite in recent years because it makes good use of two of my favorite tomato preserves — these slow roasted tomatoes and my whole peeled canned tomatoes.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup - Food in Jars

I know that it’s traditional to serve tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, but I tend to prefer an open-face sandwich and so opt for cheesy toast instead. However you serve it, it’s delicious!

Disclosure: All-Clad sent me the pan you see pictured above at no cost to me. No additional compensation was provided.

For more about these fabulous pans, follow All-Clad and Williams-Sonoma on social media!
All-Clad: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
Williams-Sonoma: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Continue Reading →

Comments { 30 }