Close Up on the New Green Heritage Jars

Green Ball Jars

Friends! I’ve finally gotten my hands on some of the new green heritage pint jars ! I’ve been on the receiving end of a goodly number of jars over the years, but I must confess, I was more than a little excited to unwrap these bad boys. They are just so pretty!

Green Ball Jars

They come in case of six jars and are packaged in the same way that the blue jars were shipped last year. The sturdy box is white and is printed in matching black and green and the jars come shrink-wrapped into it.

Green Ball Jars

The fronts have the traditional Ball imprint, along with the word Perfection (the blue jars say Perfect Mason). They come packaged with silver bands and lids, but if you’re looking for a more perfect color match, you can also get some of Ball’s new green metallic lids and rings.

Green Ball Jars

Don’t forget that these green jars are being made in both regular mouth pints and wide mouth quarts. I’ve not yet seen the quart jars in person, but I’m hoping to get my hands on some soon.

Have any of you seen these jars in person yet? What do you think?

Disclosure: The nice folks from Ball’s PR company sent me this box of green jars for photography and review purposes. 

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Links: Meyer Lemons, Pour Spouts, and Winners

Meyer lemons and kaffir lines from the Lemon Ladies! Truly the best citrus source around.

My yearly order of Meyer lemons arrived from the Lemon Ladies on Saturday and I can’t wait to dig in and preserve them in a bunch of different ways (this post details some of my favorite ways to transform them). I also have some good pieces coming up this week, including a tutorial on how to pressure can dried beans, a plan for all those questions you guys asked me in this post, a new Preserves in Action, and a peek inside one of my current favorite cookbooks. Now, links!

green heritage jars

Now it’s time to announce the winners of the new Ball Heritage Green Jars. This giveaway set an entry record for this site and I’m so happy to be able to share these jars with ten winners. And now, here they are!

If you didn’t win, fret not. I’ll have another fun giveaway on Wednesday.

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Photos from the Food in Jars Flickr Pool

Each weekend, I dig through the Food in Jars Flickr pool and feature some of your photographs here in this space. If you’d like to see your hard work on the blog, please add your images to the group! And just so you know, Instagram and camera phone images are more than welcome (and it’s easy to set up your Instagram photos to feed to a Flickr account). Here are this week’s selections.

Pinto beans

We start this photo round-up with Angela’s home-canned beans. I have a post about just this technique scheduled for later this week, so if you’re intrigued by the idea of making your own canned beans from dried, stay tuned!

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Some very pretty homemade applesauce, along with a serving suggestion (I do love the combination of oatmeal and applesauce!). This one comes to us from Meryl of My Bit of Earth.

Blend some more

Homemade mustard getting blended up (right in the jar!) from Christina of My Homespun Home. If you’ve not made your own mustard yet, I implore you to start. It’s so easy and transformative!

crabapple jelly

This image is from  Rebecca at Cakewalk and is of a batch of crabapple jelly that she made back in the the last summer. If you ask me, this is the sort of preserve that is most sustaining during the cold months – beautiful and delicious!

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Check out that stack of dilly beans from Lindsay at The Wooden Nest! This by far my favorite pickle on earth and I love seeing them in such quantity.

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The picture doesn’t say what exactly is in this jar, but I have a feeling that’s a batch of pear vanilla jam, which is one of my very favorite preserves! From Ilene of the Urban Canning Company.

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February Sponsors: Cuppow, Fillmore Container, Tradestone Confections, Preserving Now, and The Clay Studio

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The’s the start of a brand new month (is it just me, or did January positively fly by?) and that means it’s time to mention and thank the current Food in Jars sponsors. These are the companies make it possible for me to spend time testing recipes, writing tutorials, and answering canning questions and I am grateful for their support.

In the top spot is jar accessory maker Cuppow! They are the creator of the original mason jar travel mug topper and, more recently, of the BNTO, a cup that fits into a wide mouth mason jar and transforms it into a lunch box. If your sweetie is a jar lover, make sure to visit their shop for Valentine’s Day inspiration.

Next up is our friends at Fillmore Container. 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. If you’re looking for some jar-based Valentine’s Day ideas, they’ve got ‘em!

New to the site is Tradestone Confections. They make artisan chocolates in downtown Conshohocken, Pennsylvania (not too far at all from Food in Jars HQ!). Their line of handmade barks, truffles, gift assortments, bars, and caramels are available in their storefront or can be ordered online. Special for Valentine’s Day is their Love Collection (pictured above) which will make make your honey’s holiday sweet indeed.

I’m also happy to welcome Preserving Now back! Operated by Lyn Deardorff, Preserving Now is both a website and school dedicated to helping people expand their canning and preserving skills. If you’re in the Atlanta area, make sure to check out her schedule of upcoming classes and events!

The Clay Studio is back with us again! This Philadelphia-based non-profit was founded in 1974 and is dedicated to affirming the importance of the ceramic arts. They work to make clay an accessible medium to a broad range of people. I regularly drool over the many gorgeous pieces in their shop.

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Preserves in Action: Quick Blender Salsa

blender salsa above

Every summer, I make at least a dozen jars of salsa (my very favorite is the roasted corn salsa which is in my first book). As much as I try to ration those jars out across the year, they always run out too darned fast. As things stand now, I have two lone jars left that I’m saving for special snacking occasions.

However, when it comes to salsa, not all is lost when the homemade stash runs out. I still have at least 15 quarts of whole peeled tomatoes left from last summer’s canning sessions and so have been making batch after batch of blender salsa to satisfy my dipping needs.

chips and salsa side

I published my favorite recipe for blender salsa in a Super Bowl snacks piece on Table Matters about this time last year and it remains my go-to. The only change I make is that I drain a quart jar of whole peeled tomatoes (because I pack mine in water) and use them in place of the 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes. You can use either, depending on what you’ve got in your pantry.

I pour it on scrambled eggs, I use it as a braising medium for chicken thighs, and I scoop it into my mouth with tortilla chips (preferably the freshly fried chips from Tortilleria San Roman in South Philadelphia). And it’s a very good way to press your home canned tomatoes into action.

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Apple Horseradish Conserve

apple horseradish conserve jar

It was at least two years ago that I started imagining an apple jam with a bit of sinus-clearing horseradish for punch. I made note of it on my running list of recipe ideas and promptly moved on to other things. Each time I returned to that list for inspiration or to add a new idea, I’d spot it and promise myself that I’d try it soon. But it just didn’t happen.

apple sauce for conserve

Finally, back in December I got myself a knob of fresh horseradish and set out to see what an apple horseradish jam might taste like. Of course, as these things so often work out, I didn’t actually end up making jam. Instead, I made a conserve (anytime you add dried fruit or nuts to jam, it becomes a conserve).

You see, there was a bag of golden raisins on the counter as I was cooking, and I ended up adding a couple palmfuls for sweetness and texture. After a few tastes, I determined that it needed some vinegar for balance, a scattering of mustard seeds to compliment the horseradish, and just a little bit of cayenne fire.

grated horseradish overhead

The resulting preserve lands somewhere in between a jam and a chutney. You get the apple and raisin flavors in the beginning, but the bite will always finish with the horseradish and heat asserting themselves. I’m not sure that I’ve given up on the idea of a straight apple horseradish jam (or jelly!), but I’m really pleased with how this conserve turned out. It’s particularly good with cheese or eaten alongside bites of crisp roast potato.

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A word about safety and acid levels. Horseradish is a lower acid food. Apples are quite high in acid. This preserve is made almost entirely of apples, with vinegar and lemon juice adding to the acid load. As it’s written, it is quite safe. However, please resist the temptation to increase the amount of horseradish, as that could lead to an unsafe preserve.

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