Links: Kimchi, Cherries, and Winners

carrots

The last week has been an intensely frenzied one. Lots of classes, lots too many deadlines, and an inability to stop buying fruit has left me dashing from one project to the next. Still, I managed to collect a handful of links to share with you.

Fern & Fisk pickle towel

 

tea towel winners Now, on to the Fisk & Fern tea towel winners. I was so pleased that so many people entered this one and shared their feelings about the recent rise in the popularity of canning. Our three winners are:

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Strawberry Picking at Rowand Farms

In an effort to switch things up a little, today I have a post of pictures and no (or at least, not very many) words. These are from a recent trip to pick strawberries at Rowand’s Farm in Glassboro, NJ. The strawberries and sweet cherries are now done for the season, but if you’re in the area, I hear they’ll have sour cherries through the weekend.

Rowand Farm Market
strawberries
upick boxes
strawberry boxes
rows of strawberries
strawberry fields
hidden strawberries
berries at the farm market
nine pounds of strawberries

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Small Batch Strawberry Fig Jam

figs and strawberries

A couple weeks back, I went to a dinner hosted by California Figs. At the end of the dinner, when I was absolutely full to the bursting point, the nice folks who had organized the dinner handed me a little colander of fresh figs to take home. Though I couldn’t quite imagine ever eating again, I said yes to the figs and walked home with them perched carefully in my purse.

black figs

It was a busy weekend and so the figs languished in the fridge for two whole days. It wasn’t until Sunday night (the dinner had been on Thursday) that I was able to take stock and determine what was on the verge of going bad.

a scant quart of strawberries

There was a bundle of basil that became walnut pesto. A bundle of kale was chopped and toasted into chips. At last, I was down to figs and a scant quart of rapidly softening strawberries from our Saturday CSA pick-up.

chopped fruit

Though I’d never had strawberry fig jam, I was fairly certain it could be done (and a quick internet search showed that I was not nearly the first to combine these two). And so I chopped the fruit, weighed it and added half as much sugar. It all went into a jar and then into the fridge for an overnight rest.

cooking

Two days later, I circled back around to the jar. What I found was glorious. The strawberries and figs had mellowed and married. I scraped the contents of the jar into a skillet, added a little lemon juice and cooked it, stirring all the while, until I could draw a path through the jam with my spatula.

finished strawberry fig jam

I ended up with just enough to fill three half pint jars, which I processed in my 4th burner pot. I sent one jar to my dad for Father’s Day, gave another to a friend as a thank you and am saving the final jar for late fall, when both fresh strawberries and figs are just a memory.

a half pint of strawberry fig jam

A note: Do remember that figs are among that group of fruits that are a bit low on acid for safe boiling water bath preserving. Any time you work with them, it’s important to either combine them with higher acid fruits or to add some lemon juice in order to boost the acid levels. As you can see, I’ve done both here to ensure a perfectly safe product.

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Giveaway: Fisk & Fern Pickle Tea Towel

Fern & Fisk pickle towel

When I was a kid, one of my big life disappointments was that it was nearly impossible to get a keychain or pencil with my name on it without placing a special order (because when you’re six, nothing is more important than having something with your name on it).

When I hit my teens, suddenly my name went through a round of explosive popularity growth and I started seeing it everywhere. By then, I wasn’t nearly as excited about a miniature plastic license plate that said Marisa.

Fern & Fisk pickle towel

I went through something similar when I first started canning. Back in those early days, mason jars weren’t all the rage that they currently are and so there wasn’t much in the way of towels, prints, or tee-shirts featuring jams, pickles and other preserves.

Then suddenly, canning was hot and a world of kitchen linens, jar chandeliers, decorative mason mugs and jar-related art appeared out of the ether. I was delighted by it and am forever keeping my eyes open for particularly good representations of this canning art.

Fern & Fisk pickle towel

To my mind, the pickle tea towel from Fisk & Fern is most decidedly in the good canning art category. All of Fisk & Fern’s towels, cards, and aprons are designed, drawn, and handprinted by owner Laura Fisk in her Austin, Texas studio.

Thanks to Laura, I have three of these charming pickle towels to give away today to three lucky winners. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share a thought about the recent popularity of canning.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Friday, June 21, 2013. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday.
  3. Giveaway open to everyone.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.
Disclosure: Fern & Fisk provided me with four pickle tea towels. One for photography purposes and three to give away. No money changed hands and my opinions remain forever my own. 

Upcoming Classes: Brooklyn! Phoenixville! Portland!

class image revised

Canning season is here in full swing, which means now is the time to sharpen your canning skills with a class. Here’s where I’ll be over the course of the next six weeks.

  • June 18 – Strawberry Jam at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Brooklyn, New York. The class runs from 6:30 – 8:30 and features two ways to make strawberry jam. For this class, you can get 15% off the class price of $65 by using the code “JamTime” when you sign up. Sign up here!
  • June 19 -  Pickles Two Ways at Cooking Spotlight in Phoenixville, PA. The class is from 6:30 – 9 pm and costs $59. Registration page is here.
  • June 22 - A pickling class at Greensgrow. We’ll make quick pickled cucumbers, as well as a batch designed and processed for shelf stability. Class is from 12 – 2 pm and costs $35. Registration page is here.
  • June 24 - A stonefruit jam class featuring Pomona’s Pectin at the Plymouth Meeting Whole Foods Market. Class is from 6:30 – 8: 30 pm and costs $35. Click here to sign up!
  • July 6 – Apricot Jam at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Brooklyn, New York. The class runs from 2 – 4 pm and features two ways to make apricot jam. The class costs $65 and you can sign up here
  • July 11 - Make two kinds of jam (peach and blueberry) at Cooking Spotlight in Phoenixville, PA. This class is from 6:30 – 9 pm and  costs $59. Click here to sign up.
  • July 13 – Plum-Apricot Preserves! This class will focus on boiling water bath canning and combining different kinds of fruits for successful pectin-free jam making. This class is from 11 am – 1 pm at Indy Hall in Old City, Philadelphia. Leave a comment to sign up.
  • July 6 - Apricot Jam at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Brooklyn, New York. The class runs from 2 – 4 pm and features two ways to make apricot jam. The class costs $65 and you can sign up here.
  • July 20 – Intro to low sugar jam making and boiling water bath canning at Longview Farm Market in Collegeville, PA. The class runs from 11 am – 1 pm and costs $35 to attend. Click here to sign up.
  • July 23 – Low sugar plum preserves in PORTLAND, OREGON! Class runs from 7 – 9 pm and will be held at the Subud Center in NE Portland. Class costs $40. Click here to sign up!
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Links: Granola, Pantry Inventories, and Winners

hulling strawberries

This was the first weekend in the last month where I wasn’t traveling and didn’t have to attend a wedding. I taught a canning class on Saturday morning and then went cherry picking and picnicking with friends. Scott and I slept incredibly late on Sunday morning, ate a lazy homemade brunch and went to Costco. A good combination of productive and slothfulness, if you ask me. Now, to the links!

Here are a few things that I’ve written lately for other people.

boiled dinner

Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor

food processor winners Last week was a very big week in Food in Jars giveaway land. Thanks to the incredible generosity of the folks at Hamilton Beach, I had eight of these Stack & Snap 10 Cup Food Processors to give away. Here are the winners!

Congratulations to everyone who won! I’ll be in touch shortly to get your contact information.

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