Links: Pickled Fruit, Book Reviews, and a Winner

Making honey sweetened strawberry jam at Farmers@Firehouse.

This trip to Columbus and Pittsburgh has been totally wonderful. In Columbus, I stayed with Faith (and got to see her amazing kitchen), taught in a beautiful space, and discovered that Columbus might possibly have the best thrift stores in all of the US. I think I’m a little bit in love with Columbus.

Here in PGH, I’ve gotten to know the wonderful folks from the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange, peeked into the preserves room at Legume Bistro (they had jar after jar of smoked rhubarb ketchup!), and got some quality time in with one of my dearest friends. All in all, not a bad stretch of travel.

Now, links!

A few nice things about Preserving by the Pint!

Core Kitchen tools

The winner of the Core Kitchen giveaway is #416/e, who said, “I like my flat wooden spoon. Regular spoons don’t touch enough surface area in the pan, but I have one that is flat at the end and cut on an angle and it is perfect. I’m tempted to cut all my wooden spoons that way! But, I’d give the silicone variety a try.”

E, I think you’ll like these tools!

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Honey Sweetened Rhubarb Compote With Ginger

chopped rhubarb

I am currently in a motel room about an hour north of Pittsburgh, PA. My class in Columbus yesterday went gloriously well (so many thanks to The Seasoned Farmhouse for having me!) and my appearance on All Sides with Ann Fisher earlier today was so fun (you can watch it or download the podcast here).

The upcoming weekend in Pittsburgh got some really nice coverage in the Post-Gazette today. If you’re in the area, please do come out and say hi!

rhubarb compote

Happily, this blog post isn’t only about what’s happened over the last few days and what’s to come later this week. I also have a recipe for honey sweetened rhubarb compote with ginger. This particular preserve doesn’t have much of a story behind it. It was one of those ideas that sprang fully formed into my brain and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it until I made it.

I used two forms of ginger (freshly grated and juice. I used this bottled juice, but instructions on how to make your own can be found here) to make it kicky, and had I been able to find my jar of crystalized ginger, I would have included some chopped bits as well (how does one misplace a pint jar of ginger?), but the kitchen is a bit of a mess these days and I just couldn’t put my hands on it.

Still, even without the third form of ginger, it’s quite good. I had intended it to be something closer to a jam, but it refused to thicken beyond a very soft set, and so I’m calling it a compote in order to set consistency expectations. You can call it whatever you’d like.

Honey Sweetened Rhubarb Compote With Ginger

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds rhubarb stalks
  • 1 pound honey (or 1 1/3 cups, if you prefer volume measurements)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ginger juice

Instructions

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and four half pint jars.
  2. Trim rhubarb stalks and cut them into inch-sized segments. Place them in a pot and add the honey, grated ginger, and ginger juice.
  3. Let the rhubarb sit for 5-10 minutes, until the honey mingles with the ginger juice and starts to dissolve.
  4. Place the pot on the stove and bring the rhubarb to a boil. Cook at a fast bubble, stirring regularly, until the rhubarb breaks down and the whole mess has thickened to your liking.
  5. Remove jam/compote from heat and funnel it into the prepared jars, leaving about 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  6. When time is up, remove jars from canner and let them cool. Sealed jars are shelf stable for a good long while. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten within a couple of weeks.
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Giveaway: Core Kitchen Silicone Utensils and Funnels

Core Kitchen tools

It used to be that I was singularly devoted to my wooden spoons and spatulas for just about every kitchen task. I stirred soup with well-worn spoons and had a wooden spatula that was permanently dyed purple from all the batches of blueberry jam it had known.

But then, my allegiances started to shift. I don’t know exactly when it started, but somewhere along the way I became a silicone utensil girl. I love my fully encased silicone spatulas for stirring jam, and have a favorite silicone turner that I use nearly every day for scrambling eggs.

I love these tools because they are one-piece (instead of being silicone or rubber heads perched on wooden or plastic handles), won’t melt in a hot pan, and can go right into the dish washer.

Core Kitchen funnels

Recently, I got an email from Core Kitchen, asking me if I’d be interested in trying some of their tools. I took a quick look at their website, spotted their line of Essential Silicone Utensils and immediately said yes. They sent me a package that included four silicone tools and their set of funnels.

I’ve spent some time with these tools in my kitchen and I really enjoy using them. I particularly appreciate them when it comes to scraping out every last drop of jam from the pan. They are super flexible and bend nicely with the shape of the pan.

The funnels have also proven to be invaluable, particularly the small wide mouth funnel. When I’m filling jars with relatively small mouths (like the lug lidded jars I wrote about here), I put the silicone funnel in the jar first and then perch a regular wide mouth funnel in on top of it. That way, I get all the surface area of my standard funnel, but I’m able to fill the narrower jars without spilling.

The generous folks at Core Kitchen have offered to give away one Food in Jars reader the very same set of utensils and funnels that they sent me. The set includes an All Purpose Spatula, a Pointed Spatula, a Spreader, a Dual-Ended Spatula, and a 3-Piece Funnel Set.

Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite material is for kitchen utensils. Wood, silicone, plastic, metal, or something else?
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, June 15, 2014
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Core Kitchen gave me the tools you see pictured above and are also giving the same set of tools to one blog reader, all at no cost to me. However, all opinions expressed remain entirely my own. 

Book Tour: Seattle, Portland, Eugene, San Francisco, & LA!

at The Pantry

This is it. The last truly huge book tour push of this summer. I’m still going to be traveling a lot throughout July, August, and September, but this will be the final extended journey. If you’re in or near Seattle, Portland, Eugene, San Francisco, or LA, I hope to see you soon!

Friday, June 20 (Portland)
I’m teaching a demo-style class at The Cakery in Portland, as part of their Pages to Plate program. The event starts at 6:30 and runs until 8 pm. The cost is $25 and that includes a copy of Preserving by the Pint. You sign up by calling 503-546-3737 and there are more details here.

Saturday, June 21 (Portland)
You’ll find me at the Beaverton Farmers Market from 9 am to 1 pm. I’ll be demoing at 10 am and 12 noon and will have books on hand for sale and signature. Best of all is that I’m sharing the stage that day with Kate Payne and she’ll be demoing at 9 am and 11 am, so make sure to come in time to catch her as well!

Monday, June 23 (Eugene)
I’ll be at Down to Earth in Eugene (532 Olive Street) from 2-4 pm. There will be a demo. There will be books. There may even be cake, as this event is in conjunction with the store’s 37th anniversary celebration. It’s a free event and fun will be had by all.

Wednesday, June 25 (Seattle)
I’ll be at the Book Larder (4252 Fremont Ave. N) in Seattle from 6:30-8 pm demonstrating a recipe from the book and signing as many copies as I can. The event is free, but they ask that you RSVP using this form.

Thursday, June 26 (Seattle)
I’m teaching a four preserve class at The Pantry at Delancey. I believe that the class is currently sold out, but it never hurts to get on the waiting list.

Saturday, June 28 (San Francisco)
From 12 noon to 1 pm, I’ll be doing a book signing at the CUESA classroom at the Ferry Building (you’ll find me under the white tent at the front of the building). Books will be on hand for sale! More details can be found here.

Sunday, June 29 (San Francisco)
I’ll be at Omnivore Books from 3-4 pm, demoing a tiny batch of honey sweetened strawberry jam, and signing books. There will be samples and they will be delicious. Please come!

Tuesday, July 1 (Los Angeles)
My very last stop on this tour will be at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories in Santa Monica. I’ll be teaching a free demo-style class from 2-5 pm and will have books on hand to sign. Click here for more details and to sign up!

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Links: Rhubarb, Cordials, and Winners

Friday brunch and reading material. Asian Pickles by @bolognarose is officially out next week!

On Tuesday, I leave for a week on the road in Ohio and western Pennsylvania. I’ll be home for all of two days before heading out again for two weeks on the west coast. I’ve been obsessively making lists of things I need to take and details still needing to be tended (must arrange for someplace to stay in San Francisco!).

Of course, with all these tasks and to-dos swimming around, the thing that is most concerning me is that I’m probably going to miss Philadelphia’s sour cherry season (and possibly, apricots as well). I will simply remain hopeful that I’ll be able to get my hands on my two favorite stonefruits when I get back. Now, links!

pickling crock square

I actually have couple giveaway updates! The first is that the winner of the MightyNest plastic-free produce packaging giveaway from two weeks ago is Emily Sausville!

The winner of the Pacific Merchants $100 gift card giveaway is Jodi M.! And if you didn’t win, don’t forget about the discount code! It’s good through June 16. Just type in “foodinjars15″ at check out for 15% off your order.

There will be more giveaway goodness soon, so stay tuned!

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Book Tour: Columbus, OH and Pittsburgh, PA

road trip photo

I’ve got a couple big book tour trips coming up in the couple weeks. I’ll tell you more about my West Coast plans on Monday, but today, I want to focus on my stops in Columbus, OH, and Pittsburgh, PA (because they are rapidly approaching)!

Wednesday, June 11
I’ll be at The Seasoned Farmhouse in Columbus, OH, teaching a mid-day class that includes lunch. I’ll be demonstrating four recipes from Preserving by the Pint and sharing some tips on how to incorporate preserves into your everyday meal prep. The class starts at 11:30 am, costs $75 per person, and the fee includes a copy of PbtP (I’ll also have a few copies of Food in Jars on hand, in case someone wants to pick one up). As of this writing, there are still seven open spots in this class. Click here to register.

If you can’t make this class but want to get a signed copy of the book, please do leave me a comment. I will be in town until Thursday afternoon and would be happy to make arrangements.

Saturday, June 14
I’m starting my weekend in Pittsburgh with a small batch canning demo and book signing at Farmers @ Firehouse. I’ll be there starting at 9 am and should be around until 1 pm. Later that day, I’ll be at the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange’s Rhubarb Social from 7-10 pm at Marty’s MarketRead more about the event here and get your tickets right here.

Sunday, June 15
Sunday afternoon, I’m teaching a canning class at Legume Bistro at 214 N. Craig Street from 1-3 pm. We’ll make pickles, I’ll demo a tiny batch of jam, and a good time will be had by all. The class fee is $35. Get your ticket here.

Monday, June 16
I’ll be at the East Liberty Farmers Market from 3:30 to 5 pm, answering canning questions and selling/signing cookbooks.

Then, from 6-8 pm, I’ll be at the Squirrel Hill branch of the Carnegie Library to give a talk and sign books (we’ll also have copies on hand for sale). To register for this event, visit this site and fill out the form.

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