Honey Sweetened Raspberry Preserves

glowing berries

When I was in Portland a few weeks back, I spent a morning at the Beaverton Farmers Market with Kate Payne. We did side-by-side demos, signed books, and greeted all the nice folks who stopped by to see what we were doing with carrots (her) and strawberries (me).

By the time we finished, the market was starting to close down for the day. Kate dashed off to buy some Hood strawberries for her next demo, while I went off in search of one of the half flats of raspberries I’d seen walking by our table.

raspberry pulp

After just a little bit of wandering, I found the raspberries I was looking for. They’d been out in the heat for hours so were starting to look a tiny bit soft. The woman working the stand, pulled six of the best looking pints that she could find for me and fitted them snugly into the cardboard half flat. Then, she took two more pints and scattered them over top. She gave me a wink and said, “End of the day special.”

finished jam

I ate at least a pint on the drive home (all of 25 minutes) and my parents helped polish off a second pint within the afternoon. The rest were destined for preserving. My mom and I gently tumbled each pint out onto a dinner plate and sorted through, separating out any berries that seemed to have started to go truly bad from the ones that could go into the cooking pot (we also pulled a few of the fresher looking ones to save for breakfast the next day).

processing jam

We collected the berries in a roomy 4-cup measuring cup, occasionally mashing the fruit down with a fork in order to make room for more. When we were finished, we’d filled the measuring cup to the brim and still had a scant pint that were sturdy enough to last the night in the fridge.

finished raspberry jam

I combined the berries with two cups of local honey and a goodly amount of lemon zest and juice in my mom’s widest pan and brought it all to an active boil. Stirring regularly, it took about half an hour to cook down and thicken (had I had some Pomona’s Pectin on hand, I may have spiked it with a bit to encourage a thicker set in less time).

When it was done, I had three half pints and one full pint of lovely, bright, honey sweetened raspberry preserves (I’m not calling it jam, because it ended up with a fairly soft set and I want to establish the correct expectations). Hooray for Oregon berries!

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Thursday Night at the Free Library of Philadelphia

At the main branch of The Free Library.

Dear Philly-based readers! I am going to be doing a presentation (in conversation with my wonderful editor Kristen Green Wiewora) at the Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia on Thursday night (that may well be tonight when you read this post). The talk starts at 7:30 pm and should be quite fun.

I’m really excited about this particular event, as all the truly wonderful authors who come through Philadelphia gives talks and readings from the exact same stage. I am delighted and humbled that the library event planners have seen fit to invite me to be part of their author series and I do hope some of you will come!

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Giveaway: Handmade Gatherings by Ashley English

handmade gatherings cover

I have long been of the believe that when it comes to entertaining, people break down into just two groups. There are the dinner party people and potluck people. The dinner party folk like to have a certain amount of control over the menu and flow of the evening, whereas potluck people are fully content to put out a stack of plates and just see what happens.

handmade gatherings interior

However, with her new book, Handmade Gatherings, Ashley English offers up a middle way. With 16 seasonal gatherings, including recipes and crafts, these festive events give the dinner party people some structure while encouraging them to involve their guests in the process. For the potluck people among us, the book serves as encouragement to up the game ever so slightly.

handmade gatherings cake walk

Ashley opens the book with a little peek into her own entertaining history and then offers some insight about how to communicate with your guests, how to pick a location, and how to plan so that no one goes hungry (always have a back-up plan!). She also offers useful instruction on how to be a good guest, including a most helpful reminder to bring a serving utensil with your dish.

handmade gatherings canning

Because the parties are seasonally grounded, you’ll find things like egg-centric events, canning afternoons, ice cream socials, and even cookie swaps. The recipes, activities, and crafts are delicious, engaging, and fun (and manage never to cross the line into overly cutesy territory).

handmade gatherings morocco

What I find so nice about this book is that it is written so that every reader can take what they need from it. Some folks will recreate Ashley’s parties down to the very last dish, while others will use it for the inspiration it has to offer. I do like an entertaining book that adapts to the reader.

handmade gatherings spine

Thanks to Ashley and the team at Roost Books, I have one copy of Handmade Gatherings to give away. Here’s how to enter!

  • Leave a comment on this post and share a tale of a favorite party or potluck
  • Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, July 12, 2014. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, July 13, 2014
  • Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  • One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review and photography purposes. All opinions remain entirely my own. 

Upcoming Events: Philly! Ambler! Bryn Mawr! Chestnut Hill!

I just signed all the copies of my book at  the Powell's on Hawthorne! Go get 'em!

I got back to Philadelphia last Thursday and have since been trying to catch up with life. There has been a goodly amount of unpacking, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and catching up with friends, family, and my endlessly patient husband. I get to stick around Philadelphia for the next ten days or so and will be offering classes, demos, and book signings at a variety of spots around the region. Come out and tell your friends!

July 10
My editor Kristen Wiewora and I will be having a conversation about Preserving by the Pint at the Central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia at 7:30 pm. The event is free and will be followed by a book signing. More details here.

July 12
In the morning, I’ll be at the Ambler Farmers Market from 9 am to 1 pm with books for sale and signature. I’ll also be demoing batches of honey sweetened stone fruit jam at 9:30 and 11:30 am.

From 2-4 pm, I’ll be at Main Point Books in Bryn Mawr with samples of jam and a pen, ready to sign copies of Preserving by the Pint.

July 13
You’ll find me at the Saucon Valley Farmers Market in Hellertown, PA from 10 am to 12 noon, doing a jam demo and selling/signing books.

July 14
I’ll teaching a demonstration class at the Plymouth Meeting Whole Foods Market from 6-8 pm. Come check out all my small batch tricks and have a taste of jam. Sign up by emailing Genevieve.Greco@wholefoods.com or calling 610-832-0010.

July 15
I’m teaming up with Weaver’s Way Co-op for another preserving class at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse. The class is from 7-9 pm. Click here to sign up.

 July 16
I’ll be at the Devon Whole Foods Market from 2-5 pm, making a pair of recipes from Preserving by the Pint and signing books.

For the rest of my summer signings, classes, and demos, make sure to check out my events page.

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July Sponsors: Cuppow, Fillmore Container, MightyNest, Mrs. Wages, & Preserving Now

All set up to demo a small batch of plum jam at the phoenixville farmers market.

It’s the beginning of a new month and so it’s time to shine the spotlight on the companies and organizations that help make it possible for me to do what I do here on this site.

First up 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. They also have a small stash of signed copies of Preserving by the Pint.

Next 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. Visit their blog for lots of good canning tricks and tips.

Our friends at MightyNest are back for July as well. They are an amazing resource for non-toxic, natural, and organic products for homes and families and recently added my beloved 4th Burner Pot to their stock.

Mrs. Wages is also back for another month of canning goodness! I’ve written for them for the last three summers and this year, we’re teaming up for an official partnership. They make all sorts of pectins and canning mixes. Make sure to sign up for their newsletter for monthly installments of canning goodness.

Last, but certainly not least is Preserving Now! 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!

If you’d like to be a sponsor, there are lots of spots available, starting at just $75 a month.
Please visit my sponsorship page for more details!

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Links: Strawberries, Pickled Cherries, and Links

The shelves at The Pantry bring me such joy!

I landed in Los Angeles late last night, picked up a rental car, and drove to my best-friend-from-college’s apartment. As I zipped along the freeway, I felt both totally at home and entirely out of place. I was born in this city and lived here until I was nearly nine years old. I have a sense of deep, near-cellular recognition with this land and its scents (eucalyptus! dry grass! smog!). I am happy to visit (and to teach a class at The Gourmandise School on Tuesday!), but it is not my place.

After that, I fly back to Portland for all of 29 hours, spend a little time with my sister and curly-headed nephew and then back to Philadelphia. It has been a wonderful west coast book tour and I’m so grateful to all the people who had me into their store, gave me places to sleep, and came out to see me and say hi.

Now, links.

down a warehouse aisle

Thanks to Fillmore Container, for hosting such a generous giveaway last week, as well as to all of you who took the time to leave a comment and share your jar longings! The winner (selected at random) is #914/Shannon. She said, “Love this website! Immediately I found this pour lid that attaches to the canning jar which is perfect for when I make salad dressings. So whether or not (which I hope so) win I will be buying this and more.”

Congratulations, Shannon!

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