Tag Archives | BlogHer Food

Peaches, Portland and Canning Classes

canned peaches

This last Saturday, I spent the day in New York, helping shepherd three Philadelphia street food vendors to and from the Vendy Awards. It was the first time that any vendors from outside NYC had been invited to participate in the Vendys and we were honored to attend. In fact, my only regret about the entire day was that it meant I missed the last day of peaches at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers’ Market.

Luckily, I have a husband (and have had for an entire year now!) who, despite his occasional grumbles, is always willing to help when the demands of work and life don’t leave me the time to manage everything. He took my black-handled basket to the market in my stead and brought home eight pounds of the final peaches.

Those peaches were just the thing to help me push through the canning reluctance I’ve been battling lately, as I couldn’t fathom letting the Scott-fetched fruit go to waste (and these peaches were fragile, just a day in our apartment and a few were beginning to mold. Such is the way with late-season fruit). I’m a little perplexed by the reluctance I’ve been feeling. It’s as if some interior switch was flipped and suddenly I’d internalized the idea that canning season was over, despite all signs to the contrary (and the heaps of fruit still scattered around the apartment). I’m trying hard to gear back up, to revitalize for the final push of fall, but I fear that things are going to be slower than is ideal.

However, if you can still get your hands on some peaches, you should. I put up four quarts tonight in the time it took to listen to a single hour of radio. My eight pounds, quartered, peeled and briefly simmered in a fairly light syrup (two cups sugar, six cups water) perfectly filled four quart jars. Three received added flavor (star anise, cinnamon, vanilla) and one I left plain. Processed in a tall stock pot for 25 minutes, they’ll be delicious in January (if I can wait that long).

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bowl of Seckel pears

In a week and a half, I’m headed for the West Coast. First I’ll be in San Francisco for BlogHer Food and then I’m headed up to Portland, OR for a week’s worth of vacation with Scott. I’ve carved one evening out of that trip to teach a canning class, so if you’re in the Portland area and want to talk canning with me, you’re in luck.

The class will focus on Pear-Ginger Jam and will be held on Wednesday, October 13 from 6-7:30 p.m. It will be held at the Portland Subud Center, which is in NE Portland just off 33rd Avenue (not far from the Concordia New Seasons). Cost is $45. If you’re interested in signing up, please email me at foodinjars AT gmail.com. My mom will be helping me with the class, so it’s also your chance to meet the woman who taught me to can and who is so frequently mentioned on these here pages.

I’ve also still got space in the sauerkraut class next week (October 5), as well as the Philadelphia-based Pear-Ginger Jam class on October 23 (the November and December classes also still have availability as well). Shoot me an email if you’re interested in signing up!

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Books, Press, Conferences and More

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When I was 13 years old, I decided that I wanted to become a public speaker when I grew up (yes, I do realize that that’s sort of an odd thing for a freshly minted teenager to choose). The only problem was that I didn’t know what it was that I wanted to talk about. So I let that dream go quiet, not giving up on it exactly, but letting it slip to the background as I went to school, moved across the country, worked and generally lived my life.

It’s funny how things work out though, because in the process of living, I found my niche and became someone who publicly writes, teaches and talks about canning and home food preservation. The 13 year old version of me would be pretty incredulous, but the 31 year old version couldn’t be happier with the way things are working out.

To that end, I thought it was time to share with you some good news (though if you spotted the article the Daily News article in which I was featured, you’ve already got the scoop). I’m writing a cookbook. It will be called Food in Jars (just like this website) and will include 100 recipes that will cover jams, pickles, fruit butters, tomato products, granolas and bread mixes. The book will be published by Running Press and will be coming out in the spring of 2012. As you might guess, I am thrilled.

white peaches

In other fun news, the BlogHer Food agenda was published last week and I’m excited to say that I’ll be speaking in the session entitled The Old-School Arts: Canning, Preserving, Foraging. My fellow Philly-based preserver Audra Wolfe (aka Doris the Goat) will also be up there with me and Sean Timberlake (who just launched the fabulous Punk Domestics site) will be moderating the session.

And now, in other preserving news, I’ve recently learned that the Mother Earth News Fair is taking place the weekend of September 25-26 just outside of Pittsburgh, PA and has a huge focus on canning, preserving, fermentation, cheese-making, baking, beer brewing and other kitchen arts. Unfortunately, I’ve already got plans that weekend, so I can’t go. However, for those of you who live within a doable drive of that area, I think you should consider attending. It sounds amazing (Sherri Brooks Vinton, the author of Put ‘Em Up! will be there) and the tickets are really affordable. A one-day pass is $15 and a weekend pass is $25. Kids 17 years and under are free.

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