Tag Archives | cookbook

A Raina Rose Kickstarter With Food in Jars Rewards

Raina and Marisa

As many of you know, my younger sister (the one who got married last month!) is a folksinger. Her name is Raina Rose and she’s been playing music, touring, and working her butt off for most the last decade now (her first true break from the road only came last winter when she gave birth to a baby boy. Not much of an actual break there!).

Raina is part of a growing middle class of musicians who, thanks to the internet and its expansive community, are finding ways to support themselves playing music without help from major record labels and the traditional pop music system. One way that these talented folks are doing this is by asking their listeners, family and friends to drop a few bucks into various fundraising campaigns to help cover costs for tours, production and promotion.

Just yesterday, Raina leapt into crowd-sourcing and launched a Kickstarter in order to raise the money necessary to make her next album a reality. If you are a folk music lover, I encourage you to click over to her website and explore her music (she’s also been doing a Song-a-Week project that you can see here). If you like what you hear, a contribution of just $3 to the Kickstarter will get you a digital copy of the album upon completion. 

Raina has put together a most impressive list of rewards for the various contribution levels and there’s one that particularly want to point out to you guys. For a gift of $199, in addition to getting everything Raina has ever recorded, this new album, and an EP from John Elliott, you also get a signed copy of my cookbook (as personalized as you want) and a pint jar of my homemade jam (any flavor you want). I realize it’s a little spendy, but every cent goes to making marvelous music (truly, I’m donating books and jam to the effort).

Here’s her Kickstarter video. It’s pretty darn fun and the scene at the end with Emmett melts my heart every time I watch it.

Thanks for taking the time to read and watch. Big thanks to those of you who saw my Tweets and FB posts yesterday and have already thrown a few dollars into the pool. Your support of my sister is so greatly appreciated!

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My Berlin Kitchen Giveaway + Spiced Plum Butter

My Berlin Kitchen

I first discovered The Wednesday Chef sometime in early 2006. I had become an avid reader of blogs about a year before (they were a great way to keep my mind off my terrible day job) and was always on the hunt for new sites to add to my list of bookmarks. Luisa’s voice and perspective on food resonated with me immediately. I spent a morning engrossed in her archives and once caught up, tried never to miss a new post.

My Berlin Kitchen spine

In fact, it’s fairly safe to say that I’ve read nearly everything that Luisa Weiss has ever posted to the internet (I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a stalker. I swear, I’m just a fan). And, when an advanced copy of My Berlin Kitchen arrived just before the mini-vacation that Scott and I took few weeks back, I tucked it into my travel bag and proceeded to read it in a single, giant gulp.

dog ears

As I read, I dog-eared recipes I wanted to remember. I marked the Pizza Siciliana and the Poppy Seed Whirligig Buns. I’m hoping to make the Yeasted Plum Cake before their season is entirely gone and, come Christmas, I’m definitely planning on making the Fruit Bread on page 161. It sounds dense and divine.


As I read, there was one recipe that jumped out at me more insistently than the rest and cried out to be made immediately. The Pflaumenmus or Spiced Plum Butter on page 237 had my name written all over it (particularly since I had the necessary four pounds of Italian prune plums at home, thanks to the Washington State Fruit Commission and their Canbassador program).

Italian prune plums

Of course, I’ve made plum butters before, but never with this particular technique. Luisa has you quarter the plums, stir them together with a bit of sugar, a cinnamon stick, and a couple cloves and let them sit overnight. The next day, once they’re nice and juicy, you pop the pan into the oven and bake them them at moderate heat.

After their time in the heat, the plums are incredibly tender and fragrant. The liquid has thickened a great deal and the slumping fruit just smells incredible.

post roasting

Once pureed, she has you funnel the prepared butter into sterilized jars and use the inversion method to seal. This is the only place where I diverged from the recipe as written and I chose to run my jars through a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Because this is a relatively low sugar preserve, I wanted to ensure that all bacteria was killed and the best way to do that is with a hot water bath.

Now, just a note about the yield. The recipe says that it makes four to five jars, but doesn’t specify the sizes of those jars. I found that after pureeing, I had exactly enough butter to fill three pint jars. I imagine the jars Luisa used were a bit smaller than a standard pint and so figure my yield was just about right (I did the math and found that had I used the 1/5 L Weck jars, I’d have filled exactly five jars).

finished butter

I plan on applying this same overnight maceration and oven roasting to other fruits, because it made for such a nice finished product and filled my apartment with the most delicious smells.

Thanks to the nice folks at Viking, in addition to getting to share the plum butter recipe with you (it’s after the jump), I also have a copy of My Berlin Kitchen to give away. If you’d like a chance to win it, here’s what to do.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite food memory.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Friday, September 21, 2012. Winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog over the weekend.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.
Disclosure: Viking sent me an advanced copy of My Berlin Kitchen and are providing the copy for this giveaway. However, I’ve not been paid to host this giveaway and my opinions are entirely my own.

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Classes and Demos: Blooming Glen Farm! Carlisle, PA! Whole Foods Market! And More!


More and more now, copies of the book are OUT THERE. This means that it’s time for me to start getting out there too. Here are some of the places I’ll be over the next few weeks.

Thursday, May 17
I’ll be at the Glen Mills, PA Whole Foods Market (that’s this one) from 6 – 7 pm. I’m going to demonstrate how to make strawberry vanilla jam, answer questions and sign books.

Friday, May 18
I’m speaking at TECHmunch in New York City. I’m going to do a quick small batch canning demo from 12:30 – 1 pm and I’ll be around the whole day if you want to come and say hi (it looks like there are still tickets available if you’re tempted to attend).

Saturday, May 19
I’m teaching a strawberry vanilla jam class at beautiful Blooming Glen Farm in Perkasie, PA. There are still spots available in this class and I’d love to see some of you there!  Click here to register.

Wednesday, May 23
I’m spending the day in Carlisle, PA. In the morning, I’m teaching a (sold out) canning class. From 3:30 – 5 pm, I’ll be at the Farmers on the Square market doing a couple of canning demos and answering canning questions. From 5:30 -6:30, I’ll be at the Whistlestop Book Shop signing books. Big, big thanks to Christine Burns Rudalevige for orchestrating all these events!

Tuesday, May 29
You’ll find me at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA from  7-9 pm. I’m going to do a refrigerator pickle demo and tasting and sign books. For more info, click here.

Saturday, June 2
I’ll be at my home away from home, Greensgrow Farm in Philadelphia, PA. From 12:30 – 2 pm, I’ll be on hand to sell and sign books, answer canning questions and offer you an array of pickled delights. Come on out and say hi!

Sunday, June 3
From 11 am – 1 pm, I’ll be at the Dupont Circle Farmers’ Market in Washington, D.C. It’s a canning demo and book signing and it should be lots of fun.

Monday, June 4
I’ll be at the Devon, PA Whole Foods Market from 5 – 7 pm. I’m going to demonstrate how strawberry vanilla jam again (it’s delicious and so seasonal!), answer questions and sign books.

Tuesday, June 5
I’ll be at the Callowhill, PA Whole Foods Market from 5 – 7 pm. This is my regular WFM, so I’m particularly excited to be there. Much like the other WFM events, I’m going to demonstrate how strawberry vanilla jam, answer questions and sign books.

Then I head to the west coast and things get crazy in a whole new way. I’ll round up all those events next week, so that no one misses out.

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Cookbook Jitters

I first heard on Sunday. Amazon had copies of my book in stock and would be shipping them this week. I thought they wouldn’t start arriving until Friday, but this morning, a few friends got in touch to say that they’d gotten their copies today.

And then, when I checked my own mail, I found one waiting for me there (because I am a goofball, I ordered myself a copy through Amazon. I wanted the experience of having it appear in that familiar box).

I don’t entirely know how to articulate how this all feels. I’m thrilled, nervous and entirely freaked out. All I can say is that I hope you guys like it and that it finds a comfortable place in your kitchens.


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A Silicon Valley Canning Class

Attention Silicon Valley readers! I’m going to be teaching a canning class in San Jose on Friday, June 22 from 7-9 pm. The class is being held in the home of 5 Second Rule and Ripe author Cheryl Sternman Rule (thanks again, Cheryl!).

We’ll make dilly beans and apricot jam, eat some cheese with chutney and talk boiling water bath canning. The class costs just $45 (a bargain!) and you can sign up by clicking here.

P. S. – If you live in San Francisco proper, I’m also working on putting together a class at Cookhouse SF on Wednesday, June 20 from 7-9 pm. Stay tuned!

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