Tag Archives | cookbooks

Curious Feast Postcard Box from Princeton Architectural Press

Curious Feast box - Food in Jars

I have always loved the convergence of food and art. Whether it’s a carefully arranged platter of cut vegetables designed to please the eye, or a more enduring still life rendered in oils or water color, I am always drawn in. Which is why I found the new box of postcards from Princeton Architectural Press so appealing.

Curious Feast open box - Food in Jars

Called Curious Feast: 100 Postcards by 10 Artists, this compact box features cards from artists who specialize in food-related art. The pieces are wide-ranging and include a realistic bowl of ramen, close-ups of food that look more like the surface of the moon than something edible, hand-written recipes, food sculpted out of fabric, and lots more.

Curious Feast strawberries - Food in Jars

The artists featured in Curious Feast are Naz Sahin Ozcan (curator), Alex Proba, Brest Brest Brest, Caren Alpert, Melinda Josie, Patricia Curtan, Michele Humes, Mimi O Chun, Wijnand Warendorf, and Joel Penkman. It should come to no surprise that my two favorite cards in the box are Mimi O Chun’s canning and pickling-themed ones. I want that plush jar!

Curious Feast jars - Food in Jars


The box would make a good gift for food lovers, those who like to send (or just collect) postcards, or anyone who wants to brighten up their workspace, kitchen, or dining room with whimsical pictures of food. The Curious Feast box is available from Amazon, or directly from Princeton Architectural Press.

Disclosure: The PR folks at Princeton Architectural Press sent me the Curious Feast box in the hopes that I might be charmed by it and be moved to share it here on the blog. I was entirely delighted by it and so wrote this post. No additional compensation was provided and all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. 

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Bay Area Events for Naturally Sweet Food in Jars

Bi-Rite fruit

Hi friends! The book tour is going hot and heavy for the next ten days, so I’ll be dropping in each morning for the next few days to spotlight the three regions where I’ll be. First up? The San Francisco area!

Monday, April 11 (Half Moon Bay)
Come see me at the New Leaf Community Market in Half Moon Bay (150 San Mateo Road) starting at 4 pm for a canning demo and book signing. No pre-registration is required and it’s a free event.

Tuesday, April 12 (San Francisco)
I’ll be at 18 Reasons (3674 18th Street), co-teaching a canning class with the delightful Shakirah Simley, Canner-in-Residence for the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses. We’ll make two recipes from my new book, and there will be a goodly amount of hands on involvement. The class starts at 6:30 pm and costs $55-65. Register here.

Wednesday, April 13 (San Francisco)
I’ll be at Omnivore Books (3885 Cesar Chavez Street) at 6:30 pm, demoing a half batch of strawberry cocoa jam, and signing books. There will be samples and they will be delicious.

Thursday, April 14 (Berkeley)
Join me for a Meet and Greet at Books Inc. (1491 Shattuck Avenue) in Berkeley from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. I’ll do a short demonstration, have some jam samples for tasting and will be available to answer all canning questions.


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Links: Dilled Carrots, Pickled Eggs, and a Winner

Matt's Kitchen

I am very happy to report that after nearly a week of being very under the weather, things are starting to look up. I got myself from LA to Santa Cruz on Friday, and my Saturday demo at Chefworks went very well (if you’re in the area, they have half a dozen signed copies of the new book). I spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with my very oldest friend (we first met when he was five and I was just a few hours old), in his charming apartment. That’s his kitchen pictured above. I covet both the build-in and the giant old sink. Now, some links.

Stir Paperback Cover - Food in Jars

The winner of last week’s giveaway of Jess Fechtor’s Stir is #45/Lyra Leigh. If you didn’t win, please do try and get your hands on this book. It’s such a good read.

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Cookbooks: The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How

Kitchen Know-How Cover - Food in Jars

I have been a fan of Andrea Chesman’s work for a very, very long time. The author of more than 20 book, her Pickles & Relishes was one of the first canning books I bought when I started down this path nearly a decade ago and I consider The Pickled Pantry one of the best volumes on home pickling out there.

Kitchen Know-How Contents - Food in Jars

I had the good fortune to meet Andrea last year at the IACP annual conference and I was delighted when she told me that she had another book in the works. Called The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How, it is an incredibly comprehensive guide to cooking, canning, home dairy, freezing, curing, fermenting, dehydrating, and more.

Kitchen Know-How Equipment - Food in Jars

The book is divided into three large chunks of information. The first is called Getting the Most from Fresh Food and contains information about setting up your kitchen (including Andrea’s recommendations for the sturdiest and most durable equipment), how to harvest, handle, and cook fresh produce, how to store grains and beans, what to do with eggs, tips on butchering poultry and rabbits, how to make the most of fresh milk, and how to label, store, and use goat, lamb, pork, and beef.

Kitchen Know-How Freezing - Food in Jars

The second part of the book is called simple Food Preservation, and it offers detail on cold storage, freezing, canning (both boiling water and pressure), drying, pickling, the making of fruit preserves, culturing milk, and curing meats and sausages. I particularly like her essay on pages 227 and 228 entitled, “Strong Opinions about Pectin.” I have similarly strong opinions on the topic.

Kitchen Know-How Homestead Cooking - Food in Jars

Part three is called Homestead Cooking and is a treasury of recipes, preparations, and suggestions for how to cook, bake, simmer, and stew the fruits of your homestead into appealing meals and treats. What I most like about this section is that Andrea repeatedly encourages her readers to use these recipes as nothing more than a starting place and that they are there to be adapted and personalized depending on the ingredients you have.

Kitchen Know-How Back - Food in Jars

Andrea has poured her years of culinary experience into this book. It’s one that any home cook looking to stretch seasonal produce and make the most of the food coming forth from their homestead, garden, or farmers market will value. I highly recommend it!

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Cookbooks: Brodo

Brodo spine - Food in Jars

If you follow food trends of any stripe these days, you may have heard people talking about the many wonders of bone broth. When Joy and I went to the Natural Foods Expo last fall, we spotted several companies selling versions designed for sipping (though I tend to be skeptical of such things, I must say that Noma Lim was quite delicious).

I recently got a pitch for a kit hoping to make homemade bone broth even easier (though truly, it’s not that hard even without a kit and it’s far more affordable). And there has been a steady stream of books trying to help guide you towards doing it yourself.

Brody cover - Food in Jars

For those of you who don’t mind flying without recipes, you don’t need anything more to make bone broth (or stock, or regular broth, or whatever else you want to call it) than a big stock pot, some meaty bones (sometimes roasted, sometimes not), vegetables, and tasty, clean water.

However, if you like to have a bit more guidance, may I suggest the book Brodo, by Marco Canora? He’s a New York-based chef who started a bone broth take-out window in his restaurant Hearth and has created a lovely, smart book on the topic of making delicious, savory broths.

Brodo add-ins - Food in Jars

One of the reasons I like this little book is that it offers so much more than just a handful of broth recipes (there are actually 15 distinct versions). It also features bowls (I have the ginger beef bowl on my meal plan for next week), soup add-ins (I need to make the Infused Coconut Milk immediately), and risotto recipes.

Brodo back - Food in Jars

Now, just one thing. As much as I’m pleased that people are returning to the act of making their own stocks and broths, I do think that there’s a danger of becoming too precious about the process once it becomes as hot and trendy as bone broth has.

It is important to use good ingredients, but remember that the act of making broth or stock was originally intended to be one of frugality and making the most of your food. Don’t think you need to break your budget in order to add it to your homemade pantry. And don’t feel like you have to be bound to a specific recipe. Work with what you have.

Oh, and don’t forget! If you’re short on freezer space and you’ve got a pressure canner, you can make your broth shelf stable!

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One Month Until Naturally Sweet Food in Jars Arrives!

stack of three books

The official publication date of Naturally Sweet Food in Jars is exactly one month from today. Cue my pre-pub jitters!

I’ve been working hard over the last few weeks, putting together a really terrific book tour (my Classes and Events page is getting updated on a near-daily basis and I have a whole lot more to add). It’s shaping up to be a good combination of classes, demos, and book store conversations, and I do hope lots of you will come out to see me.

I totally understand those of you who want to pick up a copy of the book at one of my events, but if you don’t think you’re going to make it out to say hi, I’d love it (and so would Running Press) if you’d pre-order a copy! Here are just a few of your purchasing options!

Amazon | Powell’s | Barnes and Noble | Indigo | Books-a-MillionIndiebound

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