Tag Archives | giveaway

Giveaway: Foolproof Preserving from America’s Test Kitchen

Foolproof Preserving cover - Food in Jars

Over the years, America’s Test Kitchen has become known and respected for their tireless pursuit of the very best recipes and techniques for home cooks. In their newest cookbook, Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments, and More, they’ve turned their attention to the art of putting up.

Foolproof Preserving peach jam - Food in Jars

Like the other America’s Test Kitchen books that have come before, this volume is thoughtfully constructed, clearly written, beautifully photographed, and features a number of recipes that will have both new canners and seasoned preservers leaping up to gather produce and pull out their cookware.

Foolproof Preserving pickled red onions - Food in Jars

The introduction to this book is particularly useful, because it answers so many of the questions that people typically have about canning. They clearly go into the issues around acid content, achieving set, adjusting for altitude, and, in the case of fermentation, the relationship between salt and temperature.

Foolproof Preserving figs - Food in Jars

As I see it, there exists a fairly large flaw with this book. To my imperfect count, of the 111 recipes included, 42 of them cannot be processed and made shelf stable. To be fair, there are 16 recipes for quick and fermented pickles, which are things that never go into a boiling water bath in the first place. But that still leaves us with a goodly number of recipes that will require space in the freezer or fridge.

I can see why the authors made the choices they did. They were developing recipes where the topmost priority was flavor, texture, and freshness. Those are all noble and worthy goals. However, as someone who preserves primarily to create good-tasting food that can live on the shelf until needed, I find myself frustrated to be confronted with a tomato jam recipe that can’t be processed (particularly since a small amount of citric acid would make it safe for the canner and would have very little impact on the finished flavor).

Foolproof Preserving back - Food in Jars

Reading the introduction, I have a sense of why this book came to be as it is. The authors confess from the start that they approached this project as canning novices and that the testing was a process of discovery for them. I can see how that shaped the book I hold in my hands, because they were not driven by the primary goal of having shelf stable preserves to last the year. However, it doesn’t stop me from wishing they’d better addressed the fact from the start that 38% of the book focuses on short-term, rather than long-term, preserving.

Foolproof Preserving giveaway pack - Food in Jars

With all of that off my chest, let me say that again that this is a beautiful, well-designed, useful book. If long-term shelf stability isn’t your primary goal, you will find much to love here. I plan on exploring this book throughout the summer and fall, just taking care not to fall in love with too many recipes that demand space from in my limited fridge and freezer.

Thanks to the kind folks at America’s Test Kitchen, I have one copy of this beautiful book to give away, along with a jar lifter and stainless steel wide mouth funnel. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post. Tell me about something you’ve preserved lately, or a preserve you opened and enjoyed in recent days.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Sunday, May 8, 2016. A winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Monday, May 9, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States only (so sorry!). Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: America’s Test Kitchen sent me the copy of the paperback you see here, along with a box of jars, two wide mouth funnels, and a jar lifter. I’ve included the jar lifter and one of the wide mouth funnels in the giveaway, they’re also providing the second copy of the book. All this has been done at no cost to me. No additional compensation has been provided. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

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Giveaway: Mason Jar Lifestyle Mother’s Day Coffee Gift Set

Mason Jar Lifestyle Mother's Day Mother's Day Coffee Gift Set - Food in Jars

I’ve been excited about this week’s giveaway since Maggie from Mason Jar Lifestyle (a Food in Jars sponsor!) first reached out about it. Her Mother’s Day Coffee Gift Set pairs up two of my favorite things (jars and coffee) and gives people the opportunity to celebrate their favorite maternal individual. It’s a very winning combination!

Mason Jar Coffee Co. - Food in Jars

The gift set costs $39.99 (including shipping!) and includes a bounty of jar-related coffee goodness. First thing you’ll spot when your recipient (or you!) open the box is a 12 ounce bag of medium roast coffee from the Mason Jar Coffee Company (best name ever!), based in Linden, MI. You can get either whole beans or opt to have them ground.

Mason Jar Lifestyle handle sleeve - Food in Jars

In addition to the bag of coffee, your recipient will get a wide mouth mason jar and a faux leather sleeve handle, designed to protect your fingers and make manageable a jar of piping hot coffee. The handle sleeve feels sturdy, fits the jar securely, and does a great job of absorbing heat.

Mason Jar Lifestyle silicone drink lids - Food in Jars

Also included in the set are a pair of Mason Jar Lifestyle-branded silicone drink lids. Maggie included two in the kit because she understands that dishes can sometimes sit in the sink for a day or two and wanted to make sure that busy moms could always find at least one clean drink lid!

Jarware Coffee Spoon Clip - Food in Jars

The last thing your mama will find in her box of coffee and jar goodness is a clip-on coffee spoon, made by Jarware. It fits snugly on both regular and wide mouth mason jar, so that you always have the perfect portioning scoop on hand (excellent for groggy mornings).

Maggie will also tuck one of the mason jar “Happy Mother’s Day” notecards you see at the top into every box. If you want a special message written on yours, just make sure to indicate that at check out!

Milky Coffee in Handled Jar Sleeve - Food in Jars

To enter the Mason Jar Lifestyle Mother’s Day Coffee Gift Set giveaway, complete at least one of the tasks in the widget below! If you can’t bear to leave things to chance, you can order your very own set right here. Just know that they’ll be closing orders on this deal on May 1, to ensure that all sets arrive in time for May 8.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Maggie from Mason Jar Lifestyle sent me the Coffee Gift Set you see pictured above so that I could take pictures of it and share my experiences with it. She is also providing the giveaway unit. Both sets are being provided at no cost to me. What’s more, Mason Jar Lifestyle is a Food in Jars sponsor and so provides monetary support to this website. However, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and uninfluenced by our partnership. 

Giveaway: $150 of Freeze-Dried Food from Harvest Right

HarvestRight jars

Photo courtesy of Harvest Right

When I was a kid, freeze dried foods seemed magical. They looked like their fresh counterparts, but when you bit into them they were typically crisp and a bit crumbly. The one my sister and I liked the best was the freeze dried ice cream (aka astronaut’s ice cream), because it was such a sweet treat.

Harvest Right freeze dryers

Photo courtesy of Harvest Right

When I started preserving food and was researching all the various ways to do it, I looked into what it took to freeze dry food and discovered at that time, it just wasn’t something that could be done at home. The machines cost tens of thousands of dollars and were far bigger than anything I could fit into my apartment-sized kitchen.

Harvest Right packaging

However, in recent years, a company called Harvest Right has entered the market with a freeze dryer that’s scaled and priced for home use. While not cheap, it allows home users to preserve food in a way that makes it light, easily storable, and still delicious.

Harvest Right apple slices

I’ve not had a chance to try a Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer myself (sadly, this machine is still a bit too big for my little apartment), reading this post over on Our Best Bites made me itch to take one for a spin. However, I have had a chance to try some food dried in one of these magical freeze dryers and I’ve found them to be flavorful, texturally interesting, and really fun to eat.

Harvest Right freeze-dried bananas

For today’s giveaway, Harvest Right wants to give one lucky Food in Jars reader a chance to try some food preserved in their Home Freeze Dryer. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win $150 worth of food dried in a Harvest Right machine (to maximize your chances, make sure to enter using all the different options)!

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Giveaway: Deluxe Fermenting Tool Set From Masontops

Pickle Pipe Set - Food in Jars

With the days warming and spring produce is starting to appear, there’s no better time to get a couple jars of fermented pickles bubbling away in your kitchen. And today, I’m featuring some terrific tools to help you do just that!

Our friends at Masontops have offered up one of their Deluxe Fermenting Tool Sets for this week’s giveaway. This set includes four of their wide mouth Pickle Pebbles (designed to fit smoothly into a wide mouth jar and keep your produce comfortably below the liquid line), a three-pack of their Pickle Pipes (the easiest airlock ever!), and their Pickle Packer (never has it been simpler to tightly press sliced, shredded, or chopped veg into a jar).

carrots in a jar

The folks at Masontops produced a really terrific Fermenting Guide during their Kickstarter campaign and have kindly allowed me to reprint their recipe for Gingered Carrots, which you’ll find after the jump. I didn’t manage to make these carrots before I left on book tour, but they’re top on my list for when I get home!

Also, if you feel that you can’t live without your very own Deluxe Fermenting Tool Set, the nice folks at Masontops have given me a code for 15% off any purchase on their website. Just use “FIJ15” during check-out to get the deal!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Giveaway: Paperback Edition of Stir by Jessica Fechtor

Stir Paperback Cover - Food in Jars

One of my favorite books of 2015 was Jessica Fechtor’s Stir. It is memoir-with-recipes that tells of her brain aneurism at the age of 28, and her grueling but successful recuperation. An avid cook and joyful eater prior to the aneurism, the book is the story of her recovery and the ways in which food brought her back to herself as her wounded brain and body healed.

Stir Paperback Back - Food in Jars

I read the book in just a day and half last summer, and mentioned it briefly on the blog last fall. Today, the paperback version of Stir came out (complete with a pretty new cover featuring the author!) and when I was offered a chance to give away a copy of that edition, I said yes immediately. After all, I’m always delighted to have a chance to shine a light on work that I love.

Stir Paperback Spine - Food in Jars

I have one copy of this wonderful book to give away. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me something you’ve read recently that you loved.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, April 9, 2016. A winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, April 10, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States only (so sorry!). Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Avery (the publisher) sent me the copy of the paperback you see here in the hopes that I might post about it and they’re providing the giveaway unit. No additional compensation was provided. 

Giveaway: Canning Ladle and Paring Knives from Villagers

Villagers Giveaway Set - Food in Jars

Two years ago, during the book tour for Preserving by the Pint, I spent just over a day in Asheville, NC (I so wish it could have been longer!). While there, I had the good fortune to do a canning demo and book signing at a urban homestead supply shop called Villagers.

jars at Villagers

This wonderful business, founded by former Philadelphian Natalie Pollard, is a terrific resource for anyone looking to get both tools and knowledge necessary to can, ferment, garden, keep chickens, and more. I knew immediately that if I lived in Asheville, I’d be a regular customer.

Opinel Paring Knives - Food in Jars

Recently, a member of Natalie’s staff got in touch, asking if I might like to feature one or two tools from the shop on the blog as part of a giveaway. I said yes immediately, because I believe that more people should know about the goodness that is Villagers (truly, I meant to write a post two years ago to tell you about this magical space).

Villagers Ladle - Food in Jars

Soon after, I received a carefully wrapped package that contained a pair of sturdy Opinel paring knives and the best canning ladle I’ve ever held (it fills a half pint jar perfectly). These little knives have already gone into heavy rotation and the ladle is now the favorite tool in my kitchen for scooping soups and filling jars.

One lucky winner will get the same pairing of knives and ladle. Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below!

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