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Updates from the West Coast Book Tour

Cart of Naturally Sweet Food in Jars at Powell's

This is it. The last day of my west coast book tour. It has certainly been one for my personal record books. I taught six hands-on classes, spent nearly 16 hours demonstrating how to make Strawberry Cocoa Jam, went to ten different cities (in two different countries!), did a TV spot, a radio interview, and spoke at Powell’s Books (huge thanks to Ivy Manning for helping with that event).

I logged countless hours in cars (both a rented Passat and my parents’ trusty Outlander wagon) and managed to recover from a case of the flu in a relatively short amount of time. And best of all, I met so many wonderful people and signed lots of books.

I’ve got a demo and book signing tonight at the Book Larder in Seattle. After that, I drive back to my parents’ house in Portland, give them back their car, and fly home to Philadelphia on Thursday (just in time to make brisket for our Saturday Seder).

I’ll have a recipe up for you guys tomorrow, but in the mean time, I’ve got a few links I want to share.

First up is the clip of me making jam and pickles on AM Northwest last Friday. I only had six minutes, so I couldn’t do anything completely, but I think you get the idea behind those two recipes.

A few weeks ago, I did an interview with Margaret Roach for her radio show, A Way to Garden. If you haven’t heard it yet, you can find it here.

The interview I did for the Food Show on KBOO (Portland’s Community Radio Station) aired earlier today. The archived version isn’t up yet, but when it is, you’ll find it here. Running Press has also donated two copies of Naturally Sweet Food in Jars to KBOO for their fundraising drive. It’s a great way to support a small radio station AND get a copy of my new book.

Over at the Fillmore Container blog, you’ll find a really great post in which a number of preserving writers offer up their thoughts on what preserving means to them. I wrote a few paragraphs for them, as did Theresa Loe, Joel and Dana from Well Preserved, Amanda Feifer, Linda Ziedrich, Sean Timberlake, Sharon Peterson, and Nancy Wilker.

And finally, it’s Wednesday, which means that there’s a brand new episode of Local Mouthful available for your listening pleasure. This week, Joy and I chatted about potatoes, Passover, stinging nettles, and more!

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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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Links: Quick Pickles, Creamy Nut Butters, and a Winner

breakfast with tea and jam

Throughout my high school and college years, it happened without fail. The moment the stress and pressure of the semester had passed, I’d come down with a cold, the flu, or some other strange virus that would force me to do nothing but rest and watch bad TV for at least a week.

I thought I was done with that kind of stress-related sickness, but apparently old patterns are hard to break. The moment we were through with my mother-in-law’s memorial service and had done the bulk of the cleaning out of her apartment, I came down with something resembling the flu. I spent most of the last week in bed or on the couch, trying to sleep my way back to health.

I finally feel better today and it’s not a moment too soon, since I leave for IACP and then book tour activities next week! Fingers crossed that my health holds out! Now, links!

New Ball Jars - Food in Jars

The winner of last week’s fabulous Ball Canning giveaway is #479/J. Anderson. Congratulations and enjoy the jar bounty!

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Links: Canning Myths, Co-ops, and a Winner

January 26

Slowly but surely, we’re making our way back to normal again. My mother-in-law’s memorial is now behind us. The apartment is mostly back together after hosting the family for sandwiches, cookies, and comforting beverages. And we’ve made headway in clearing out her apartment.

It’s been an exceptionally bittersweet time, because as much as my heart is heavy, there’s also been a goodly amount of joy. Amazon started shipping Naturally Sweet Food in Jars last week and I’ve been heard from so many of you that you have it in your hands, that you’re flagging recipes, and that you’re even already cooking from it. It’s been a real bright spot in a bleak time.

Now, some links.

Beyond Canning Cover - Food in Jars

The winner of the Beyond Canning giveaway is #55/WendP. Congratulations!

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Links: Jam Bars, Kinda Bars, and Winners

honey sweetened lemon curd

Friends, things are quite sad over here at Food in Jars HQ. My mother-in-law died on Sunday morning. She had spent the last nine months struggling with metastatic colorectal cancer and had gone into hospice just a week and a half ago. We knew the end was near, but we didn’t expect it to arrive quite so quickly. Right now, we’re wading through the details and arrangements, trying to keep our heads above the fog of grief.

I have a couple posts lined up for the next few days, but on the whole, posting it going to be a little bit slow around these parts during the later part of this week. Thank you for your compassion and understanding.

Now, some links.

New Cuppow Colors - Food in Jars

Here are the winners in last week’s Cuppow/BNTO giveaway.

I will email all the winners in the next couple days. And don’t forget to enter the Beyond Canning giveaway I’m running this week. It’s such a fantastic book!

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Links: Ginger Pear Butter, Giveaways, and Winners

fermented wax beans

About a week ago, our under sink water filter sprang a leak, causing a great deal of mess and upheaval. We’re all cleaned up now, with a new filter that’s better than the old one, but it took a goodly amount of mopping, sorting, trashing, and general disruption to get back to normal. The whole experience feels like it’s an allegory for life. There’s turmoil, mess, and recovery, but in the end, you wind up in a situation that’s better than before.

assorted mason jar accessories 1 - Food in Jars

The two winners in my Mason Jar Accessories giveaway are #332/Maria C. and #452/Beth. Congratulations to the winners! The giveaway is taking a short break this week, but will be back next week. And thanks to everyone who shared dinner ideas and suggestions. It was most inspiring to read about the things you’ve been cooking lately!

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