Tag Archives | philadelphia

Upcoming Events: New York! Philadelphia! Toronto!

plums in a bowl

These next few weeks are the final big push before I hunker down and start developing recipes again (because, have I mentioned that I’m writing another book? This one is all about preserving with natural sweeteners and I think you guys are going to like it a lot). However, there are still more fun classes and events before the true recipe development begins! Here’s where I’ll be in the coming days.

 

September 6 – New York City
This Saturday, I’ll be at the Union Square Greenmarket from 11 am to 2 pm, offering up samples of jam and selling/signing copies of both Preserving by the Pint and Food in Jars (of course, I am always happy to sign the copies you already own as well). If you’re in the greater New York City area, I’d love to see you there.

September 9 – Philadelphia
This  Pickles Two Ways class is my final session in the series I’ve been teaching all summer for the Weaver’s Way Co-op. The class is held at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse and runs from 7-9 pm. Click here to sign up.

September 11 – Toronto, Canada
This is the first class of my four-day stay in Toronto (thanks to Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison from Well Preserved, for making the dream of this trip into a reality), 7-9 pm. I’ll be demonstrating my small batch jam making method and will bring a couple of jars to share as well. Class is at F’Coffee and costs $45 CAD. Click here to sign up.

September 12 – Toronto, Canada
On my second night, I’ll be teaching at  Nella Cucina from 6:30-9 pm. I’ll make a small batch of jam for tasting and everyone will make their own jar of pickles to take home. Click here to sign up.

September 13 – Toronto, Canada
On Saturday, Joel and I are teaming up to offer a session that will dig into the work required to write a cookbook. I’ll tell you all the things I’ve learned having now done this twice, and Joel will share his very fresh experience as a first-time author. The session is from 10:30 am to 12 noon and costs $45 CAD. You can sign up here.

September 14 – Toronto, Canada
From 11 am to 5 pm Sunday is The Home Ec Big Outdoor Kitchen Party. This one-day food festival is designed to celebrate the small kitchens, independent producers, and local food champions who bring richness to the Toronto food scene. This free event will be held at the Harbourfront Centre and is something Joel and Dana have been planning for a very long time now. I am so excited to be a part of it.

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Canning Demo at Art in the Age

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All month long, some of my jars of preserves have been on display at the Art in the Age store in Old City as part of their The Return of Spring exhibition. The show is coming down soon, but on Tuesday, while my books and jars are still there, I’m going to be stopping by the shop to do an evening canning demo.

If you’re in the area, I’d love for you to swing by (festivities start at 6 pm). I’ll be making a small batch of strawberry vanilla jam, talking about preserving, answering questions, and signing cookbooks. Art in the Age can be found at 116 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia.

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Illy Coffee Demonstration and Tasting

Illy espresso tasting

I’ve been drinking coffee regularly for nearly twenty years. They start us early in Portland, OR, after all. I have at least five methods for brewing close at hand in my 80 square foot kitchen, including three French presses, a porcelain drip cone, a Chemex and an red-handled espresso coffee pot. There’s also my beloved cold brew method.

Illy espresso tasting

However, despite all those methods, I’m not what you’d call a coffee snob. I’m not fastidious about the freshness of my beans and I’ve been known to brew elderly pre-ground beans in a desperate moment. However, I find the art of coffee and espresso fascinating. That’s why I was delighted to attend a Illy demonstration and tasting at the new Le Meridien hotel here in Philly a couple of weeks ago.

Illy espresso tasting

The session was led by Giorgio Milos. He’s an Illy espresso expert, is a champion Italian barista and is generally more passionate about espresso and coffee than anyone I’ve ever encountered. He walked us through the history of coffee, the way it’s grown, harvested and prepared. After our coffee primer (which included lovely phrases like “coffee should be a pleasure.” Imagine it said with a thick Italian accent), Giorgio introduced us to Illy’s new brewing system, which uses plastic cartridges like so many other new methods and machines.

Illy espresso tasting

The machines we tried out didn’t require any human calibration or expertise. You simply popped a plastic capsule into the coffee hopper, turned it to the right and pushed a button. Within 60 seconds, you’d have an espresso. I loved the ease of it and can truly see the appeal. However, I am really uncomfortable with all these new capsule brewing systems, because after each cup, you’re left with a piece of plastic trash to discard. I asked a question about the sustainability of the capsules and was told they are recyclable. Still, I don’t know that I’d be okay with one in my own kitchen because of the waste factor.

That said, I was delighted to steal a little time from regular life and learn a bit more about coffee. Thanks to Le Meridien for hosting us (their house coffee is Illy) and to Giorgio for sharing his knowledge with us. Thanks to all of you for reading and letting me write about something a bit beyond my normal scope (though I’ll have you know, I frequently drink coffee from jars).

And while we’re on the subject, what’s your favorite home brewing method?

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Herbs in Jars

jars of herbs

Today was opening day for the Headhouse Square Farmers Market. During the season, it is one of the highlights of my week. Sunday mornings, my friend Shay and I meet up there right around opening at 10 am to do our grocery shopping, walking on the same bricks that shoppers strolled 200 years ago. Last year, we made friends with several of the vendors, including Mark the egg man (his hens lay the most beautiful, multi-colored eggs that have vividly orange yolks) and Tom from Culton Organics, who wears a jaunty red kerchief around his neck when the weather is hot. We’re hoping to get to know even more farmers and vendors this year, as it makes the shopping experience even more satisfying.

Once we’ve exhausted our budgets, we get a drink, find a spot of curb and hang out for a bit to chat and people-watch. Unfortunately, today it wasn’t possible to pull up a chunk of curbstone, as Philly was treated to a day-long soaking rain. The drizzle didn’t seem to keep people away from the market though, the space under the Shambles was packed and everyone seemed delighted to be there, rubbing elbows once again with their favorite farmers.

One of the best things about this market is that the farmers put a great deal of energy into making their products look as lovely as possible. The displays include antique crates, bentwood baskets and natural slabs of slates upon which they write names and prices. One set-up that particularly caught my eye was the one you see above, of neatly bundled herbs, tucked into jars. This is something you could do in your own home, to extend the life of your cut herbs. The one addition I’d make would be to drape a plastic bag with a few holes cut out over the herbs. They last an amazingly long time that way, and look quite nice, to boot.

If you want to see more of my pictures from the market today, I’ve added them to my Headhouse set from last year and the year before, which you can find here.

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