Classes, Folk Music + Giveaway

May 13, 2010(updated on December 6, 2021)

strawberry table

All over the country, farmers’ markets are opening, gardens are growing and edible abundance is pouring forth. Preserving season is here and what better way to get yourself on board to capture some of the summer season than to take a class with me! Classes will be held at Indy Hall, which is located at 20 N. 3rd Street, 2nd floor (sadly, Foster’s Homewares has shuttered, leaving a giant hole in the Philadelphia retail scene).

My classes are good both for people just starting out canning as well as those who have been doing it for awhile. I always hit the fundamentals of boiling water canning and also share the many tricks I’ve developed while standing over a steamy stove. Each class offers multiple opportunities to ask questions, so that each student can get the information they need from the experience.

For the complete schedule of classes, click here. There are still five spots available in my Rhubarb Chutney class this Saturday, May 15th. Each student who attends that class will receive a print-out of the recipe and a jar of the chutney we make in class. I still have a jar of this chutney that I made last year (I’ve been saving it just for this occasion), so we’ll also have a little snack of goat cheese, baguette and chutney to nibble while we work. Classes cost $39. Please email me at if you’d like to sign up.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

lovely raina

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have picked up the fact that my sister Raina is a musician. She’s been playing guitar since she was 9 years old and has been making her living (such as it is) as a performer for more than five years. Music is all she’s ever wanted to do.

She is currently a top contender in a contest held by The Recording Conservatory of Austin, but desperately needs more votes. Winning this contest would be an enormous boon to her career, so much so that I’m interrupting my endless stream of food chatter to ask you all to consider supporting her. It’s just what big sisters do.

Voting is easy.  CLICK HERE and vote for the Raina Rose Trio, which is Raina and her backup band. Right now she has a good chance of winning but it is competitive and every vote is important. Only one vote from each email address is allowed. There is nothing to join and you won’t be subscribed to a new mailing list.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Now the giveaway. My birthday is Friday (wow, 31. How did that happen?) and I am hip deep in celebrations. Last night, my husband took me out for the most elegant (and expensive) meal of my life. Tomorrow, I’m having a cluster of friends and family over for a potluck (because I like nothing more than honoring a special moment over delicious food that has been made with love).

In order to share some of the joy with you, I’m giving away two copies of my very favorite canning book. Called So Easy to Preserve, this is the most referenced book on this site. It’s not a glossy book filled with pictures, it actually looks more like a community cookbook than anything else. However, whenever I want to try something new, this is the book that I look to first. The instructions are easy to follow and the explanations are written in a way that inspires confidence in the reader. If you are someone who takes your canning seriously, you must have a copy of this book on your shelf.

To enter yourself in this giveaway, leave a comment on this post and tell me what you’re most looking forward to about  summer foods. Whether it’s making your annual batch of peach butter, eating fresh raw peas or attending your neighborhood’s annual tomato festival, I want to read about it. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 16th. The winners will be posted Monday morning (I promise).

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

186 thoughts on "Classes, Folk Music + Giveaway"

  • I know it’s a long way off but I can’t wait for local melons to appear! Cantaloupe, warm from the field; watermelon, icy cold from the cooler. Mmmmmm…..

  • I’m looking forward to showing my baby that she can pluck berries off a plant to eat right there in the garden.

  • I am really looking forward to our CSA starting up so that the vegetables can come first in our diet instead of being a guilt-inducing afterthought. I’m also looking forward to taking the kids berry-picking. It will be a free-for-all and clothes will be sacrificed, but it will be worth it. May 16 is my birthday, actually, so I think that would be a good day for me to win a drawing. πŸ™‚

  • Blackberry picking. They grow wild all over my city, and there is absolutely nothing better than a ripe, sunwarmed blackberry. I’d like to say that I pick enough for jam, but really, I just eat them all.

  • caprese salad! Or anything with tomatoes – and canning tomatoes. I luuuuurv tomatoes!
    Happy Birthday, too!

  • Happy Birthday. I’m looking forward to my father’s second year as a square foot gardener. He grows the food and I cook the food and put up the food. There’ll tomatoes and okra, and peppers aplenty. Hopefully broccoli, cauliflower and a square foot of just all for me.

  • I have recently discovered this blog and I have been obsessively reading ever since. I love the wonderful stories and recipes, and the entries have given me a lot to look forward to for this summer.

    Like Marisa, I have always loved the Little House books, and I have always wanted to engage in preserving because of my fascination with these books and with Laura’s time. So this summer, I am excited to finally engage! Despite my love for cooking and baking, I haven’t ventured into preserving since my botched first pickle attempt in 2003.

    More generally speaking, my favourite part about summer is getting ice cream from one of the many homemade ice cream proprietors around Toronto and strolling outside in the warmth. I am so looking to forward to this, in addition to my new adventures in canning.

  • Fresh corn! I’m a midwestern girl, and the first sweet corn of the season, really fresh from the fields, always makes my mouth water.

  • Happy Birthday! I’m looking forward to pickling. So far I’ve only done the great onion pickles you posted. I’m so excited! I also want to try more flavor combos. I’ve always done basic sure jell jams. I want to experiment more. I get very inspired when I read all about the things all the canners are making. I just ordered a bunch of spices, including bourbon vanilla beans. Who knows what’s next!

  • I just started canning last year, and I’m ready to go for this year.
    I can’t wait for the berries to ripen! I love making jams and jellies, but most of all, I love the smiles when I gift someone a beautiful homemade jam made out of their favorite fruit. I really want to add more spices to my jams/jellies this year, and I’ve also been thinking about making some flower jellies!
    The beautiful colors and the wondrous smells at the Vancouver farmer’s market are a feast for the senses…and I sense some pickled veggies making their first appearance in my kitchen this year (Dilly beans, pickled asparagus, pickled okra and zucchini pickles, here I come!)I just love the busy time of year when farmers get their produce to the market so that they can get tasty local veggies for us, and well-earned money for them.
    It’s so exciting! πŸ˜€

  • I’m most looking forward to enjoying some sweet Amish-grown Lancaster tomatoes at my June wedding. Living in Southern California has seriously spoiled my fresh food tastes, but there’s nothing like coming home to a tomato grown with love.

  • I always look forward to summer produce but my favorites of the season are raspberries in July and blackberries in August for jam.
    I voted for your sister. It was very easy. Then I went and listened to her music. She’s really good. Vote everyone!

  • I am looking forward to eating the tomatoes that I have planted and then the apples from my tree again.

  • Do I have to pick one thing???! How about right now – spinach and lettuce. I love my fresh greens! But really, everything!

  • I am looking forward (and already enjoyed) stewed rhubarb. I haven’t had it since I was a kis at my grandmas and I forgot how much I love the stuff. Now, if only my rhubarb plant were bigger, LOL.

  • Happy Birthday!
    I voted for Raina which triggered a memory of a Texan I once knew who introduced me to Peach JalapeΓ±o Jam. This caused me to think I should make some this summer and of peaches and peach pie! Mummm…Can’t wait for peach season.

  • Happy Birthday! I hope you have a lovely day filled with family, friends, food and fun. And some pickles.

    Last year was a terribly rainy garden season and everyone’s tomatoes were watery and tasteless, so I am most definitely looking forward to some great tomatoes this summer, some of which will be roasted and frozen, some of which will be canned into salsa, chutney and tomato sauce and some which will be eaten on their own (maybe a little, salt, pepper and olive oil to dress them up), maybe even in the garden as I’m picking them. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I think for me, my favorite is strawberry. It just says SPRING to me like nothing else!

  • I am most looking forward to lots and lots of grilling, stone fruit everything, and not nagging my kids about their homework! We throw everything on the grill, poultry, meats, veggies, fruit, even pizza dough! Grilling is satisfying in so many ways; clean, healthy eating and easy clean up. I love Summer. I love the lack of structure, bike rides to the local ice cream store and “So you think you can dance”. Happy birthday and happy Summer!

  • I can’t wait for tomatoes! I am growing quite a few different varieties, and planning on canning the extras and not needing to buy tomatoes for a year.

  • Happy Birthday!!!

    I can not wait for local peaches. We opened the last jar months ago. I need to put up twice as many this summer. Also, this summer I am hoping to make pickles from cucumbers that I grew myself.

  • To be truthfull, I’m looking forward to learning how to can!
    I’m looking for classes in Oregon, do you have any ideas where I could go?
    …And eating blueberries, lots of blueberries!

  • I can’t wait to eat a fresh tomato! I love Capreze salad with the tomatoes and basil grown in our garden – so yummy.

  • So cool about Raina!

    I am looking forward to whipping up my weekly batch of gazpacho, corn on the cob from the farmer’s market, buying the 10 lb. box of blueberries also from the farmer’s market and watching my famikly go through it in a week, caprese salad, and picking my own blackberries and making your jam recipe!

  • I can’t wait for summer berries and stone fruit. Imported fruit out of season just isn’t’t the same!

  • Green beans! I love them lightly steamed in a pan and served cold. Eating them with my fingers in the backyard with just a little bit of salt on them. I planted mine yesterday so its only a matter of time!

  • happy birthday! I’m gardening for the first time, and am SO looking forward to my first, fresh-off-the-vine tomato, grown from seeds I saved and germinated and coddled along.

  • I’m looking forward to squash from my garden, grilled with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Can’t beat that!

  • Gosh, who can pick one?? Strawberries, peaches, home-grown tomatoes and watermelon are probably what I crave the most.

  • Good luck to your sister! I voted for her.

    I would love to win a copy of this book. I have already made some strawberry jam and jalapeno pepper jelly. I am looking for some more recipes!

    I am looking forward to a big harvest of pole beans. I have never canned them but would like to try it this year.

  • Two things — First, the start of my CSA in June because I love the surprises and the old favorites. Second, the load of fruits I’m going to pick, starting with strawberries and moving through blueberries, peaches, pears, and finally apples to round out the fall. Summer eating is a good thing.

  • I am looking forward to tomatoes with real taste. And eggplant and squash to grill. And, a little less rain would be nice too.

  • I am very much looking forward to making my 2010 batch of HOT dill pickles. I made a mistake last year and used sour cherry leaves instead of grape leaves to keep them firm, and it did not work at all. Goodbye mush, hello crisp pickles again!

  • Watermelon. I love watching the shear joy on my daughter’s face as she devours slice after slice.

  • I’m looking forward to another season with my Colusa Community Gardeners and Our Colusa Certified Farmers Market. Our county has the hightest unemployment rate in California and we started these two ventures to get back that feeling of “Community”…we are in our second successful year and I’m looking forward to greeting the new gardeners, vendors and shoppers and giving big hugs to the “old” group…my new gift to my community: I’m doing Home Food Preservation Workshops once a week the day after the Farmers Market! Looking forward to Jars of Preserves and Happy Smiley Shiney Faces!

  • I am looking forward to walking home from the farmer’s market noshing on berries and plums.

  • I am most looking forward to my Pottawatamie Plum tree producing. It only produces heavily every 2 years or so and last year was a bust. It gives me the most beautiful blush orange plums that are tiny with mostly just pit. But…they make fabulous (nothing else like it) jelly. Pinky peach heaven in a jar.

  • As a resident of the South, I am craving garden fresh tomato sandwiches with just a sprinkling of coarse salt, Duke’s mayo (has to be Duke’s!), on white bread. Nothing tastes more like summer to me. And if I’m feeling fancy, maybe a few torn basil leaves. Even better!

  • Rhubarb. Rhubarb with ginger, rhubarb cake, rhubarb pie, and finally, when summer’s just beginning to really show it’s yumminess, rhubarb and strawberry everything. Peaches, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries (preferably right from the backyard), and all smushed together with a whole lot of sugar to make jam. Yum. Summer.

  • Raspberries! These are one of my favorite tastes of the summer. I generally eat them straight from the bush because they are just so good, but I do try to make a batch of triple berry jam every year (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with white grape juice.)

  • Happy birthday! I saw corn at Whole Foods today–it’s way to early and who knows where it came from, but it did get me watered up for sweet corn with butter and salt in July and August. Yum.

  • I am so looking forward to seeing how my first garden works out and then learning how to can so I can preserve some of the harvest for some delicious meals for friends and family in the cooler months!

  • Happy Birthday!

    Can always use another book,of course. And am looking most forward to peaches. They would be the one thing I’d ask for if we could get nothing else. Tomatoes would probably be more practical, but peaches are what I love the most.

  • I am looking forward to cooking foods from the CSA we joined; to eat healthier (except for when we get our sweet corn, slathed with salt and butter)!

  • I am looking forward to my vegetable garden, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, and Concord grapes. I want to make flavored vinegars, buckles, and preserves, salads, and meals based on veggies.

    My gardens take me back to my grandparents and remind me of all the love that goes into a well nourished family.

  • Joyeux anniversaire! Having recently relocated to Anchorage, Alaska from the San Francisco Bay Area, I vow to make the most of the short summer season here at the local farmers market and am looking forward to discovering different varieties of produce and other foods grown and raised here in Alaska. Rhubarb is native to Alaska, so I hope to eat plenty of it. Can you eat too much?!!

  • Cherry tomatoes. *sighs happily* And fresh fruit, omg. I am craving blueberries for muffins like there’s no tomorrow.

  • Happy Birthday, Marisa!

    I’ve been racking my brain thinking of the one thing I’m most looking forward to, but really it’s eating whatever just got the dirt washed off from Earthkeeper Farm, our friends and CSA in Kent City, MI….

  • Happy Birthday! Its still a bit early for lots of fresh foods in maine, but I am dreaming of and ready for strawberries, snap peas, new potatoes, canning salsa later in the season when tomatoes are ready and maybe planting a garden for my mom.

  • I’m looking forward to the intoxicating smell of fresh peaches and their fuzzy skin rubbing on my nose as I take a giant whiff of heaven. Happy Birthday Marisa!

  • I’m looking forward to making jalapeno jelly from the jalapenos grown in my backyard. Last year was a first attempt. The jelly has been a huge hit with family and neighbors.

  • I always so-look-foward to this time of year–picking wild blackberries (dewberries) with my Hun Bun along the roadsides where we live. We’ve sort-of made a tradition of it and we certainly do compete to see who picks the most!!! No matter what is going on, we pick every day we can for 2-3 weeks. Even when I went back to school in 2008 at age 43, we picked almost every day. I found it relaxing after working/studying all day to get out and pick. The result of our labors are soon turned into deliciously rich, almost seedless, wild dewberry jelly. It took me years of practice to perfect the recipe I use. Happy birthday!!! I would *love* to win the book!!! : )

  • Farmer’s Market! I love everything about it…the music, the veggies, the birdhouses…the flowers…it’s all good πŸ™‚

  • – “looking forward to anything GREEN ,its been a long winter, can’t wait to get out there!

  • This is my second year learning to garden on a large scale, and I am so excited about every element of the process! I live in Vermont, which means I’ve had seedlings on my windowsill for a few months now. (Can’t plant ’em for a while yet, as the weather keeps surprising us and snowing in May. Gak.) Watching the hundreds of plants grow day by day – and try to take over the apartment – has been investing me in the process like never before. I can’t wait to get down into the earth and start our massive garden plan! I am SO looking forward to tomatoes; almost the entire state was hit with late blight last year and we lost our whole crop.

  • I’m looking forward most to snapping the ends off of fresh green beans! As a child that was my job when my grandmother was getting ready to can green beans. I would step up on a stool, hover over the sink, and snap! snap! snap! until all the beans were ready to go. To this day there is still sentimental value and something so gratifying about the process! I have just recently found your blog and I am picking up all kinds of new ideas! Thank you for your posts!

  • This is the first year that I am trying my hand at gardening AND canning and I can’t be more excited! I’ve been hunting through second-hand stores for jars and researching for good canning books. My first item I will be canning is pickled green beans fresh from the garden. I can’t wait.

  • Blueberries and berry-picking… and rhubarb, it takes a bit to get going out here in Newfoundland!!

  • I hope you had a happy birthday. My birthday was Saturday, so we are almost twins. My birthday present was help planting the garden. This summer I am looking forward to getting what I can out of the garden before we have to move in September.

  • I am most looking forward to visiting local u-pick farms and meeting the farmers and seeing first-hand the products of their immense labor (and love)! I will eat fresh what I am able, but I mostly like the process of ‘putting up’ my harvests. Winter months are long in Wisconsin, and there are few things that bring as much pleasure as popping open jars of summer produce! I’m down to the last few jars of a not-so-yummy chutney, and am anxious to try again with a different recipe!

  • i am looking forward to our texas peaches. i have it in mind to pickle some for thanksgiving!

  • I’m looking forward to actually making my grandmother’s canned spaghetti sauce recipe with local veggies. πŸ™‚ And hopefully peaches off the trees in our backyard (if the bugs don’t eat them first).

  • I’m looking forward to cherries and tomatoes – especially the tomatoes that will hopefully be growing in my garden!

  • I am really looking forward to tomatoes! And this year I want to can salsa and tomato sauce, and maybe gazpacho (if that can be canned?). Yum!

  • Well, for the past several years I’ve been fortunate enough to have a large garden. Not so this year. I only have a few tomatos, some peppers, and two eggplants. So what I’m looking forward to most are those first ripe tomatoes. I’ll be making bacon and tomato sandwiches baby, hold the lettuce and bring on the mayo!

    Your sister is a good singer, btw. You were a good sister by posting, I voted for her and her band. Hope they win.

  • I am looking forward to the fresh food out of my garden! Right now it is full of tiny plants, but I know in a short time, I’ll be eating yummy veggies! And maybe canning a few!