Classes, Folk Music + Giveaway

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.

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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.

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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).

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186 responses to “Classes, Folk Music + Giveaway”

  1. Being as I live in the upper Midwest, I’m looking forward to FRESH foods. Something that hasn’t been frozen or canned would be a nice change. Just yesterday my 5year-old was asking when we’d have corn-on-the-cob again. Soon, love, soon.

  2. Does it count if it’s already here? Fresh, local strawberries!!! I’ve been eating a pint each morning since we got a flat from our CSA last week. But if we have to look to the future, I’ll go for the beautiful array of peppers that will show up when the real summer heat arrives. That, and the amazing colors of everything in the market!

  3. Cucumbers! My toddler loves them both raw and pickled, and she is already talking up a blue streak about pickling them for the first time. It will be a first time for me, too, so hopefully we have a bumper crop!

  4. I voted for your sister- Best of luck to her!

    I am most definitely keeping my fingers crossed for this book! My favorite part of the season is going to the farmers market- The beautiful fruits and veggies are gorgeous and delicious!
    I have always just eaten the fruit when it gets ripe or used the veggies in recipes, but i am hoping to start canning and preserving it! I used your strawberry jam recipe a few weeks ago (first canning experience) and it was INCREDIBLE!

  5. I’m most looking forward to my “canning weekends” – I do a lot of canning on my own in evenings or weekends, but one weekend I’m having friends come to visit and help peel all the beets! And another weekend I will go visit my sister and we make lots of jam. Canning is good, but canning with others is better!

  6. Tomatoes. There is nothing better than local tomatoes. Last year I planted over 20 tomatoes in our garden, and just as they were really starting to produce, I had to leave for a seven-week business trip to San Antonio. My husband ate all the tomatoes fresh, didn’t can a single one. I’m practically salivating over the thought of caprese salad, and just as importantly, of pasta made with a rich tomato sauce in the dead of winter from my canned tomatoes.

  7. Happy birthday! I’m most looking forward to canning projects with a friend, normally I can solo. No better way to get to know someone better then working side by side in the kitchen to make something wonderful together.

  8. Tomatoes…Ones that actually taste and smell like tomatoes should, instead of those pale hot-house imitations. Can’t wait!

  9. This year the garden has been expanded a lot, so I am looking forward to drowning in tomatoes for all sort of canning expeditions. But my favorite part of summer is eating a perfect nectarine, just as it is.

  10. Asparagus! My family’s cottage is located in the asparagus capital of the world, and you can buy it for $1/lb at little roadside stands where you weigh your own produce and pay in a lockbox, or order it deep fried at the local boat club. Tastes like summer!

  11. I’m looking forward to fresh garden salads with dinner and the rows and rows of jarred food I hope to have by the end of the season to get me through the winter.

  12. What am I looking forward to this summer… a new baby in the house and watching my daughter become a big sister. Having my mum here and later my dad too which will hopefully mean enough adults with an interest in these things around that despite expanding family we can pick berries and make jam. Maybe this year I’ll have my daughter help me pickle cucumbers since she loves those.
    I am sooo looking forward to fresh local produce from the farmers market, so far we’ve had salad greens and rhubarb but look forward in particular to asparagus, tomatoes, corn, peaches, berries… oh now I’m just torturing my pregnant self!!

  13. I’m looking forward to the first strawberries from my garden. The wild strawberries didn’t produce anything last year, but they’ve taken over and are flowering like crazy, so I’m really hoping this year will yield at least a few berries.

  14. I’m looking forward to quickles!! And all of the delicious fresh veggies from our CSA. My goal is to try at least 3 new canning recipes this summer depending on what’s in abundance this season. I’m also looking forward to restocking my freezer with pesto (I only have 2 cubes left!). I would love to use this book as inspiration as I’m still well in the newbie category.

  15. I am looking forward to zucchini proliferation! Lots of my friends and coworkers have gardens and bring me their garden excess since I don’t have anywhere to grow things. Zucchini, which produces so prolifically, is something they provide in pretty much constant supply. Btw, one of my favorite canning projects I’ve ever done was a zucchini habanero ‘marmalade’. Very delicious especially when mixed with cream cheese and made into a cracker spread

  16. This will be my first summer in my own kitchen, so I am looking forward to big projects involving hordes of fruit and bushels of tomatoes. And basil. Lots of basil.

  17. I wish I lived close enough to take your classes! I’d be happy with a good instructing book, though. I joined a CSA for the first time this summer, and I’m most looking forward to enjoying FRESH food and learning to cook with new veggies I’ve never tried before.

  18. Happy birthday, Marisa!!

    I can’t wait to can up a second year’s worth of tomatoes in their own juices — last summer’s were so successful that I’ve planted a couple of Amish Paste tomato plants just for that!

  19. I’m really hoping for gorgeous tomatoes. Both my parents’ garden and mine ended up with late blight (though I had a long, productive season beforehand) last year, so we both have broken (well, I’m still working on that part, but theirs is planted) new ground for this year’s tomatoes.

    But that also means that we’ve started growing things we’ve never grown before in the beds that can’t have nightshades this year. I have a huge lettuce garden and little seedlings started for when the lettuce peaks. I have a huge assortment of other greens, too: collards, chard, cabbage, brusssel sprouts, broccoli. It’s pretty exciting.

    Next year will be peas and cucubmbers and things that need a trellis-type support.

    (voted for Raina!)

  20. I am looking forward to the increasing abundance in the Farmer’s Markets each weekend. In Minnesota, our growing season is *so* short, so I appreciate the bounty when we have it.

  21. I am looking forward to peaches. Lots and lots of peaches. Peach cobbler, peach jam, and standing over the sink eating peaches. Yum!!

  22. Voted for your sis three times with 3 different (valid e-mails). 🙂 I hope she does well.

    What I am most looking forward to – fresh corn on the cob, and August tomatoes. I make this fresh tomato salad that is just tomatoes, green peppers and onions, chopped finely, add a little olive oil and some salt. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Eat it with some good bread – heaven. One of my mom’s Italian friends taught me to make it when I was 16… Love it.

    Happy Birthday by the way. I’ll be 30 in August…and I am with you on the how did that happen thing.

  23. What a great giveaway on my birthday!! 🙂 And happy early birthday to you! I’m looking most forward to walking out the back door and picking some fresh vegetables and then eating them. It doesn’t get any more fresh than that!

  24. There is so much to look forward to – eating food I’ve grown myself, trips to the farmer’s market, canning food for the winter, berry picking, and biting into a fresh juicy peach. But the thing I always look forward to most is my mom’s raspberry pie.

  25. First off, happy birthday!!! wooooo!!! And thank you for celebrating it with a giveaway (though i feel like i should mail you something!).

    I’m SO looking forward to summer food. We’ve recently moved to a zone 7 (from a zone 2/3) and are growing heirloom tomatoes and basil to make summer pestos. Also, the local farmer’s market promises pumpkins and squashes and apples and pears oh my from my neighbourhood! yay! xo

  26. I am new to canning, but last year I canned a small batch of spaghetti sauce… and everyone loved it. So I am am looking forward to making many more jars of spaghetti sauce this year. Love your blog, thanks for all your wonderful recipes.

  27. I’m looking forward to lots of delicious apricot dishes! Apricot is a new love of mine and I plan to wear it out this summer. 😀

  28. Happy birthday! 31 is a good age 🙂

    I am looking forward to fresh, homegrown produce! Living in the midwest…we don’t have a lot of that during the winter! Also anxious to restock my canning shelves. They are close to empty!

  29. I’m looking forward to all the summer fruit-picking: foraging apricots and mulberries from the trees in my city neighborhood, picking blueberries and cherries and black raspberries, and if I’m lucky, some strawberries for freezer jam.

  30. Happy Birthday! I’m looking forward to the abundance of my favorite fruits–berries and stone fruits. I love baking with them, making jam, and just plain eating them.

  31. I can’t wait for fresh bruschetta. And while I know I’ll be sick of it by the end, I cant wait to start turning out some zucchini bread with the overabundance.

  32. It always seems like a cruel joke that canning season is also the hottest time of the year. You mean I have to stand over a giant pot of boiling water AND it’s going to be 95 degrees outside? But in spite of that misery, it is actually what I look forward to most each summer. Sort of a masochistic thing, I guess, but it means you are really in the thick of canning season, and your hard work is that much more satisfying!

  33. Happy Birthday! I am most looking forward to seeing my garden tomatoes grow 8 feet tall and ripen beautiful red tomatoes! I’ll can almost every one of them, and some green ones too!

  34. for sure looking forward to tomatoes and zucchini, although like someone mentioned above, by the end of the summer i’ll be drowning in them and paying people to take them off my hands.

  35. I am most looking forward to learning how to can!!! I have decided that I CAN do it 🙂 Also, this is my family’s first year as CSA members – today was our first pickup – pick your own strawberries (a pint each for me and my mom), a few sprigs of mint (to be used in mojitos at my belated cinco de mayo fiesta on saturday) and 1/2 pound of arugula. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season will bring. I also can’t wait to go down the shore with my family and the meals we will make there (they always taste so much better with the ocean breeze).

  36. All the fresh vegetables, especially tomatoes! If all goes well I will be overrun with them by the end of the summer.

  37. Fresh peaches from my trees! It’s our first year in our new house and we inherited three peach trees with the property. I’m watching them grow and can’t wait to taste them! Happy birthday to you. Just celebrated mine yesterday.

  38. I’m in a new place this summer and so I have new and wonderful things to look forward to. First, I get to look forward to growing, harvesting, eating and preserving food from my own garden for the first time! I am also looking forward to eating food sold by my neighbors and bartering things I have in abundance for things they do.
    So delicious and nourishing!

  39. I am looking forward to so much! Living in Southern California, summer isn’t quite the same relief as when I lived in Ohio, but it’s still great. I planted a container garden this year and I”m looking forward to seeing if anything will actually survive (not looking good so far). I also JUST bought canning equipment so I’m excited to peruse the farmers’ markets and try out some recipes. I’m hoping to get to some of the National Parks, too. So much planned for this summer!

    Happy Birthday!

  40. I look forward to the first taste of lovage…up even before the rhubarb is ready! So far have only made a cream soup with it and then a quiche. Would love some new ideas of what to do with it. Its flavor is a cross between celery and parsley. Maybe this new book would point me in the right direction.

  41. I am looking forward to the smell of my garden on a cool summer morning, and being able to go out and pick lunch or dinner. I hope to have enough green beans to pickle some this year – I will pickle anything.

  42. I’m looking forward to the sour cherries on my neighbor’s tree ripening, so we can can sour cherry preserves and syrup. Last year it was too rainy, so the cherries didn’t do well; I’m hoping for a dry early summer this year!

  43. I can’t wait to go blueberry picking with my kids. My other favorite is chowder and clamcakes when we go camoing near the beach in RI. But today I’m happy with all the rhubarb I’ve got and am getting ready to do some canning – apple rhubarb chutney and strawberry rhubarb jam. What a great afternoon ahead of me!

  44. I am so excited to sit in the backyard with friends and drink sangria and grill! I found so many wonderful-sounding recipes this winter for grilling and I’ve been waiting months to break out the charcoal again. I also am excited to try pickling for the first time – I love anything acidic and I am eager for the bounty of summer vegetables to try making pickled everything!

  45. BLT’s with bacon from the neighbors pig, tomato from the garden and lettuce from the kitchen patch. All on homemade toasted whole wheat bread…oh I cannot wait!

  46. The thing I look forward to the most is tomatoes! We had the blight here last year, and we had none!! I love to can them, fill my canning room shelves and make delicious pizza and pasta sauce with them all winter long!

  47. First, since I haven’t previously left comments on you site, I really enjoy following your blog. One of the things I’m really looking forward to this summer is buying a house with a bit of land. I can’t wait to start a garden and canning/preserving for the first time in the last ~30 years!

  48. We moved from CA to CT in November so I’ve been really missing the year-round farmer’s markets and produce. I’m most looking forward to tomatoes, just straight up, sliced with a little bit of sea salt. I think I’ve forgotten how good they can be.

  49. we put out green beans and tomatoes in our compound buckets last night. I am looking forward to watering and caring for them with my kids and hopefully producing enough to can sauce for the winter. I can not wait for our CSA to kick in (June! one more month!) strawberries and blueberries oh my!

  50. Happy Birthday! I’m looking forward to fresh tomatos, and getting my canning equipment out of storage (I’m in the process of moving). I’ve never canned anything with tomatoes and I’m looking forward to changing that soon!

  51. Happy Happy Birthday!
    I am looking forward to all the wonderful fresh veg! Nothing beats a big salad full of farmers market goodies on a hot hot night.
    <3 Lauren

  52. I’m most looking forward to putting up some plum jelly. My grandma always made plum jelly and it was definitely my favorite. When I got out of the house and canning on my own I tried and tried to make plum jelly, but it was never quite right so I eventually gave up. A few years ago I happened upon an orchard of “wild” plum trees. The fruit is small and incredibly tart–but it makes delicious jelly! Even Grandma says it’s almost perfect!

  53. I am looking forward to putting aside enough food to eat locally throughout the entire year. I am hard at work planning and planting the garden. I have poultry meat growing big and strong at a local farm. I am milking one of my girly goats and making cheese and saving milk for cooking and for soap. I have baby chicks on the dining room table for eggs and honeybees hard at work in the yard. I am also planning to expand my preserving and freezing accomplishments. This is all a new, learning process for me…adding a bit all the time–like freezing (bought my first freezer last year) and canning (inherited a ton of jars a few years ago). I am looking forward to a more sustainable lifestyle in my backyard and my kitchen!!!

  54. All that wonderful California fruit (cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, strawberries, blackberries, and tomatos–just to name a few).

  55. I am looking forward to my first crop of strawberries. I had some extra plastic hanging baskets that were justing going to waste, so I spruced them up and now have three of them hanging by my front door. They are blooming beautifully and are ever bearing so I’ll get fruit right into October, which is awesome! And maybe enough to jam with.

    Happy Birthhday!

  56. Happy Birthday!
    I’m most looking forward to the apricots from our tree. It snowed here last week, so I’ve got quite a bit more waiting to do!

  57. I voted for your sister, hope she wins!! As for summer, I’m so waiting for berry picking season. It’s my most favorite time of year. Happy birthday!

  58. There are so many things I am excited for about summer, it’s hard to narrow it down! We’re getting a grill pretty soon, and I’m most anxious to have people over for a cookout and share the bounty of foods that summer brings; I have especially been DYING to grill fruits, like peach halves and pineapple slices and who knows what else! Soon I’ll be a canning machine (thanks to you and your upcoming class :)), so this summer is definitely all about getting culinarily creative, in AND out of the kitchen.

  59. I cannot WAIT for all my gardens to mature! We have grown the most EVER (over 100 plants!) some from seed, some from seedlings.

  60. I’m super excited about peaches (and everything else… tomatoes, beans, okra)! My husband and I make peach wine, but this summer I am going to try making peach butter too. I’ve never had it and am really anticipating going to a PYO and trying it out. I will also stash some in the freezer for peach ice cream – Oh I can’t wait!

  61. Happy Birthday! I turn 31 this month also – it’s a little weird, especially when I remember thinking my cousins were *so old* when they turned 30. Funny, but I don’t feel old at all 😉

    I am extremely excited about strawberry shortcake (my most often requested birthday cake of recent years) and the abundance of strawberries this year! Going to work on strawberry jam for the first time (I’ve been focusing my putting up on vegetables and stock/meat these last few years in an effort to preserve us through a winter). This summer, I’m adding some fun extras that I’ve been longing to work into my canning “schedule” along with the regular tomatoes, applesauce, jalapeno jelly and a variety of frozen veggies. Definitely more jams and jellies, and more fruit! My grandmother’s cherries were always my most favorite treats.

    Hope you enjoy every moment of your celebrations!

  62. I canned for the first time last Summer and fell in love with it. My garden was really too small to can a tremendous amount, but I canned as much as I could from it. This year I have expanded my garden with the plan to preserve more, so this Summer I’m looking forward to reaping a great harvest and to canning, canning and more canning!

  63. Summers in southwest Florida can be a little challenging: however, I am looking forward to making pineapple/mango jam.

  64. We joined a local CSA a few years ago – and I can’t wait for the first harvest. The first boxes are pretty ‘light’ with mostly greens – yum! This year I’d really like to try more of canning – I’ve only done a few jars of beans.

  65. I wish I lived in Philly so I could take one of your classes, I’m going to start putting things in jars this summer. My mom always does it and I need to learn how to do it so I can keep the tradition going.

    I am most looking forward to trying my hand at strawberry jam for the first time and making garlic pickles.

  66. I’m looking forward to making more pickles and salsas! I always make tons of jam with fruits from the farmers market (because they’re so much fun to make), but the pickles and salsas are what always go first. This year I’m looking forward to preserving foods that I will really be able to eat all winter long (on more than just toast).

  67. Today I bought my first pint of strawberries of the season at the farmers market. Can’t wait to eat them for breakfast tomorrow!

  68. I’m really looking forward to going strawberry picking next month. I”m going to try to make jam for the first time.

  69. I’m looking forward to learning how to can this summer (sadly I can’t come to your upcoming class because of work…) so I can’t wait for all of the ripe berries bursting with sweetness to be made into spreadable fruit to be enjoyed all winter long.

    Also, tomatoes…. glorious, glorious tomatoes. I just put my plants in and can’t wait for them to yield.

  70. We planted potatoes this year & I can’t wait to go on a treasure hunt to dig for those lovely buried treasures!

  71. My favorite summer fruit or veggie would be what is in season. I can’t wait to get going! Who doesn’t want/need a new canning book. Well I do!

  72. 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…..

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

  74. 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. 🙂

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. 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!

  80. 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! 😀

  81. 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.

  82. 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!

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

  84. 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.

  85. Happy Birthday!
    I voted for Raina which triggered a memory of a Texan I once knew who introduced me to Peach Jalapeño 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.

  86. 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!

  87. 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!

  88. 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.

  89. 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.

  90. 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!

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

  92. 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!

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

  94. 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!

  95. 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.

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

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

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

  100. 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!

  101. 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!

  102. 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.

  103. 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!

  104. 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.

  105. 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.)

  106. 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.

  107. 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!

  108. 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.

  109. 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)!

  110. 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.

  111. 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?!!

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

  113. 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….

  114. 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.

  115. 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!

  116. 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.

  117. 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!!! : )

  118. Farmer’s Market! I love everything about it…the music, the veggies, the birdhouses…the flowers…it’s all good 🙂

  119. 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.

  120. 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!

  121. 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.

  122. 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.

  123. 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!

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

  125. 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!

  126. 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.

  127. 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!

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