Giveaway: Candy in a Jar eBooks

May 26, 2015(updated on October 3, 2018)

Book Mill

One of the things I most appreciate about technology is the fact that it gives people the opportunity to share their creative works with larger audiences without having to go through the traditional channels. Musicians can get their music out to appreciate ears, photographers have unlimited methods for disseminating their work, and writers can sidestep the publishing industry with ease.

One such writer who has taken great advantage of ready online distribution is Jennifer Kitchens. She is the author of a quartet of ebooks dedicated to sweet spreads and preserves. They are called Candy in a Jar, More Candy in a Jar, Candy in a Jar: Tastes of Summer, and Candy in a Jar: Fall Flavors (you can also buy all four in a single edition, if you prefer).

Jennifer took the time to answer a few questions about herself. Read more about her and her work after the jump!

For this week’s giveaway, I have three copies of Jennifer’s books to share. The winners will get to choose which they’d like to have and cook from. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell us about your favorite sweet preserve.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog soon thereafter.
  3. Giveaway open to all. 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.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a 30-odd-year-old stay-at-home mom with three adorable kids, a wonderful husband, and writing business on the side. I grew up in California and have since moved to the Midwest. I love being a mom, writing books, reviewing books, and, of course, making jam!

2. How did your interest in canning start?
Canning, especially jams and jellies, didn’t start out as an interest for me. It was simply what was done. Every summer my mom and my aunt and my grandma would all order big flats of berries from whatever mysterious source my grandmother had for cheap berries. We’d get a few flats of raspberries and blackberries and then the jam-making would begin. We’d make several batches and hope it lasted all year. As a kid, I just thought that this was normal. I never even tasted store-bought jam until I was in college – an experience I quickly learned that I never wanted to repeat.

It wasn’t until years later that I really decided to experiment with different recipes. I mean, homemade jam is delicious, but what if you could make that peach jam taste like peach cobbler? Or what if that strawberry jam had chocolate in it? Once I started playing with whatever fruits I could get my hands on, it just took off from there. And, yes, my hubby and kids have always been very willing taste-testers.

3. I can see from your books that you focus on sweet preserves. Any future plans to branch out into the world of pickles or chutneys?
I’m not sure. I’ve always made a lot of jam, but I have had thoughts lately of more savory canned goods. I make a pretty good homemade barbeque sauce and my husband makes a killer homemade marinara. I’ve considered perhaps doing a set of sauces, rubs, and the like. Pickles and chutneys aren’t big in my house, and if I don’t have taste-testers, then, well, it doesn’t really work. 😉

4. Do you have a favorite recipe for using up your preserves?
Leftover jam, what’s that? With a family of five, we go through it almost faster than I can make it. Sandwiches, pancakes, rolls…you name it, we slather it on. Sometimes, though, we have a random flavor that doesn’t get used up quite as fast as other favorites. When that happens, I love making muffins with jam. Not on top of it, but swirled in it. Here’s the recipe. It’s quick, easy, and super yummy with just about any flavor of jam or jelly you want to use.

Disclosure: Jennifer Kitchens gave me a digital copy of her complete canning works so that I could read through and appreciate what she does. She is also providing the giveaway units at no cost. No additional compensation was provided for this post.

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134 thoughts on "Giveaway: Candy in a Jar eBooks"

  • I love our mulberry jam…the fruit is hand picked from our trees (and free!) and I add nothing but some lemon juice and sugar, although I’d love to switch that to our neighbor’s honey. It feels simple and very home produced and I love giving it as gifts. Of course my family eats it up like crazy too, which is great!

  • I love all kinds of fruit butters. Last summer I made cinnamon pear butter in the crockpot and it was delicious.

  • I adore strawberry preserves. So candy in a jar. I love strawberry season but it is so short!

  • I have two current favorites:

    Spiced Apricot Bourbon jam and Currant Raspberry Rose Geranium jam (from the Blue Chair Jam cookbook).

    I don’t know if I’ll be able to make any more of the currant jam as it was a fluke one of the local grocery stores had currants. I never see them in Southern California.

    What I would like to try is Strawberry Rose Geranium but I’ll have to wait for my bushes to get bigger and bloom all at the same time so I have enough flowers. The currant jam uses leaves so it was easy.

    I experimented with boozy jams last summer and now I want to try some exotic herb pairings.

  • I loved to make dewberry jam when i was a teenager, but have not made any in years – this is inspiring me to start again!

  • My preserved cinnamon pickles and my watermelon rind preserves are my favorite things to can and to eat!

  • My favorite sweet jam I make is your Honey Strawberry Jam from Preserving by the Pint and I make it all the time when strawberries are in season!

  • still my favorite is the basic strawberry from fresh picked Michigan berries. Nothing can compare in my eyes.

  • Strawberry Freezer jam is on of my favorites, because the berries don’t need to be cooked they stay bright red and tasting like July! It’s also super easy to make.

  • I’m especially obsessed with jams that have balsamic added. My best use was strawberry balsamic in some goat cheese pop tart things.

  • We don’t really use a lot of jam. My biggest revelation about jam was rereading Tom Sawyer. Tom stole spoonfuls of jam from the pantry because that was the closest he got to candy. I need to make persimmon jam to use up the persimmons filling up my freezer (before the next season rolls around).

  • Marmalade is far and away my favorite. I love jams and wish no harm to jellies, but marmalade is the best.

  • My name is Karen. I am a simple to please Southern native from Tennessee. I grew up with my mother and aunt canning from their gardens. I swore I would never do it when I was old yet here I am. As a widowed mom, self employed at my late husband’s genealogy business and struggling for everything especially time and money I consider it a precious gift that my father still lovingly plants for me so I can preserve and share. Although my biggest canning project is homemade spaghetti sauce in recent years (because I could no longer afford good quality sauces with organic ingredients) I absolutely love canning Lemon Butter. My daughter refers to it as “liquid gold” & I have made many folks smile when given as gifts. I even won first place in the local county fair a few years back. We couldn’t believe the judges had never heard of it. They fought over the jar because they had to taste the list of ingredients. 🙂

  • I have loved strawberry jam all my life, but that doesn’t prevent me from enjoying raspberry jam.

  • Raspberry Jam and Orange Marmalade share top spot on my toast. Mulled wine jelly for thumbprint cookies.

  • I made Peach Pie Preserves for a friend last summer in exchange for the recipe. It was well worth it! I wish I had made more though, it was so delicious.

  • I love any jam with raspberries in it. Last year I made a smashing raspberry/autumn olive jam that was a huge hit. [Autumn olives are not olives – they’re a tree ‘berry’, similar in flavor to cranberries. They grow abundantly out here.]

  • My favourite is my own version of bumbleberry jam. A combination of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. Delicious!

  • My favorite is simple…plain old fresh strawberry jam or fresh raspberry jelly. I opened my last jar yesterday and I’m almost ready to start making some fresh again, just as soon as my neighbors have some strawberries for sale!!

  • I made your apple cranberry jam and it was a hit with everyone that received a jar for Christmas. I have your Preserving by the Pint book and will be checking it out for ideas.

  • I have to tell ya, my favorite sweet preserve might be the one I just made. It was my very first “on my own” water bath canning experience. I took a introduction to canning class at my local cooking store, was introduced to your cookbook and blog, and did some additional research on making jams, jellies, and preserves on my own. Not long after, I went to the local strawberry patch… and now I have 5 jars of strawberry preserves in my kitchen. 🙂 Had some for dessert after dinner. Yum.

  • Sour cherry vanilla jam has to be my favorite. Tastes like cherry pie and I could eat it on cardboard it’s so good!

  • Strawberry rhubarb is my favorite to make for myself. But the best ever is the chokecherry jam my grandmother makes– it would not be complete without us driving up and down the highway to find a well-hidden chokecherry patch at just the right time in the season. Impossible to beat!

  • I made my first batch of basic concord grape jam last summer and my girls devour it every time we open a jar.

  • A family favorite has always been my grandmas strawberry jelly. It was always a treasured sight to see the jars all lined up in our freezer or to see the grocery bag tied in a knot holding a couple precious jars. It’s probably never been all that special but it was homemade and we treated it like gold.

  • I love nectarine preserves, with a hint of a warm spice. Perfect on toast with goat’s cheese and morning coffee.

  • Two favorites: Blueberry-cherry jam is so delicious. I make it with Pomona’s Pectin so the taste of the fruit really shines through without all that much sugar. My other fave is just plain old peach jelly. After extracting the juice, I use the leftover peaches to make a cobbler. Nothing gets thrown away in this house if still usabe, and it is delicious.

  • I love my tomato jam on homemade English Muffin Bread. It’s the greatest but I make dozens of different jellies, jams, marmalades and syrups.

  • Growing up my grandma made raspberry jam which was a favorite. I haven’t been successful growing strawberries here. My current favorite is strawberry vanilla jam. I made it twice already this season and am looking forward to blueberry and blackberry season in a few weeks!

  • I am brand new to canning and love all the great ideas I find on your blog.
    I’m so impressed by all the innovative recipes!

  • I made a concord grape jelly from grapes I received in my CSA last year. The concentration of grape flavor is insane! Never going to back to store bought! I just hope I get some grapes this year again…

  • My favorite -pear marmalade, the old family recipe. The toast becomes just a vehicle for the marmalade.

  • My favorite is one I’ve never made myself: tart cherry preserves. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Favorites are seedless blackberry jam and also strawberry jam, made from fresh-picked Maine berries. This year I am going to try some Vanilla Rhubarb Jam. Last fall, I have made a note on my calendar so I wouldn’t forget when my rhubarb came into season!

  • Sherried strawberry jam! I’m just itching to get my hands on enough strawberries to make this but every pint I buy now is just to dear! I have to eat my fill first!

  • I have only ever used figs to make preserves. But I use the “jello” method and make lots of flavors. One of my favorites is Lemon Ginger. Ha ha, I have never been afraid to experiment. I also make a great spiced peach version – which was my first attempt at adding spices to the preserve mixtures. Mmmmmmm so good on a hot buttered biscuit.

  • I don’t have just one, I’m partial to different jams seasonally and by situation: blackberry for pb sandwiches, pear for French toast, spiced tomato for savory sandwiches.

  • I love root beer jam – anyone know how to make it? I don’t know if that qualifies as my sweet preserve because I don’t know what is inside the jam. LOL My other fav is pumpkin butter!!

  • Besides the traditional grape or apple jellies my (late) husband favorite was Rose Patel Jelly. Don said that the Rose Patel Jelly tasted as sweet as roses smelled. I liked the jams the best.

  • I make a blackberry walnut jam and wild grape jelly every year, it would be hard to pick which is my favorite!
    Both berries are up at our northern Minnesota cabin and if I can beat the critters, they are perfection.

  • Chokecherry and crab apple-my grandmother’s old recipe without commercial pectin. It’s hard to get the fruits these days, but it is heaven!

    I also like several of Jennifer Kitchen’s recipes, especially the Apple Pie jam and the Cherry Chocolate jam!

  • My favorite is ollalieberry jam – but with the drought I don’t know that there will be many berries to pick this year. Last year was pretty awful. But there is always some delicious fruit to turn into jam so who knows what we might discover this year if we are berry-less.

  • Mulberry Jelly is my number 1 fav! As a child I remember slathering Mom’s award winning mulberry jelly on my PB&J’s. Last year I stumbled upon quite a few mulberry trees nearby and decided it was time for Mom to pass the torch. Ever since Mom taught me how to make that that first batch of mulberry jelly I’ve been a canning fool!!!

    1. I have a mulberry tree (planted courtesy of the birds!) that I think will produce quite a bit this year. I’ll be searching for a good mulberry jelly recipe!

  • On my 50th birthday I signed the contract for a community garden plot ..
    I had been waiting 2 years..
    The weeds were taller than me (I am 5’3) and there was lots to do before we could grow anything on it
    All my fruit trees had to go because of disease but there were 2 plum trees on the back of my plot (20×50)
    The first year it didn’t produce as we had to cut it back (rules of the garden)
    I had no idea what type of fruit tree it was…much to my delight it started to produce the next year..
    I had never eaten a green gage plum before..and decided that I would make jam with some of my bounty..
    The look on my sweethearts face as he took his first bite of toast with a dollop of my jam is a memory I will think about as I make it again this year..

  • A co-worker gave me 20 lbs of peaches last week! Made 8 pints of peach jam using your recipe from Food in Jars…delicious!

  • I’ve been working my way through my freezer – I just made some cara-cara orange marmalade. So good 🙂

  • I think my favorite has to be the cherry/blueberry jam I invented out of necessity (half of my gold-plated Bing cherries went bad, and the only other thing I had in the house was blueberries). DELICIOUS, and my most popular flavor now, after the blueberry and blue grape I also came up with out of necessity 😛

  • Last year I made some plum jam really on a whim. We were at our local orchard, getting peaches and they had some plums and my daughter said to me, “Can we make plum jam?” So we did and it was amazing. We made a small batch, promptly ate way too much of it because it was so delicious, then went back the following weekend to get more plums. Unfortunately, it was toward the end of the season, so we were only able to get enough to make another small batch. There’s one jar remaining, that I’ve been hoarding all winter, just waiting for a special occasion.

  • It’s hard to pick just one, but I think my current favorite is Pineapple Jam with Chinese 5 Spice. It tastes like pineapple upside-down cake in a jar. I could totally just eat it with a spoon.

  • Lately I’ve been into berry pancake syrup. It started last summer with black berries. I just made strawberry from some of the strawberries we just picked. It is easy and delish.

  • Apricot is far and away my favorite, though I wouldn’t turn up my nose at a good plum jam…or most jams really.

  • Favorite preserve? I’m loving the orange vanilla bean I made last weekend, but my favorite ever is the strawberry fig I made last summer. yum!

  • I love all the things I have coaxed from this year’s local citrus crop. I have orange marmalade, orange extract, triple sec, a knockoff Grand Marnier, orange essential oil, and dried zest, and that’s just the oranges! I also crafted with lemons and grapefruit. The thing I love most, though, from my winter extracting, is the vanilla extract I created with brandy. Evening coffe became extravagant with flavor.

  • Concord grape! But how could a really choose just one favorite flavor? Thanks for the giveaway.

  • My favorite sweet preserve varies depending on the season and some batches turn out better than others. My husband made strawberry jam with hops and habanero over the weekend and I cannot wait to eat it with bread and cheese tonight!

  • Is there anything better than strawberry jam made from the berries fresh picked from your own garden? Pure candy in a jar!