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:
- Leave a comment on this post and tell us about your favorite sweet preserve.
- 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.
- Giveaway open to all. Void where prohibited.
- 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.