Hitchhiking to Heaven e-Book Giveaway

November 9, 2010(updated on October 3, 2018)

Shae’s prize-winning jam

When I first started writing this website, I was one of the only ones out here blogging about canning, preserving and generally putting food in jars. Happily, in the last two years, a whole community of jam and pickle makers has sprung up. Folks like Kaela, Julia, Kate, Tigress and those happy goats are just some of the plucky preservation-minded writers who have leapt into the seasonal fray.

Another preserving blogger, who I had the pleasure of meeting last month at BlogHer Food, is Shae Irving from Hitchhiking to Heaven. Shae is an award-winning jam maker (truly, she won nine ribbons in the 2010 Marin County Fair) who happens to also be an accomplished writer. So, it was just a natural step for her to write a little e-book detailing her jam making techniques and favorite recipes. It’s called Hitchhiking to Heaven Prizewinning Recipes 2010 and it’s worth every penny of the $9.95 price tag.

I bought myself a copy as soon as I learned it was available and spent the next hour of my workday (shh, don’t tell) drinking it in (I love the instantaneous nature of the e-book). I find that the more I get into this world of canning, the more there seems to be to learn and absorb. Shae’s little book offers just the sort of detail that feeds my creativity and makes me want to leap to my feet and head to the kitchen (if any agents or publishers are reading this, I suggest you get in touch with Shae post-haste. She’s a gem and her writing is just lovely).

Lucky for all of you out there (and courtesy of Shae), I have one copy of this book to give away. Just leave a comment on this post and share what you think your prize-winning recipe would be. The comments will close at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10, 2010.

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209 thoughts on "Hitchhiking to Heaven e-Book Giveaway"

  • Pear preserves! I make them, but nothing like the way my grandmother did. Oh, how I wish she had written down her steps!

  • I think it’s safe to say that, at the moment, I do not have any prize winning recipes- I just started canning this year & am still on the basics!

  • I would choose my fig jam, but its yumminess is likely more due to the gloriousness of the backyard fig tree (so picked at peak of ripeness) than any extraordinary skill of my own!

  • My prize winning jam would be the blueberry-lime jam that I made this summer. It’s a recipe in the Blue Ball Book, but not one I remember seeing when I was a kid. I’m a huge fan of fresh blueberries, but don’t usually choose blueberry jam. The lime perks the blueberries up and gives a special zing. Yum.

  • I am new to canning this year. I made some applesauce that was so delicious my co-workers and I eat it straight from the jar!

  • I made maraschino cherries this year- which were much boozier than I expected, but everyone loves them! and I had extra syrup, so my kids had Shirley Temple Floats!

  • I made tons of hot pepper mustard this year! It was a huge hit! Best of all I grew all of the peppers in my greenhouse and it was great to put them to use and be able to share with family and friends. I also made apricot pepper jam that was fantastic. Can’t wait to give it out for Christmas.

  • Best for this year so far was probably peach salsa. Wouldn’t say it was award-winning, but it was just so good!

  • spicy dilly beans! its so easy, but people are always astounded at how yummy they are – could probably do other veggies instead of beans, but i haven’t tried yet. also just made killer apple butter – easy and SOOOO tasty.

  • I think my best recipe is probably by plum butter, but my pear butter would be close on its heels.

  • My beach plum jam. I liked it better than the prize-winning one I bought, so I figure it could be prize-worthy.

    @Debbie: Pickled chard stems sound great! Never thought of that!

  • My award winning jam would be my banana foster jam that is heaven on earth. Great on everything from peanut butter to ice cream. YUM!

  • I have yet to can things properly. I usually just stick things in the freezer. I dont have the proper tools just yet. But I would love to make Red Wine and Clementine Apricots and Prunes in the book. This sounds so yummy!
    Tina Kay

  • Hmm..most prize winning recipe may not be a canned item. But our canned peaches were pretty good and so brightly colored! And the tomato jam was interesting.

  • I have just started Canning…..my first being my abundant tomato harvest this year. I would love to do more….and would love to have the e-book 🙂

  • Mine might be peach-blackberry jam (modified from your apricot-blackberry recipe). But peach melba (peach w/ raspberries) and good ole’ blackberry-raspberry are also pretty awsome. This book looks GREAT!

  • Hitchhiking to Heaven sounds fun! I am so happy to have found Food in Jars. I have been canning for 30+ years and my favorite item to can is BBQ sauce. I would say my prize winner would be my Plum Ginger Sauce. I have 3 different kinds of plum trees and each one lends its own distinct flavor to the sauce. So tasty on grilled squash, chicken, pork. It also makes an awesome dipping sauce for pot stickers and the homemade eggrolls my husband and I love making together. I eat local because I can!

  • I’d enter my Balsamic Beet Jam. It connects me to my grandmother’s Russian roots with a modern twist. They definitely weren’t swigging the balsamic in Minsk!

  • I’d love to try this! My prize winner would either be Dilly Beans (because I didn’t grow up eating them and now my two year old and I can eat a whole jar in one sitting, even without Daddy’s help!) or my zucchini relish. Seriously that relish is AMAZING and this is coming from a girl who didn’t even like pickle relish much. And the meat lady at the farmer’s market liked it so much she called me on the drive home to ask me to make a batch for her in exchange for a whole lotta grass fed beef and pork. It is just that good!


  • eeek! i’ve recently become infatuated with canning & preserving!! thanks to you & your blog, my list of “must try” is getting longer all the time, and i love it. my mom & i have been making homemade applesauce as long as i can remember…to the point that i wouldn’t even fathom buying it. it’s so fun & easy to make…and so much more delicious! so our applesauce would for sure be my recipe. if i can figure out if i can preserve my new favorite salted caramel sauce and mexican chocolate ganache recipes, though, i’d have to think much harder about my choice ;o)

    thank you so much for this super fun & totally swoon-worthy giveaway, marisa!!

  • Everything I make seems so basic compared to all of these amazing-sounding jams! But, my concord grape jam is delish! I would love to win this book!

  • I love reading Hitchhiking to Heaven and have learned so much from Shae’s writing. My prize winning recipe would be the cherry butter that I made this last summer. From my friend, Scott’s, organic cherry farm – it tastes just like Christmas!

  • I love her blog and yours! Great way to feed my canning habit. I’ve put up more than 300 jars this summer/fall. I love the inspiration!

  • I make some mean sauerkraut but I never can it in order to preserve all the good bacteria. I think my favorite thing I’ve canned would be my plum butter. I was walking down my street one day and my neighbor gave me a huge bag of plums from her tree, since she didn’t know what to do with them! I also really like pickled plums, with star anise and ginger. Yum!

  • I really like my plain ol’ Blackberry jam made from the wild blackberries we pick near our house. I would love the e-book to learn more!

  • If the category encompassed any type of canning, my prize-winning entry would be candied jalapenos. If limited to fruit spreads, then orange marmalade.

  • My applesauce. No sugar added, just appley goodness using a variety of apples from the family fruit farm. To me it’s family history and love in a jar.

  • I don’t think I have a prize winning recipe since I’ve been a little scared to dive off that end of the canning spectrum. I definitely have some coveted canned goods, they just aren’t my recipes (peach-cranberry conserve and blueberry-lime jam are two requested spreads).

  • My prize winning jam has yet to be created:) But I’ll keep trying. Until then my family will enjoy and suffer through the experiments.

  • I think my prizewinning recipe would be my Everyberry Jam. I do a jam making marathon for a few days in a row. Whatever is left over after I thaw a bag of berries and measure out what I need, goes in the fridge, When there are enough leftovers to make a batch it all gets combined and made into a unique mixture of jam, every batch a bit different, very yummy.

  • Perhaps my favorite tasting canning project this season is my Gooseberry & Raspberry Jam. I’ve just finished two batches of Apple Rose Hip jelly which is a very close second. Must not neglect the sunny natured Necterine Peach jams, quietly glowing in the pantry.

  • My Fermented Pickles. They are just sour and salty enough to server to anyone who enjoys a deli style pickle. Plus I have had several pregnant friends lately who have all said they LOVE them.

  • I recently made concord grape jam for the first time ever. It was also my first time canning and I’m totally in love with preserving now! Everyone couldn’t believe how well my first try turned out.

  • My raspberry chocolate ice cream topper from the Ball Canning book would be my submission. I was able to look at some canning entries at a local fare this year. I always wondered what you would have to do to submit. I guess I might look into next year for my county fair. 🙂

  • Greetings from South Carolina. We had wonderful blueberries on my parent’s farm and juicy local peaches this year. I have so many lovely memories of canning this summer. Picking blueberries with my mom and best friend. Canning peach-ginger marmalade with my beautiful daughter. My two man-sons peeling apples and stirring the applesauce. This winter when the trees are bare, and I am exhausted from a week worth of leading literacy, I will savor those gifts from the nature’s bounty. (While reading your blog of course!!)Blessings!

  • My prize winning recipe would be my cranberry sauce. The recipe is very simple, but everyone seems to love it and ask for a few jars every year at this time.

  • My prize winning recipe would be my apple-pear butter. It tames all manner of beasts, including three year olds who are notoriously picky eaters. 🙂

  • I think my prize winning recipe would have to be my fig jam. Each year our fig tree produces enormous amounts of fruit for about 1.5 months. The peak in mid-August is overwhelming, especially since the fresh ripe fruit rots so quickly once it is off the tree. If it weren’t for making jam and wine, our chickens would be getting incredibly fat off of all the fruit that would be falling of the tree. The jam recipe itself is simple, just figs, sugar, and a bit of lemon… but it is divine served on everything from ice cream to brie and french bread.

  • My daughter would say it’s my spaghetti sauce. She won’t eat any other type now! Would love to be the great winner of your E-book! I think I’m addicted to canning now! lol

  • Would have to be this year’s roasted pear butter. Fabulously smooth and chock-full of lovely vanilla seeds. The only thing wrong with it is that we didn’t make enough!

  • This is my first season of canning and I’ve really enjoyed your website and just about any book you’ve recommended thus far. Can’t wait to check out this new one!

  • It is hard to pin down exactly but it would probably be one of our marmalades. While in Florida last Feb. we made over 15 different citrus marmalades and preserves. We segment each piece of the orange, grapefruit, lemon or lime which takes tons of time but makes a beautiful finished product. We look forward to this now every year! Thanks for the chance to win…this e-book sounds great!

  • I think my prize winning recipe would be my black berry jam. Dead simple and I think it tastes soo good because I “snagged” the berrys from someone elses yard 🙂

  • what a lovely sounding book… and even better title (love the alliteration)… my prize winning food in jars would not be something I’ve ever made, but instead my husband’s roasted tomatillo salsa, which we canned for the first time this year (usually we freeze it and defrost as needed)… everything in it is roasted producing an incredible flavour… and the best part is the versatility of the salsa which can be made into a sauce with the addition of tahini, a soup (using a Rick Bayless recipe), used to kick up re-fried beans and a terrific and tasty gift… out of all the tomatillo salsas I’ve tried, my husband’s is still the one that lingers with me, especially when we get all of the ingredients at our local farmers’ market… yum yum!

  • I love fresh taste… I currently played with a few recipes and made ginger-apple sauce… maybe it has been done before but hey I haven’t seen it… but then again with 2 kids (3,4) and being 7 months prego I haven’t seen a lot of things lately… including my feet! I would also love to see a tropical fruit jam…yum yum… mangos, and pinapple… and hmmm maybe some other exotic flavors… oh and maybe japanese apple/pear jam with a little ginger and cinnamon ugh and now I want to go JAM something lol

  • Since my apple pie jam kind of fell flat (didn’t set!), I think my prize winning recipe would be my pear butter this year. Next year I’m hoping to preserve so much more though!

  • Wow – just quickly glancing at some of the previous posts makes me wish I had access to all those recipes – peach & lavendar butter – I REALLY want to know how to make that one! I do make Amazing Bread & Butter Pickles. Got the recipe many years ago from my aunt – I’ll trade my Bread & Butter Pickles recipes for the Peach & Lavendar Butter recipe….Hint, Hint!

  • Zoiks ! I think my Thai pickles would be the winner. I really like the sweet/hot (in this case it would be warm)flavors and with lots of garlic in it to add another dimension.

  • This is my first year canning and I purchase my local veggies and fruits through a delivery service. No commitments, just an email every other week that lets them know what I want and *poof* it’s delivered to my door! The amount of food has been great to try my hand at some small batch preserving.

    They had the most succulent and gigantic blackberries and some luscuious red rasberries that I wanted to use up before they went south and thought of making a sauce for ice cream.

    I boiled them down and pressed it through a sieve, added some sugar and lemon juice and about a teaspoon of cardamom, a spice I never used before and we used it warm over some great vanilla ice cream. After it cooled down in the jars, it was firm enough to be considered a jam.

    It is delicious and my first attempt! I have about 4 tablespoons left and hope I can remember how to make this again next year. I may just have to make a few pints to last me through the winter.

  • I think that in this first year of canning my best success has been pears in extra light syrup with mulling spices that make them taste like christmas! I haven’t attempted many jams – I did make the watermelon jelly recipe from Food in Jars which was awesome – and being a fellow Marin Country Fair goer, I would love to try some of the recipes from Shae’s book!

  • I have a lovely lone white peach tree that I never bother with but produces year after year bushels of very sweet peaches! They have won ribbons at the fair and I’m sure the simplest of jams that I always make from them would have a good chance! I just never have any jam left by time the fair comes around!

  • I pickled some Armenian cucumbers this year with Penzy’s pickling spices. When you slice the cucumbers, they look like flowers and the Penzy’s spices make delicious pickles – I believe that would win any competition.

  • I’m a little new to this so no prize-winning recipes yet. Although I can offer a peach jam recipe that would definitely NOT win a prize ; ).

  • My version of a coconut carrot chutney I saw in a Can Jam last year turned out pretty fantastic according to my co-workers, who get to taste test everything I make.

  • Although I think it’s better as a hand-pie filling than as a straight-up jam, my roasted tangelo marmalade is by far my favorite preserve this year. In the right context, it could absolutely be prize-winning!

  • I’ve just started to really get into canning this year, and I’d love a book that could give me some ideas beyond the standards.

    I just made apple peel jelly for the first time, and I think it’s a winner; the peels were red so the jelly is a beautiful pink color, and I added a bit of lavender when simmering. Looking forward to having it on some homemade bread this weekend …

  • I’m another first-year canner who’s gotten hooked largely thanks to this blog! I think the tastiest thing I made this summer was the Sticky Fig Jam from Put Em Up. Hooray for figs!

  • I can’t get enough of canning this year. Per your discussion at Blogher last month, I’m concentrating on making things we’ll actually eat vs. those that sound good (starting to have a small collection of those). I truly love jam on toast so my persimmon fig cardamom jam would be it!

  • Oh, yeah! This would be a great addition to the library, for sure, for sure!!

    Hmmm. Prize winning? Well, I just love the way the chile pepper jelly turned out this week-end, or the green tomato relish last week…