Hopes and Goals for Food in Jars in 2015

January 8, 2015(updated on October 3, 2018)

January 7

Next month, this blog turns six. When I first started, I had no inkling of where a little idea to write about canning, preserving, and my personal obsession with mason jars might take me. Turns out, the answer is pretty darn far (literally, in fact. I did 113 events in 2014 and put 12,000 miles on my car in the process).

Before get I swept up in the momentum of 2015, I want to take a moment to articulate some of the things I hope to do this year. A couple are tangible things to do, while others are lofty concepts.

  • Higher quality content, a little less often – In recent years, I feel like I’ve fallen into a trap in which I post fairly frequently, but the value of what I’m posting is low. While I can’t stop writing about my classes and events, I want to make sure that the bulk of what I share is of value.
  • More personality – Fear not. I don’t plan on turning this into a vanity lifestyle blog. But I do feel like I don’t always bring a whole lot of myself to this space and I don’t like that feeling.
  • Make some video – Years ago, Scott and I used to make an online cooking show called Fork You. But then, other projects cropped up and we just stopped doing it. I’ve wanted to get back to video for a while, but in the intervening years, the quality of web video exploded and I felt like I wouldn’t be able to produce something that would measure up. This year, I plan on throwing off the weight of my own expectations and just do it.
  • More pantry basics – I love a good batch of jam as much as the next girl (probably more), but this year, I want to focus on those practical, pantry building projects that make it easier to make a quick, healthy meal.
  • Tee-shirts and bumper stickers – Before I went on my book tour last spring, I had some stickers printed up that I gave away at my classes and signings. They were a hit and I want to make some more fun Food in Jars logo-ed gear this year.

So those are my hopes for this year. I’m also determined to get the next book written with a minimum of stress and anxiety. I’ve also declared some more personal goals for myself, that I posted a few days ago over at my little personal blog (I’m trying to carve out some time to write about things beyond food and when I do, I post them over there).

Now let the new year come!


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20 thoughts on "Hopes and Goals for Food in Jars in 2015"

  • I, for one, am thrilled with all of these resolutions. As a long-time reader of FIJ and an occasional reader of your personal blog, I would be happy to see more of ‘you’ shine through in these posts. I also would like to second your desire to fight against the tide of ‘needing’ to post often, and instead focus on what you’re posting. I feel like that’s a slippery slope a lot of bloggers go down when they start getting big. And I can’t wait to see more pantry staples! Thank you for what you do.

  • I’m interested in the pantry staples too! (Your pizza sauce is a staple for sure!) Although, jam is a pantry staple here. In addition to our pb&j habits, I find all sorts of uses for it – on pancakes, as a filling in layer cakes – just the other night, I thinned some strawberry jam with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then tossed it with baby spinach for a winter version of a spinach strawberry salad. It was a hit!

  • These are awesome goals for 2015! I think I’d be most excited about t-shirts! Would love to see more of your personality shine through your blog too! Videos would be a great way to do that. Thanks for being so passionate about your blog!

  • Very nice goals for 2015! I, for one, did not feel you did too much posting in 2014. I enjoyed reading each post and found much useful information and insights in your work. Have a wonderful and productive 2015!!

  • I love your goals for 2015 ! It all sounds like it will benefit you and us your faithful followers ! I also love personal pics of you,your family and your apt. – which every time I see a post of your apt I want to move in ! Keep up the great work.

  • I especially appreciate your weekly posts rounding up posts on preserving, jams, etc. that can be found on other blogs.

  • I too will welcome those pantry basics posts! I have been fascinated by all your posts on jams and such, but when it comes right down to it, I actually don’t eat a lot of that kind of sweets.

    Fork You sounds like a lot of fun, so I will look forward to seeing that as well.

  • Totally off subject, but my garage root cellar where I store my potatos and onions froze over the last few days. I will can the potatoes, but I was wondering if you have a good canning recipe for carmelized onions, or marmalade? I will chop and freeze some but I have 4 bushels! Help…love your books and blog. I have turned my love of growing and preserving into a part time job..

    1. Most caramelized onion preserves need to be pressure canned. Here’s one I use when I teach pressure canning classes.

      Onion and Rosemary Jam

      6 pounds peeled and trimmed yellow onions
      1/2 cup olive oil
      2 ounces fresh rosemary (about 10-12 good sized sprigs)
      5 bay leaves
      2 tablespoons kosher salt
      2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
      1 cup balsamic vinegar
      1 cup red wine vinegar
      1 cup honey
      1/2 cup sugar

      Trim away onion ends and peel and cut them in half. Slice them into thin half moons.

      Heat the oil in a heavy 8 quart or larger Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid and add the onions, tossing them with tongs in the oil to coat.

      Add the rosemary, bay leaves, sea salt, and pepper, stirring to combine. Cover the pot and cook the onions for 25-30 minutes, until they have softened and released their liquid.

      Remove the lid and add the vinegars, honey, and sugar, stirring well. Increase heat and bring the onion mixture to a low boil and continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the liquid has reduced by approximately half.

      Remove the rosemary stems (most of the leaves will have fallen from the stems. This is fine) and bay leaves and continue cooking (continuing to stir to prevent scorching) until the onions look melted and the remaining liquid seems thick. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.

      Spoon onion jam into prepared jars and process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds of pressure for 15 minutes.

      Makes six half pints. Can be doubled.

  • As a reader here since the beginning I would love to see more of YOU shine through your blog. I really loved those Fork You videos when you and Scott were “getting to know each other” Would love to see FIJ videos in future. Higher content less often is a good thing. Have a great 2015 doing what you love.

    1. Hi Diane! Unfortunately, Foster’s doesn’t exist anymore. I’m not sure if I’ll be working with Greensgrow in 2015 or not at this time. I am working on scheduling some local classes, though.

  • I’ve really enjoyed your blog, Marisa! While I truly think that you’ve got great quality content already, because you’re passionate about your content…but it’s only natural that you’re striving for more depth. 🙂 Best wishes as you aim for your preferred spot on the quality – quantity spectrum of life!

  • I wish you all the best for you on achieving your goals this year. You have taught me a lot for the past three years and I am so thankful for finding your blog. I have become a more appreciative of food and buy only what I can use. If I ever have something hanging around in my fruit bowl it usually get canned its all because of you. I have been asked by my friends to show how to can. I always direct them to your blog. Love reading your blog everyday. Perhaps one day I will get to come and see you can. I think it will be a such a nice treat for me one day!

  • Very exciting goals and I am super excited about the pantry staples! I just want to say ‘yes please’ to your more personality goal. I enjoy this blog but I have seen you in person at the Book Larder in Seattle and you are so engaging, funny, warm and super inspiring…I have been canning up a storm since that presentation, the fear is gone. I even canned my wedding favors last year! I would love to see more of that, more of your kitchen, more of you in 2015. And stickers!

  • Hooray for a New Year and a few new goals! As a long-time reader, I’m excited for all of the goals you’ve laid forth 🙂 Hope 2015 is a phenomenal year for you!

  • Great goals…May you have the health, drive and focus to accomplish all you hope for! Am so glad to have stumbled on your blog and cookbooks. Before that I had one treasured book on small batch preserving. Love your relaxed style, your creative use of different foods and flavor combinations and your mentions of favorite bloggers and cookbooks. Especially appreciate that you are a fellow Philadelphian celebrating urban life!