The Food in Jars Cookbook + Giveaway

May 24, 2012(updated on December 16, 2023)

So often over the life of this blog, I’ve written about beautiful cookbooks. These posts are fun for me to write because I love any excuse to sit awhile with a new cookery volume and explore what it has to offer. Many of you take the time to write me an email or leave a comment, to tell me how useful you find these cookbook pieces, because they give you a chance to peek inside a book in a way that’s different from the experience on Amazon.

rear cover

Today’s cookbook feature is a particularly unique joy, because this time, I’m sharing my own book. Now, I realize that I’ve been talking about this book for many, many weeks now. Thing is, for all that excited chatter, I haven’t taken much of a chance to tell you what you’ll find when you open the cover and why it might be a good canning book for you.


To my mind, the book is a tangible embodiment of this website. It brings together the most popular recipes from the archives as well as a number of new recipes you’ve never seen before. All the previously-published recipes were retested and rewritten before being included in the manuscript to ensure that they were the best versions of themselves. Many were also scaled down to yield just three or four pints, to keep with the small batch theme.

canning intro

It includes detailed canning instructions (with helpful instructional pictures!), tips on how to determine whether your jam has reached its set point, a guide for adjusting processing time for altitude and all the best safety practices.

blueberry butter

The recipes are sorted by genre, so that all the pickles are in one chapter, jellies in another and so on. Within each section, the recipes are arranged by season, so that each spring, you can start at the beginning of the jam chapter and then work your way through to the end.

boozy peaches

The book is also full of really gorgeous images. Truly, my jars have never looked better. The photography was done by Steve Legato, at his Philadelphia studio, and it was such a pleasure to watch him work. Also, I made all the canned goods pictured, so you can trust that your finished products should look pretty darn close to what you see.

cinnamon vanilla butter

Another way I tried to keep the book tied closely to this site is that it’s not just about canning. Towards the back of the book, you’ll find sections devoted to nut butters, granolas, bread and scone mixes in jars and even flavored salts. There’s also information about how to best freeze different fruits and vegetables, and some details on pressure canning low acid foods.

rhubarb syrup

Finally, the reason I think so many of you will like the book is that it’s me. It’s my voice, the same one you read here day after day. I’m always working to write about food preservation in a way that conveys the fact that it’s a joy, not a chore. That feeling ribbons throughout the book. I love joining so many of you in your kitchens through this blog and I hope I’ll get to do the same through the book.

Thanks to my kind publicist at Running Press, I have three copies of the Food in Jars (the cookbook) to give away to Food in Jars (the blog) readers. Here’s what to do:

  1. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post and share your favorite kind of food in jars. Jam? Jelly? Pickles? Chutney? Canned peaches? Granola? Iced coffee? There is no wrong answer.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Sunday, May 27, 2012. Winner will be chosen at random (using and will be posted to the blog on Monday, May 28, 2012.
  3. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian readers.
  4. One entry/comment per person, please.

If you can’t bear to wait and see if you win the giveaway, you can always order a copy by clicking here: Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round.

Disclosure: I wrote this book. Running Press is providing three copies at no cost to me for this giveaway. 

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1,407 thoughts on "The Food in Jars Cookbook + Giveaway"

  • We made a tonne of pesto last year (two cups short of a gallon). I need to make some sweet Bavarian mustard next…

  • My favorite thing in jars (aside from money…hee hee) is jelly and jam, particularly strawberry jam and peach butterscotch jam. OK, now I’m hungry…

  • I love this blog! It inspires me all the time to expand my repertoire. I enjoy canning apple and pumpkin butters, pickles, jams, and jellies…an who doesn’t love good ole iced coffee in a mason jar?

  • everything! From last year: sour cherry compote spooned over ice cream….or maybe the homemade salted caramel I store in jars

  • Wow! I’m so glad I happened by tonight! My favorite food in jars to make is chutney…all sorts…and apparently, I do a good job. I don’t eat them, though. But thanks to you, I’ve branched out to making jams. I’m having lots of fun making AND eating them! Your book looks beautiful. Congrats!

  • The book looks fantastic. I’d have to say my favorite preserved food in jars is applesauce; additionally, my favorite non-preserved food has to be yogurt smoothies.

  • My latest is strawberry rhubarb lavendar jam – but pumpkin butter on pancakes or pickled beets with a ham sandwich are also pretty tasty.

  • Congratulations on the book…how awesome…my favorite food in jars is salsa, iced coffee, jam, peaches…I am just getting into canning and am so excited to try this, but am very nervous…I think this book will help me to understand canning! Good luck everyone and congrats again!!

  • Favorite thing in jars…right now it is curds but could change tomorrow as I make some gingered-rhubarb jam!

  • Wow! So many favorites! Dill pickles, yogurt, raspberry jam, applesauce…so many things I eat are from jars!! Yum!

  • My favorite food in jars is strawberry jam!!! I would love, love, love a copy of your cookbook!

  • I adore canning books, pictures, family stories and the final product in my shelf. Right now I do my kefir in quart jars, they look so pretty sitting in my frig.

  • Canned tomatoes are the most practical for me, but… right now I am thoroughly enjoying strawberry rhubarb jam (and the baby’s breath that I placed in my old blue Ball canning jars!).

  • Your book looks truly lovely! As for my favorite food in jars, I’d have to go with my biggest household staples, crushed and whole tomatoes. I could never make enough! Or fermented pickles like sauerkraut. 🙂

  • I love the newest thing I have put into a jar: Monkey Butter! It will be fantastic on top of a banana split!!

  • I am brand new to canning this year. My husband bought me a large pressure canner and I have canned some meats. My favorite was bar-b-q pork, my husbands favorite was meatloaf. I think I would like to try peaches though because that is my farvorite fruit. Thank you for your inspiration.

  • So far I made Pickled onions that were FABULOUS!!! and Tomato jam lip smacking! I have tried some new and wonderful recipes you post on here, and so far there have been no disappointments.

  • I’m loving my homemade Cinnamon Whiskey Cherries right now, but anything with rhubarb is hitting the spot this summer!

  • I so need this book so badly! I love jams and jellies! I have plums in my backyard right now! Need this book badly! 😀 <3 your website <3

  • My favorite things in jars is my dabble at apple butters and jams, strawberry mostly. But would like to expand…oh wait -I have made salsa too! Thank you.

  • Hi,

    I ordered your book from B&N while out of town last week on a business trip. Despite being incredibly exhausted, I was so excited to open up the package awaiting for me at my home. I was flipping though it and was most excited to find a Rotel recipe(!!!!). I’m pretty sure I actually screamed in delight. As a born and bred Souterner, my kitchen is not complete without at least 8 cans of Rotel in my pantry at any given time. I haven’t had a chance to try the delicious recipes yet, but I’m sure I will not be disappinted! Also,. I have only begun canning last month but am ever so slightly addicted to the process. What drew me most to this book was the preview page that actually showed the water bathing process of prepping the jars before filling. The picture provided shows pouring the water out of the jars and it litterally was the main part of canning that just did not click for whatever reason. (The saddest/pathetic part is that I come from a long line of skilled canners. Apparently I didn’t pay well enough attention!) In short, Thank you so much for an easy to follow, friendly book for us newbies! Best wishes to you and continued success! God Bless! Olivia

  • I just started canning, I did an ok pickle, but I think my carrots were very good, looking for other things to do, glad I found your site!! I need the help!

  • Wait. One favorite? Can’t do that, but I have been hankering to make “Rosy Radish Relish” as my radishes are coming in…

  • My favorite food in jars is small batch jams & jellies…in flavors you don’t see in stores! Like grapefruit jam & cucumber/ginger jelly 🙂

  • I’ve just discovered your website, and hope to be making food in jars soon. I’ve been looking around and thinking about what jars to get first! I’m thinking my first food in jars project will be some preserved limes. So far the closest thing I’ve made is a simple refrigerator strawberry jam. I can no longer eat store bought. 🙂

  • Jams, no jellies. No, wait, pickles. Oh, shoot, condiments. Crud. I can’t pick one. How about this: My favorite kind of food in jars is…food!!

    And if I don’t win a copy, I’m definitely buying one. I’ve been very excited for this book to come out!!

  • My favorite food in jars would have to be my Norwegian grandmothers apricot preserves (not her pickled pigs feed).

  • I started canning jams & fruit butters last spring; this year so far my favorites are the fruit butters (blueberry & strawberry thus far).

  • Who can pick one? But *today* my favorite is mango chutney with some heat to it, because I found a great one at the farmers market! We’ll see what happens tomorrow… 😉

  • Blackberry jelly!!! My grandmother used to make it when I was a kid and that was the best part of going to her house – we got to go to her canning room and get some more!

  • Brand new to canning so I don’t have a favorite recipe yet. I’ve been doing some research and would love such an awesome cookbook to help get me started.

  • I’m fairly new to canning. My favorites so far have been the jellies I made using the flowers in my back yard (violets, dandelions, lilacs).

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Jam! No, wait I just finally made pickles, all kinds of pickles, this past summer and they are wonderful! Would love to win a copy of your cookbook! Love your blog, too.

  • I’m a new canner. So far my favorite part of canning is building friendships while learning tips & tricks that have been passed down for years. The food is secondary. (Pickles!!)

  • I love your site. I have a small condo and still wanted to can, so your small batch recipes are so perfect for me!

  • Venturing forward and trying to remember how. Well, things have changed. Many more recipes than there use to be. I just loved canning sweet pickles. Would love to learn how to make grape jam and not have it be green when I’m done. Not sure what happened, but the responses were partly why I gave it up many years ago. My BEST accomplishment was peach butter. Yummy

  • Jams are my favorite – EVERY summer of my childhood my father foraged for wild berries and mom turned them into little jars full of summer that brightened our cold winter mornings!

  • DILLY BEANS!! These beans were made by my grandmother for years. My sister Jenny & I have taken over her family recipe. They are great to pass around at a BBQ or to add to an Old Fashion too!

  • I started canning last year and now make about 4 dozen something every week, either salsa, pickles, jams. But the Salsa is my favorite

  • I love everything in jars. From snacks to homemade yogurt to fruit salad and body scrubs and cupcake wrappers and birthday candles. I am a bit obsessed with things in jars. Most of my lunch consists of various things packed in jars!

  • Congrats on the new book. I love making different types of pickles so will definitely have to check out the recipes in the book.

  • My favorite thing lately is my Mom’s apricot vanilla jam. Last Summer was my first attempt at canning and I am looking forward to new ventures and praying for lots of tomatoes and pepperoncinis!

  • Iove canning items from my garden, especially sauces like tomato sauces and Apple sauce. I wod love your book.

  • Your Book looks like it has lots of great, easy to understand recipes!!! Andyou put them in categories!! So sweet and simple..that’s what I love!!!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to put this book together!!! I do hope I win it!!!
    Oh My… there are to many foods I love in jars!! I just finished making a batch of Marion-berry jam and a batch of raspberry jam… Sometimes it gets too confusing on what type of pectin to use for certain types of jams!! You have made the canning process so much easier…:D

  • I’ve been following your blog for months and months now, maybe almost a year, and I just wanted to let you know that I love it 🙂 My fave thing to can is jam because it’s so easy, but I don’t use it often enough so it usually hangs around for quite some time, thank goodness it makes a wonderful gift. Next fave thing to can is pickled carrots and pickled beans, so delicious. I’d love to learn how to make more pickled things!

  • Tomato jam! Your recipe converted me and many west coasters to appreciate the tomato in a whole new way. Thankyou! Can’t wait to read the book:)

  • Jams! They’re so versatile; you can spread ’em on a biscuit, between 2 cake layers, thin it out and pour it over cheesecake, bake it in a danish or turnover or some thumbprint cookies, not to mention the pb&j.

  • I love homemade salsa! Favorite Food In Jars would be homemade salsa. Perfect to have on hand for snacking with tortilla chips or for a wonderful side dish add salsa to rice! Add black beans, corn, chilies, etc. to have a perfect meal. Oh, but just salsa and rice is good!

  • Wonderful ! Congrats!
    Fave food In jars: Ice tea. Even same batch tastes better from a jelly jar.

  • Congratulations on the new book!!! I like to make jam and pickles, but then I also use the quart size jars for unsweetened ice tea containers in the summer when I’m working in the garden! 🙂

  • I am so excited your book is out! Your blog has opened so many (food) doors for me and now my poor husband is swimming in canning jars. So far I have found no limit to what I like to eat out of jars. I guess if I have to pick a favorite it goes to my chicken liver pate since I can easily transport it to picnics and give it away as gifts.

  • My favorite food in jars is applesauce. My boys love it above all else. It feels so good to give them something healthy, tasty, and made by me. =)

  • Thank you for being such a great inspiration! I love canning spaghetti sauce. I know there is no sugar in it but the kids love it anyway. 🙂