The Food in Jars Cookbook + Giveaway

May 24, 2012(updated on October 3, 2018)

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"

  • Congrats on the publication! I’ve got copies on order for my shop. My favorite thing that you’ve put in a jar is inspiration! oh, and jams and chutneys, too!

  • My absolute favorite jam has to be plum, with some savory spicing. Concord grape jam is a close runner-up.

  • I love jams and jellies to can as my fav. Keeps a family tradition alive . Thanks for the
    Peek into a now must-have book!

  • Congrats on your cookbook! It is beautiful!
    I love your pickled asparagus recipe from Grid magazine!

  • I have made a variety of jams over the yearsβ€”strawberry, blueberry, peach & gingerβ€”but my favorite thing to make that has gotten the most enthusiastic response is called pear honey.

  • I love canned fruit. I am trying not to use sugar anymore, so I need to find a substitute for the sugar for this summer/fall. The book looks absolutely LOVELY!

  • My favorite kind of food in jars is jelly! My grandmother made incredible jelly and now my daughter makes very nice jelly. I gave your cookbook to my teaching apprentice a few days ago, and it is indeed a beautiful, well written cookbook. Congratulations on a wonderful publication!

  • I really love strawberry jam. One of these days I am going to try and make some – the book would definitely come in handy.

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy

  • My favorite thing I’ve canned so far is apple butter made from my mom and dad’s apple tree. πŸ™‚

  • I just finished making apple butter again- not the season but my friends and family run out! So- between the apple butter and apple pie in a jar, I could peel apples and cook 12 months/year- love it!

  • OMG..I have to pick just one? Ok ok….chutney, because it goes good with so many different things!

  • My favorite food in a jar is spicy apple chutney with raisins! I love indian flavors like cumin and lots of cinnamon- both can be found in my favorite chutney recipe which I put on pretty much anything nowadays!

  • I just started canning this year and my favorite is a toss up between pickled cauliflower or pickled dilly carrots. My kids ask for the pickled dilly carrots in their school lunches. They have both become family favorites and a pantry must have for us.thanks for all of your inspiration! I found this blog while researching how to can. Love it!

  • I love Kombucha in jars…it is a fermented beverage. Applesauce and Tomatoes run a close second.

  • Hi! This will be my second year canning and I’m looking forward to doing it again this year. My favorite thing to can was green beans. This year, I’m going to try beets for the first time, which I think will be my new favorite.

  • one in 1211 chance to win, i’m feeling lucky.
    my favorite canned food is the one i’m about to open at any given moment.
    what a great looking book!

  • I have been canning for years and I am always looking for new recipes but my favourite two things to make every year are red pepper jelly and spagetti sauce. Last year my 32 litres have just about lasted me to the next harvest!

  • I love peanut butter in jars! I just learned how to make my own.. I would love to learn how to jar it! Your book looks amazing! Congrats!

  • I am just beginning to learn about canning food and I love doing it! I can’t wait to learn more and make this a regular in my household!

  • Hi,
    I’m so excited about your new cookbook! I’ve been following your blog for over a year now and your articles have helped me a lot in my canning adventures. I’ve been canning / preserving for about 4 years and I’m still learning! Please enter me into the drawing.


  • Watermelon rind pickles. My grandmother taught me how to make them, and we would collect the rinds after BBQs in her backyard, do the necessary trimming, and I’d come visit each day to re-boil the syrup and pour it over the pickles each day for five days.

  • I am new to canning and this book would be so very helpful. My mom cans and I love her dilly beans, apples, and salsa! Yum! Nothing like canned summery goodness in the middle of winter.m

  • I love canning about everything. I think my favorite would be tomatoes though. So versatile and the only way to truly enjoy the summer bounty.

  • As a novice who tried canning for the first time within the last year, I’ve pored over numerous cookbooks & web sites trying to first get my arms around canning, then find recipes that aren’t the same old same-old. I look forward to reading and cooking from your book.

    My favorite thing to can is whole meal recipes, though I’ve only found a couple I really like. I appreciate the convenience of being able to pull dinner of a shelf, but know that only good things went into it.

  • I like just about anything in jars, but I particularly like those things that combine vinegar and sugar… chutneys, bread and butter pickles, etc.

    The book looks beautiful, Marisa. Looking forward to seeing you in Seattle in June.

  • Anything Rhubarb it is not a produce item that you can get everywhere or all the time and I love ANYTHING and everything Rhubard!!!

  • Salsa is probably one of my favorite products to put in jars, but we can lots of different veggies, jellies, jams, etc. Thanks for the offer of this very nice book! You did a great job on it!

  • I am new to canning and would love to win this book. So far I have only canned strawberry jam, but it was good. πŸ™‚

  • I love no sugar added blackberry jam.. It is the thing that puts a smile on my adopted father’s face…

  • I want one!

    High acid foods: marmalades and jams
    but, let’s not forget fermented guys: pickles and sauerkraut
    these are my favourites!

  • Congratulations on your book, it’s beautiful. I love many foods in jars, but absolute favorite is Bluberry jam(esp on blueberry scones) I would love to win your book & try new, exciting food in jars. Thanks for chance.

  • I remember my mom canning as a kid and I’ve done her chow chow but would love to do other stuff and I found your site…yeah for me, and regardless of if I win or not I will be picking up a copy when it comes out. I want to try my hand at iced coffees, jellies and jams.

  • My favourite food in a jar? Apple pie filling!!! Primarily because I like to pick the apples myself then come home and can the filling — delicious apple pies for all of the upcoming holidays and well into spring!

  • Can’t wait to try those boozy canned peaches! My favorite food in a jar though is preserved cherries with a little bit of rose petals. Fragrant and amazingly tasty!

  • My favorite food in jars is cherries! My grandma used to can those when I was younger, so delicious!

  • wooo, look at all those responses. My favorite food in jars? The food I make. (Pickles were my gateway to canning.)

  • As a newbie this would be such a wonderful book to have! I’m pretty sure that my favorite thing to can will be tomatoes & the variety of yummies that can be made (tomato juice, pasta sauce, etc.)….Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • I suppose I like jam best because that’s one thing I put in jars that I actually remember to consume. I’m terrible about eating the pickles. It’s nice to have applesauce on hand, but that disappears TOO quickly, and leaves one feeling sad and inadequate for having managed to can so little of it. I also like having canned mincemeat around for an easy pie, but one doesn’t want a mincemeat pie all that often. So jam wins!

  • I just made my first ever jam using a recipe by you! It is my current favorite thing in a jar.

  • This sounds great! I made some wonderful butter last summer, so I’ll say that’s my fave. πŸ™‚

  • Would love this book, wanting to learn how to can over the summer with my CSA goodies! Right now my favorite food in jars is pickles, mmmmm πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for the giveaway, looking forward to getting a copy of your book even if I don’t win!

  • My new current favorite canned item is pear honey with pineapple. Sweet and a little bit crunchy. Great for biscuits, ice cream, etc. My other favorite is a peach chutney that I “created” myself, called “2-for-the-price-of-1”, which actually created itself when I was reading one recipe and looking for the ingredients and the wind changed the page and I completed with the next recipe. I also had to substitute a few items because, for instance, I didn’t have any chilis but I did have Vietnamese garlic chili sauce (the recipe also called for garlic). I was almost done mixing the ingredients when I discovered my error. I went ahead and cooked it up. It tasted so good I immediately wrote down the recipe!

  • I’m a Sufi beginner canner. I canned as
    A child w my mom and Grammie. I am hoping to share
    My experience with my daughter and son as well. Those experiences
    Only get one chance to make these impressions and memories.
    I’m very excited to try the recipes and techniques in the book.
    Thanks for the oportunity!

  • Canning freshly picked strawberries is my goal this week! I can’t wait for the gorgeous raspberries and black raspberries to come in the next few weeks. It’s nice to see you’ve gone to Shenk’s berry farm, that’s my favorite place to get berries.

  • I love jam!!! My favorite treat is dipping refrigerated Hershey Bars in a jar of red raspberry jam.

  • I love making jam and jellies with red and black currents, gooseberries and elderberries. Because they are so delicious yet hard to come by!!

  • Oh my…..pickles. Must preserve pickles. Then eat. By myself! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the chance to win

  • I love trying new recipes, and have collected quite a few in the past 30 years!! My favorites are a bread-and-butter pickle relish, and rhubarb-strawberry jam.
    There’s no such thing as too many recipes, so I would be excited to win this book!!

  • Kosher dill pickles. I was a little over ambitious last summer and canned 52 quarts. Love them!

  • My favorite food in jars is my grandma’s violet jelly. Haven’t had it in years … since she passed. Rediscovering how many foods can really be done in jars and expanding my knowledge.

  • After your class in PDX a flame was lit. I always watched my mother can and never had the chance to learn from her…you were so easy going and breezaly (that’s my word) able to adjust to the nuances of canning at HOME…not in a commercial kitchen….it made me stop and think..”HEY! I can do this!” Big hug and many salutes to you and your dream πŸ™‚

  • I love to can everything! I have meals in a jar, meat, veggies, jelly, fruit, pie filling! And I’m always looking for more idea’s and recipes. And I am teaching my daughter-in-law how to can. Love you new book. Hope you the world of success with it. Blessings

  • Tomato jam, no wait. Apple butter! No, rosemary peach hot pepper jelly. Gah! Dilly beans! Can’t decide.

  • I love making jam….although I keep trying other things (christmas gifts for guys) like mustards with different kinds of beers…. Time is short so I’ve been freezing the liquid from violets and other spring flowers and plants so I can jam them when I have time…