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"

  • I really enjoy reading your ideas for food in jars; my favorite all-time food in jars (so far) is my mom’s strawberry and rhubarb jam.
    Your book looks great!

  • My friend is a farmer who raises pigs, dairy cows, chickens, and grows tomatoes. At the end of the season, there are always a lot of green tomatoes – two years ago he discovered a green tomatoe chutney that is the perfect sweet/tangy condiment for his pork sausages! And we discovered green tomatoe pie – which is absolutely dielicious with a drizzle if raw milk.

  • Learning to can is at the top of my list of summer projects. I stumbled upon your site and am really excited to see you live near me. I’m a Philly native, but now live 15 minutes south of Longwood Gardens. Your book is gorgeous and I can’t wait to try some of your wonderful recipes.

  • My first few times canning, I made lots of jam and for that it has a special place in my canning heart.

  • My favorite kind of food in jars is anything I’ve canned with my two best girlfriends – and we’ve tried many things. But blueberry plum jam is something there is never enough of.

  • I am so pleased your emphasis was on *small batch* canning for the book. We are a small family and, while I love to make jam, I don’t need a few quarts of each kind I want to try. Variety, not quantity, is what makes canning fun for me.

    Congratulations, Ms. Author!

  • Oh my goodness, I am so excited about this book! I cannot wait to get my hands on it, regardless of whether or not I win a copy! My favorite food in jars is pickled beets. Well, actually, pickled anything: beans, peppers, asparagus and, of course, pickles.

  • I’m a pickle-loving girl. Your book looks fabulous. Good luck with it and I hope I win a copy.

  • I recently stumbled upon your blog and I’m so glad that I did. Congratulations on your new book.

    It’s a tie between canned pears and strawberry jam. They’re both delicious.

  • I adore pickles. Can’t find great ones in the store, so I’ve been making your garlic pickles for 2 seasons now!

  • So excited to get your cookbook, one way or another! My favorite food in jars is anything with rhubarb.

  • I absolutely love canned peaches throughout the winter months. Thank you so much for the give -a- way.

  • Pickles!! It took me MANY years to realize pickles weren’t just cucumbers. And I love every single one of them!

  • If you cookbook is one fraction as good as your blog… it will be a soaring success! You are one of the motivators in my great surge of canning last year. So many easy, tasty and practical things to make from what come out of my yard and the local farms! I thank you and look forward to more great inspiration!

  • I *love* making jams, jellies & butters. There is nothing like the feeling you get from taking a glut of fruit and making it into something wonderful for later consumption. In addition, I store just about everything I can (no pun intended) in jars. Iced coffee tastes much better in a mason jar! : )

  • My favorite is pickles! I love all kinds of pickles, sweet ones, dill, spicy pickles. My favorite, though, is sweet pickled watermelon rind, although I can rarely find it and I have not gotten up the guts to try to do it myself… maybe this summer, if I can find a watermelon with a nice, thick rind!

  • Congrats on the book! I just previewed some of the pages on and it looks beautiful. To answer your question, my favorite is jam…although I usually don’t have the patience when making I end up with the all-encompassing label of “preserves.” Cheers!

  • How exciting! Please pick me! I have your book sitting in my wishlist. If only a birthday would roll around. My favorite thing I am given in a jar: grandmother-in-law’s hot relish. Haven’t used store-bought relish since! My favorite thing to put in jars: Marinara sauce and/or pizza sauce. Still going strong on last summer’s bounty, I’m proud to say. (Soooooo many Roma’s…)

  • So glad I found your website this week! I have loved every post I have read. My favorite food in a jar is jam or pickles or wait – salsa…too many favorites to choose from!

  • Jams & jellies – they are relatively simple but friends are always so impressed to be gifted with them!

  • Hm, it’s really a toss-up between jam and granola. It might be that my favorite food in jars is jam, but my favorite food to take out of jars is granola. It’s so convenient to be able to pour granola out of a wide-mouth pint (or quart) jar right into the bowl, rather than spooning it out teaspoon by teaspoon.

  • My favorite has always been canned peaches; my grandmother’s were the best! Or relish. Or salsa, or sweet pickles, or… the list gets long. Awesome giveaway, can’t wait to get my hands on your book, one way or another!

  • I love pickles! I recently tried pickling grapes and cherries and loved the sweet and sour combo.

  • The book looks gorgeous! Lately, my favourite food in a jar is the maple syrup we bought in a can, seriously the best maple syrup I’ve ever tasted. Which reminds me, I should hunt more down, given the shortage and all.

  • Pickles! I’m still in search of a garlic dill pickle recipe that just results in pickles with a simple, clean taste and without all the extra pickling spices/apple cider vinegar/etc. But I love trying all kinds of interesting other pickled vegetables in creative combinations!

  • My mother’s Bread & Butter pickles. They are the best burger topper, although I’ve been known to eat a pint all by themselves.

  • Honey
    Fruit with honey is one of life’s great pleasures!
    I would love to see more recipes substituting honey for sugar.
    Much success with the book.

  • Definitely pickles. But boozy peaches are being added to the list to try this summer. Congratulations on the book!

  • Most favorite of all favorites has been your grape catchup recipe. We just ran out of our stash a few weeks ago and its on the To-Do List!

  • Congrats on the book! It looks gorgeous! My favorite is canned whole tomatoes. They’re summer in a jar, and the most useful thing in my pantry.

  • Your cookbooks looks beautiful. I have it sitting on my Amazon wish list, but would LOVE to win a copy. My favorite food in jars would have to be something pickled. Dilly beans, pickled garlic, or hot peppers….

  • Pickles! I love pickles. I grew up on pickles. My father’s family are German. It’s in my blood.

  • I love jam in jars, specifically the savory ones….like hot pepper jam. A close second is pickles! Congrats on the book. Can’t wait to get a copy….win or buy. 🙂

  • its a toss up between jams/jellies and pickles.
    when i was pregnant i live on pickles, they were the only thing i could keep down, and i just love a slice of homemade toast slathered with a sweet fruity jam or jelly.

  • I love to make jam. I’m really looking forward to getting your cookbook. I’m also looking forward to your book signing at the Odyssey book store next month.

  • Dill pickles for sure. I have fond memories of my “Aunt” Helen’s dill pickles. Even at the age of 4, I couldn’t get enough of them. And now my boyfriend begs me to make them whenever cukes are season.

  • Jam is definitely my favorite! Right now I’m loving raspberry mango jam and any kind of jalapeno jam! I love that spicy sweet combo! Yummo!

  • Hands down my favorite food in jars would be canned tomatoes! I think that I love them so much because they are so versatile and I use them pretty much daily (that means we can a lot of tomatoes here!). BUT a close second would be dill pickles from my great-grandmother’s recipe, yum! They are a family and friend favorite (as I give them out as gifts!)

  • Ok i have to be honest… i don’t think i’ve every met a food in jars that i didn’t like. oh except okra… all the others, well i love them ALL! but especially my grandma’s limed pickles and jams/jellies/preserves!!!

    (thank you so very much for this opportunity!! it is so very sweet of you!!!)

  • Jam will always be my favourite. The other things that go in jars are wonderful, but jam is the only one that is guaranteed to be in my home at all times.

    Also, congratulations on the book! It looks gorgeous.

  • I love the dedication to your mother, my mother is also the reason I put food in jars. And canning food was the way I won my (then soon-to-be) mother-in-law over. She had surgery at the beginning of canning season, and I put up several batches of tomatoes and tomato sauce for her so she could stay of her feet while she recuperated.

    My favorite food in jars is probably the Zanakeel Labni (yogurt cheese balls preserved in herbed olive oil) I made a bit ago. They’re almost gone, so I think it’s time to make up another batch.

  • My favorite food that comes in a jar would have to be jam-specifically, my aunt’s apple juice-blueberry jam, which I may or may not eat straight from said jar with a spoon.

  • Preserves/jams have to be my favorite. I grew up on my mother making them every summer, and they are in no small part what got me interested in canning!

  • The book looks great! Favorite kind of food in jars? I think I have to go with jam, but there are so many favorites!

  • Thanks for this awesome prize!

    My favorite thing to can – and share – is Lemon Curd. I have perfected the recipe and it never fails me. Sooo good to taste, but even better to share!

  • Well, I love food, and I love jars, so this is a tough one…
    At the moment – pickled eggs.

  • love love love salsa’s/chow chows! cant wait to get the book and looking to hit a canning class too!

  • So far, my favorite food in jars is strawberry jam! But I am a relative novice, so who knows what my favorite will be by this time next month? Your book looks beautiful, and I’d love to win a copy.

  • You just can’t beat strawberry jam – that will always be my favorite. A close second are butters (apple, pumpkin, etc).

  • I love my Bread and Butter Pickles (and my Million Dollar Relish). Thanks for the opportunity to win. Fingers crossed!

  • I absolutely love plum jam in jars, strawberry jam and peach jam! I love canned tomatoes of any kind–they are so sweet and delicious in the middle of winter and is a reminder of summer when I open a jar! I’d love to have a copy of your book because it seems to be everything I’d be interested in!


  • My favorite food found in jars are picked green tomatoes. They are like pickles but sooo… much better! The more garlicky the better!

    Though… I’ve never been known to turn down a snack of capers right out of the jar.

  • I put everything in a jar when commuting, so really I love all food in jars… salads, soups, pickles, jams, preserves, etc.

    My boyfriend would say pickles though.

  • I am really excited to see your book is out and if I don’t win, I’ll be buying one! I have a small house, small kitchen and 2 adults so small batches are right up my alley. I think my favorite is watermelon rind pickles, though I’ve never made any.

  • My favorite food to can (so far, since I have only been doing it on my own a couple of seasons) has been jam- once i got the rhythm down, I made jam out of anything that would stand still:)
    Thanks for the inspiratioin!!

  • I love pickles and I LOVE to can my homemade tomato sauce. It always tastes better than the expensive store-bought gourmet stuff, and it is so easy to can!

  • I love all my food that I put up in jars…how to pick a favorite? I’d have to say we are really enjoying the salsa this year. I LOVE looking at my jars as they fill up (200-300 jars a year or so) and when they are empty during the summer I feel like they are mocking me….

    It is a sense of security and abundance when I see rows and rows of filled jars!