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 love everything in jars! Iced coffee is a definite. Sweet tea. Cupcakes. Monkey Bread. Jelly (mayhaw is my fav). Jam (blackberry is my fav). My Mamaw’s canned peaches. Canned pears. Homemade sweet pickles. Salad dressings. Salads. I love jars and everything that can be forced in them.

  • I really think my favorite food in jars is sweet tea. with jam and pickles tied at a very close second!

  • I love making marmalade (and eating it) – the strangest thing so far I have tried has been pickled turnip.

  • my fave food in a jar has always been jam, but your blog introduced me to homemade pickles…and that I can pickle other foods besides cucumbers. I’m anxious to try pickling lots of different veggies this year! congrats on the book it looks amazing.

  • My absolute favorite food in a jar is Marionberry jam. It doesn’t get any better than that!

  • I am a jar hoarder. I love to put all my dehydrated food in jars. I also put individual desserts in jars.

    1. Corn relish is a winner at my house–I am hoarding the last few jars til corn comes round again….

      love your blog!

  • My favorite food in jars is still the basic: jams. Pickles and salsas run a close second, though.

  • I love making jam. Last fall I made jam from almost 40 pounds of plums, and it reminded me so much of my grandma’s steamy kitchen and her plum jam.

  • I love our dry good storage in old blue glass ball jars on open shelving in our kitchen. Everything from nuts to rice to dried fruit and beans look lovely in those jars! I really enjoy making jams and would like to make more of my own yogurt. My husband has been using our quart jars lately to experiment with kombucha and kimchee : )

  • My favourite food in jars are pickles! I love pickling all kinda of veg…cucumbers, green beans, peppers, beets, garlic…
    I love to give jars of pickles away as gifts because people are soo happy to receive them. 🙂

  • Spiced peaches (with cinnamon and cloves — yummmmmm).

    I feel so lucky to have found your blog. We had a tough year financially and you rekindled my love of canning (which luckily coincided with a bumper crop from our garden). To be honest, the financial problems didn’t go away, but I felt like I had power over something, which made those financial problems seem less dire. Thanks from someone you will probably never meet! And congratulations on your book! I hope I win!

  • Ooh, so excited for your book! Even if I don’t win one of the copies, I’m buying a few copies for friends who are just getting into the canning thing.

    We’ve put up a number of things in the last few years and while tomatoes tend to get regular and enthusiastic use, there are two things that we have to ration carefully or else we’d eat them all up in a week: canned peaches, and freezer strawberry jam. So much better than any cooked strawberry ham I’ve ever had.

    And thanks for opening this to Canadian residents too!

  • Ah, apple butter in a jar, my fav. And thanks for the opportunity to win a book. Hoping to see you at Odyssey.

  • Homemade roasted tomato sauce! Whether it’s on pasta, pizza, or served as a creamy tomato soup, it’s literally summer in a jar.

  • I’ve been following and enjoying your blog for some time now. My favourite food in jars is pickles, I think. And jam – peach jam, or then again maybe plum jam (with ginger!). Congratulations on your book!

  • I have taken to using glass jars for everything once they’ve been emptied of their contents. My favorite use is iced tea or iced chai.

  • My favorite food in jars is homemade raspberry jam. I did purchase your book already and am so happy with it! I have only been a subscriber to your web site for a few months, and enjoy your posts equally as well. I have lived in Iowa all of my life, am 61 years old, and have been preserving food from the time I was old enough to learn how it was done. We are so fortunate to live where we can easily grow and raise almost 100% of our own food…and we do. I love your “small batch” theory. It is a new way of thinking for me in terms of food preservation. Just received the book this week, and am so anxious to try some of the recipes. I already know it is going to become my “go to” source for jam recipes. Congratulations to you for a great accomplishment!

  • My favorite thing to can is jam so far, but I’m looking forward to getting into pickling this year! As for jars, I love keeping grains and beans in jars – they look so pretty and are so functional.

  • I love everything in jars! Canned tomatoes are my ultimate favorite if I had to say one. 🙂

  • Congratulations! It looks beautiful and delicious. My all-time favorite to can are pickles – sweet, sour, fruit, it does not matter. Pickles are heaven!

  • I have really enjoyed your posts. I think my favorite thing my husband has canned so far is the syrups, apple cider and ginger.

  • Bread and Butter Pickles, Strawberry Vanilla Jam, Jalapeno Jelly. Slowly but surely venturing into more and more preserves every year.

  • if water is a food, I choose that, because I am almost never without a jar of water; if we’re talking real food, however, it is applesauce because I try to live as local as possible and fruit seems to be about half my food intake. In the temperate midwest that calls for lots of applesauce to get me through the winter without too much added sugar in my fruit!

  • MANGO CHUTNEY! – it’s sweet, SpIcY, and delicious!
    marisa, my cookbook club is excited to work through your book and meet you in august!

  • There are so many, but my most favorite is a tie between blueberry and strawberry jam. So tasty on homemade toast in the morning.

  • Popping the top off a jar of local Washington strawberry jam and spreading it on a nice slice of bread and butter is the best. The color and the smell brings back those first hot days of June. Yummm.

  • Ooooh. Jam is my favorite food to put in jars, but I think applesauce is my favorite to eat from jars. 🙂 🙂

  • So hard to pick a favorite…grandma’s pickled beets? My mom’s strawberry jam? My sister’s spicy applesauce? Or the peach and honey lavendar jam I made last year? Every year there’s a new recipe that’s tops. I love your blog for inspiration on finding those!

  • Spent last summer making all kinds of jams, spent all fall and winter eating them… So I’d say that’s one of my favorites. I also love ice water with lemon or lime on a hot summer’s day in a jar.

  • Jam is my favorite. Look forward to learning how to can some when you come to Connecticut next month!

  • My current fave is mustard: Roasted Garlic Maple Whole Grain Mustard, to be specific.l I say current, as i had a jam business for nearly 20 years–my favorite was always what I had in my mouth last…

  • Tomatoes! Salsa, sauce, crushed, ketchup… here in Montana it’s such a treat to have fresh tomato flavor all winter!

  • My current fave FiJ is my homemade yogurt that is residing in a qt sized jar in the fridge. Just divine.

    Can’t wait to meet you in Portland in 3 weeks!

  • Canned peaches for sure! Lots of work, but so worth it. My husband would say dill pickles – we grew and canned our own cukes last year. 25 quarts worth 🙂

  • Pickles! Especially the pickled asparagus and cauliflower I garnished my bloody mary with last weekend.

  • Canned peaches were a birthday dream for me come late November of last year… but it has been heavenly watching my 21 month old choose what jam flavor she would like in her oatmeal every morning.

  • While my copy already is post-it upped all over, I’d love to win one for my local library’s collection!

    One of my favorites is Cowboy Candy! Just can’t get enough of those pickled jalapenos!

  • I just love both pear vanilla & strawberry vanilla jams, but I also dabbled in pickles last season and will again this year. I am so excited to get my hands on your book! Congrats

  • So hard to decide! I love pickles, but don’t eat enough of them. So probably Grandma’s strawberry rhubarb jam. ^.^

  • My favorite thing in cans (jars?) are either chunky jam or fruit syrups. Can’t wait to see you new book!

  • Just looking makes my mouth water. I love making applebutter in the crockpot and all things jams and jellies – but the recipe shown for blueberry butter in the crockpot has me intrigued – hubby loves blueberry – what a suprise this would be for him. I do enjoy your blog!

  • My favourite is a family relish recipe (which I’ve determined is safe by comparing its ingredients to those in modern relishes – plus it’s basically pure vinegar) hamburgers and tuna sandwiches just aren’t the same without it.

  • I would love to have a copy of your book! I just had my first canning experience last weekend. My favorite would be jam, probably strawberry.

  • I recently got a pressure canner, so my current favourite thing is chicken broth. So exciting to “shop” in my own pantry!

  • You want me to choose just ONE food I love in a jar… OH MY!!!

    My favorite thing to make and have in jars is homemade soup!

  • lately I have been layering fruit and yogurt partway up a quart jar and blasting it with my stick blender for a delicious, drink-it-in-the-car-on-the-way-to-work breakfast smoothie! I wouldn’t have thought of it if not for this site and it’s ALL food in jars mentality 🙂

  • There are so many things to choose from, but I think my all-time favorite is pickled mushrooms!

  • i am swooning over this book. i want it so bad!! i love to can salsa. it has the best fresh taste and i know that when i give it to my daughter, i can name every ingredient in it. that’s my favorite thing about canning in general — fresh and simple ingredients. 🙂

  • My newest and favorite food in jars is cold oatmeal. I love mixing the oatmeal and yogurt and fruit and other mix-in’s and then have a fabulously healthy breakfast in the morning.
    It’s always fun to reveal the combinations after they’ve “cooked” overnight.

    Thanks for the giveaway. Your book looks scrumptious!

  • Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved my great-grandfather’s Pear Honey Preserves, a very sweet, slightly runny, pear jam the color of honey. We continue to make it today. It’s a very special recipe that will have to be forever passed down in my family.

  • It is a toss up between kimchi, spicy homemade garlic pickles or old fashioned sour pickles. I don’t know if I could pick between the three! One thing is for sure- no vampires will be entering my house!

  • Your book looks beautiful. I’ve signed up for a canning share with my CSA so I think I have a few things to learn. I love pickled everything in jars!

  • Thats a hard one! Jam most definitely. But, I like to use canning jars to store things in my fridge (especially homemade yogurt) instead of all that nasty plastic that is oh so pervasive in our lives….

    I need the rhubarb syrup recipe; ours is going ganbusters this year! 🙂

  • Congrats on your book – how exciting!

    Pickles are my favorite, although I also love jams, cranberry sauce, tomato sauce and salsa…