Category Archives: canning

The winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered our book giveaway! We consulted random.org to select the winner of a pre-order for the upcoming Food in Jars book coming out in May.

The winner is comment number 90:

thePotlicker
March 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm
you are each such an inspiration. i am most excited about a new sunchoke recipe, my cilantro peanut pesto, and classic blackberry jelly.

Congratulations thePotlicker! We are e-mailing you to get your shipping information.

2 Comments

Filed under canning

our very first giveaway!

We just pre-ordered our copy of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round.

The book description: Popular food blogger Marisa McClellan takes you through all manner of food in jars, storing away the tastes of all seasons for later. Basics like jams and jellies are accompanied by pickles, chutneys, conserves, whole fruit, tomato sauces, salsas, marmalades, nut butters, seasonings, and more. Small batches make them easy projects for a canning novice to tackle, and the flavors of vanilla bean, sage, and pepper will keep more experienced jammers coming back for more.

Sample some Apricot Jam and Rhubarb Syrup in the spring, and then try your hand at Blueberry Butter and Peach Salsa in the summer; Dilly Beans and Spicy Pickled Cauliflower ring in the fall, while Three-Citrus Marmalade and Cranberry Ketchup are the harbingers of winter.
Stories of wild blackberry jam and California Meyer lemon marmalade from McClellan’s childhood make for a read as pleasurable as it is delicious; her home-canned food—learned from generations of the original “foodies”—feeds the soul as well as the body in more than 100 recipes.

We use Marisa’s blog Food in Jars for recipes all the time. We are so excited about her new book that we want to pre-order a copy for one of you lucky readers! It is scheduled to come out May 22nd. Fellow food preservationists or those of you just getting started this year, you want a copy of this book. Comment on this post and answer the question: What are you most excited about putting up this year?

Entries must be posted by noon PST on Sunday April 1st. Shipment to US & Canadian addresses only. The winner will be selected using random.org. We will contact you via e-mail, so be sure to include your e-mail address in the comment! This giveaway was not sponsored. We are just genuinely excited about this book.

155 Comments

Filed under canning, food

food swap scores

When we posted about the stuff we brought to the Oly Food Swap, a lot of you wanted to know what we brought home. I finally got around to photographing a lot of the goods.

This lemon curd was at the top of our swap wish list. We recognized those gorgeous tags immediately! You can get them online here. And if you’re looking for a recipe for canning lemon curd, there happens to be one in Put ’em Up.

Two ounces of dried porcini mushrooms. What a score!

If you haven’t ever tried porcinis, allow me to recommend this recipe for potato gnocchi with tomato porcini sauce.

We have nearly polished off the big hunk of Irish cream fudge we got.

Mmm, salsa verde.

And two jars of this green tomato salsa. I am drawn to all things gingham, but I sampled this stuff and it is amazing.

Almond roca, made by hand.

This nectarine honey is some sort of syrup. Not sure how we’re going to use it, but I’m pretty sure it will be delicious. How can those ingredients go wrong?

I believe the information on this table said this strawberry jam was cooked with bay leaf.

Assorted canned goods. I can’t wait to try that canary melon vanilla syrup!

I know a certain teenager who is going to be eating a lot of applesauce – in smooth and chunky varieties. These giant quart jars are just some of the applesauce we brought home. I know we’ll be swapping again! Go here to find a food swap near you.

Leave a comment

Filed under canning

tomato jam is the jam

We finally got around to making homemade tomato jam, and I think we are in love. I can’t recommend this recipe from Food in Jars enough. Sticky, sweet tomato goodness with a hint of cinnamon and clove. It takes an hour + a half to cook down, but simple to throw together. No blanching, peeling or deseeding required!

My new favorite thing is cheese and crackers with a dab of tomato jam. A tomato jam grilled cheese sandwich ain’t bad, either. And I see some tomato jam glazed tofu experiments in our future. I think we need to make another batch ASAP.

3 Comments

Filed under canning

What we did for Labor Day weekend

Well, besides going to work.

We tackled 30 pounds of tomatoes. The canning is only picking up momentum around here. And who can blame us when you can get organic tomato “seconds” grown on a nearby farm and picked the same day for $1.50/lb? The farmer even met us at the co-op for the exchange.

We experimented with some different peppers in the salsa we put up. This, of course, only inspires us try homemade hot sauce next.

apple peppers!

And while we’re trying out peppers named after other produce, how cute are those Bulgarian carrot peppers? Added to the growing list of “things to grow next year.”

6 Comments

Filed under canning

from our cupboards

I don’t think I’m going to get to the trio of watermelon canning projects I had hoped for this week, but we’ve got to figure out some good storage solutions for our canned food anyway. Every year I end up crafting some labels for our jars. It’s a little too time intensive for big batches, but we like to have some on hand that you can just slap a ribbon on and give as a proper gift or trade when needed. Really I just do it because it’s fun. It must be the same kid in me who keeps eyeballing the giant, pristine box of crayons at the store (you know, with the built in sharpener).


black pepper cherry jam


cherries in light syrup


Raspberry jam made with Pomona’s Universal Pectin. We’ve been using this a lot since you don’t have to use so much sugar.

Little known fact: if we didn’t name our chickens after characters from Cry-Baby, naming them after characters from The Outsiders was high on the list. Tell me Sodapop, Ponyboy, and Cherry Valance aren’t excellent chicken names? For now we will settle for a reference via golden raspberry jam.

18 Comments

Filed under canning

Her name is Cherry, we’ve just met

Jess, along with our good friend Jordan, worked some sort of miracle and scored local organic cherries for $2.50 a pound, with a couple bonus pounds thrown in for free. Last night we all convened at the Bearded Lady Food Company’s (literally) sweet commercial kitchen for a cherry processing pizza party.

In case you’re wondering, yes it was amazing to be in a commercial kitchen with a six burner gas range and a wall of deep sinks to wash everything. Jess could not stop talking about those sinks.

We all donned Bearded Lady aprons, even Levi, and went to town on 22 pounds of cherries. Levi looks grumpy here, but I assure you that is just intense focus. Together he & I stemmed and pitted all the cherries in record time. That kid can be a workhorse when we get him on board a project.

Okay, for the sake of complete accuracy we pitted all of the cherries except the two pounds that became Drunken Cherries.

We used the recipe from Sherri Brooks Vinton’s Put ’em Up but threw in a little vanilla bean. Sweet cherries, bourbon, brown sugar and vanilla bean? How can this go wrong? We also made her Classic Cherry Preserves from the same book, one batch with vanilla bean and the other with black pepper. BLACK PEPPER CHERRY PRESERVES? Tell me you don’t want to invite yourself over for scones.

We always joke about cooking all the way through a book, but Jess doesn’t know yet that I hope we can actually achieve that with this book.

I’ve also got cherries and sugar macerating in an attempt to make this cherry shrub recipe happen. You may recall we enjoyed cherry shrub cocktails for our anniversary recently. Learn more about shrubs here from serious eats. We are well on our way to our dreams of a house filled with all sorts of jams and jellies and syrups and shrubs, hooray!

In case you’re wondering what we ended up with from our 11 pounds:

3 half-pint jars cherry preserves
4 pint jars cherries preserved in simple syrup
1 quart jar of drunken cherries
1 gigantic batch of cherry shrub

and one leftover pound in the fridge – I’m leaning toward a fresh salad with cherries and cheese for dinner tonight.

5 Comments

Filed under canning