Tag Archives: books

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.

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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.

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Filed under canning, food

Hunger Games food round-up

It’s no secret that our family is a little obsessed with the Hunger Games trilogy. The movie version opens this week, and I would guess that probably a full fifty percent of my waking hours are devoted to thinking about the Hunger Games. Krista wrangled up a collection of Hunger Games-inspired food for your District 12 parties this week.


Photo via Instructables user thatgirlwithacurl

We are in love with this step-by-step instructable for District 12 Coal Cookies! We might just be packing these for the midnight screening!

Check out The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook if you need 150 recipes to get you started.


Photo via San Jose Mercury News

A reader submitted feast for ‘Hunger Games’ enthusiasts from the San Jose Mercury News.


Photo via The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post’s Kitchen Daily collection of ‘Hunger Games’ recipes, including apple-goat cheese tarts a la Mellark’s Bakery.


Photo via Fictional Food

Fictional Food has a ton of Hunger Games recipes. The blogger goes by the name Greasy Sae, after all. What a cool idea – a blog entirely of food inspired by books, television, movies, and such.


Photo via Lizy B Bakes

Lizy B Bakes shares her method for these works of art here.

So what kind of snacks would you pack for a freezing cold midnight showing of the Hunger Games? May the odds be ever in your favor, and may the moviemakers not destroy all of our hopes and expectations with this movie!

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Filed under food

Books from my nightstand

The nights are growing longer and it suddenly got chilly in Olympia this week. It hasn’t technically frosted yet, but our nighttime temps have dipped to 35ish. This weather means that I can find time to turn my attention back to the books on my nightstand that have been languishing all summer while we spent our daylight hours weeding, plucking, picking, shoveling, etc. So, here’s what’s on my nightstand.


Grow Great Grub, by Gayla Trail.
I must have read this book four or five times already, but everytime I find something new. Gayla Trail is a smart person. She’s one of those garden writers who knows what she’s talking about, and writes factual, true things. The advice in this book is solid, and I always recommend her work to beginning gardeners. I think it’s important to have advice that actually works when you are starting out. Failure is so discouraging when you start gardening, so set yourself up for success.


Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff
We’re always on the look-out for interesting new canning ideas so I get a lot of jam and pickle cookbooks from the public library. Don’t get me wrong, I am crazy for a jar of plain-jane blackberry jam, but inspiration and challenges keep me excited about what’s happening in the kitchen. It saves canning from becoming a chore. I’ve heard good things about this book, but haven’t cooked from it yet.


Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway

Permaculture is the idea of designing your space into a sort of ecosystem where each piece supports the others, a sort of “closing the loop” for sustainability and self-sufficiency. Most permaculture examples are BIG, like acres of land, but this book tries to scale the ideas down to a home-sized permaculture system. I don’t think that “real” permaculture is our goal, personally, but I would like to be more closed-loop about a lot of things, so I’m reading this book for inspiration.


Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture by Sepp Holzer

Speaking of permaculture – Sepp Holzer has been practicing permaculture for decades in high elevations in Austria. He has a lot more space than we do, but I’m interested to learn about hügelkultur and some other ideas we could apply on a much smaller scale.

I’m also reading 1Q84, but that seems a little out of place here. So, what’s on your nightstand for these long, cold nights ahead?

We were in no way compensated for including any of these books. We either bought them, received them as gifts from family, or checked them out from the public library. All of my opinions are entirely my own.

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Filed under fall

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.

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Filed under canning