Tag Archives: preserving

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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preserved lemons

If you drop enough hints, sometimes your wife might do something extra sweet like start a couple batches of preserved lemons for you. She used this Food in Jars post for the method.

After they finish, I just have to figure out how to eat them!

And a bonus chicken shot for good measure and because apparently the weather forecast isn’t favorable for some time to come.

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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.

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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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raspberry porn

We are so lucky to have organic raspberries that grow 8 minutes from our house.

We splurged on a flat and a half.

Of course we had to get some gold.

Since they sold out before we got to the farm stand AND the market over the weekend, we got up early Monday and bought these. We wanted to make jam and syrup together, so after Jess got home from work we all went out for a slice of pizza and a salad and then “jammed” until 2 am. Turns out one and a half flats is A LOT. I have to make some cute labels, and then you can take a peek.

Now Facebook is telling us Johnson Berry Farms has tayberries for the next four days. We might just have to go back for more.

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marmalade!

You can add marmalade to the list of “things I didn’t like as a kid but turns out they are pretty great.” Eh, maybe that list needs a better title, but you get the point. Although, I’m pretty sure that when I was a kid nobody ever gave me marmalade quite like this. Jess found a recipe from Tea & Cookies for Meyer Lemon Vanilla Bean Marmalade, and she knew I would be on board based on the two main ingredients.

Oh my god, look at those lemons!

Preserves this fancy deserve handmade labels, I’m thinking.

And the tiny flecks of vanilla, oh yes. This stuff is as good as it looks.

Since we try not to eat a ton of bread, our favorite use for jams, jellies, and now marmalades is to sweeten up plain yogurt. Although I’m thinking we may have to make some biscuits or scones ASAP.

We learned a valuable lesson while making this. Use old pectin at your own risk. After the first run through we had to open them all up, dump them back in the pot and try, try again. It was kind of a pain, but as they say:

I’m in love with this print from Bold & Noble on Etsy, but before I can buy it I have to buy another print I’ve been coveting for several months.

If you want to try this without the canning, try the recipe it is based on from Bon Appétit. And if you do, please report back!

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