Sponsored Post: A Lifefactory Deal from MightyNest’s MightyFix

orange Lifefactory bottle - Food in Jars

Fun fact about me. I have a minor water bottle obsession. I’ve been this way since my high school days, when I kept a tall disposable bottle (refilled for ages before being recycled) in my backpack. In college, I carried a brightly colored Nalgene.

Once on my own, I acquired a small collection of aluminum Sigg bottles. These days, I use stainless steel and glass water bottles exclusively, because they don’t impact the taste of the water, and they seem to be the healthiest choices available.

Lifefactory water bottle in bag - Food in Jars

Of all the glass water bottles I’ve used, the ones made by Lifefactory are my favorite, both for their grippy silicone sheaths and for the lids that are so easy to put on and take off (plus, they’re essentially big jars, which pleases me more than it should).

As we head into the final days of Earth Month, our friends over at MightyNest though some of you guys would also like to get in on the glass water bottle action. How do you do it? By joining MightyFix!

Lifefactory URL - Food in Jars

If you’ve missed my earlier posts about the MightyFix, it’s a monthly subscription service that sends full sized non-toxic products for the kitchen and home. It costs $10 a month and ships for free. What’s more, anything you want to add to your monthly order from MightyNest will also ship for free.

Without the FIX, this 12 ounce Lifefactory bottle costs $18 + $5.95 in shipping. When you sign up, you’ll get it for just $5. Then, for just $10 a month going forward, you’ll get regular shipments of items that help you make small but rewarding changes that help both you and the planet.

full Lifefactory bottle - Food in Jars

This deal is only open to new FIX subscribers. Unfortunately, if you’ve joined up in the past, you won’t be eligible for the discount (so sorry!). However, if you’re new to the FIX and ready to hop on board, use this link to head over to MightyNest (it’s got the discount code already applied). If that link gives you trouble, use the code FIJBOTTLEFIX at check out instead.

Just to recap. If you’re new to MightyFix, you’ll get this water bottle as your first FIX when they sign up for the subscription service. The cost of the FIX is $10 a month and the products are always valued more than $10. Your first month is $5 and you’ll get a Lifefactory glass water bottle valued at $18 + $5.95 in shipping. It’s a pretty nifty deal!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. MightyNest is a regular Food in Jars partner and occasional sponsor. They sent me the orange water bottle you see pictured here back in December, for photography purposes. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

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In My Toolbox: Gear for Traveling Canning Classes and Demos

Gear for Canning Events - Food in Jars

One of the things that often surprises people is the fact that when I go on the road to promote my books, I bring everything I need for my classes and demonstrations with me. While I occasionally find myself teaching in spaces that have fully stocked kitchens, more often that not, I’m working at farmers markets, bookstores, and other impromptu venues.

The upside is that one quick stop at a grocery store and I have everything I need to make a recipe from my book. The downside is that I do not travel light. Happily, it’s a trade-off I am most willing to make.

Pots for Canning - Food in Jars

The Cookware

For Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, I’m traveling with two pieces of cookware. A low, wide, non-reactive pan in which to cook the preserves and a small canner. When I was promoting Preserving by the Pint, I swapped a 12-inch skillet in for the larger pot.

I have a few different pieces that serve as the preserving pan, but my very favorite is low, wide 8 quart All-Clad stockpot pictured above. I’ve had a version of this pot for nearly seven years now and it is beloved in my kitchen. I was never able to take mine on the road with me, because the model I had didn’t work with an induction cooktop. Thankfully, the kind folks at All-Clad took pity on me this year and sent me one that works with my traveling induction burner.

My trusty 4th burner pot serves as small batch canning pot during my traveling demos. If I need a larger canning pot for on-the-road classes, I make arrangements to borrow one, as I just can’t fit a giant stockpot into my suitcase (one has to draw the line somewhere).

Induction Burner - Food in Jars

The Cooktop

Outside of the cookware, the thing that takes up the most space in my suitcase of canning gear is my burner. I travel with a portable induction burner because all it needs to work is an electrical outlet. I’ve had two of these Duxtop burners for the last five years and they’ve been incredibly reliable and sturdy (though sadly, one did get destroyed on a recent flight. The TSA opened my suitcase, didn’t secure the wrappings around the burner well, and it cracked).

I also make sure to tuck a short extension cord into my travel bag. This one is a ten footer, which is enough to reach an outlet in most situations (and if I know that I’m going to need more length than that, I make arrangements ahead of time).

various tools - Food in Jars

Tools and Utensils

The rest of the gear is an assortment of small tools and utensils, chosen for their ability to pack small and work hard.

Oh, and they’re not pictured (because I left them in Portland), but I also always tuck a pair of Blossom Trivets into my suitcase as well. All this gear makes for a jangly suitcase, but having this stuff with me means that I always have what I need.

Disclosure: In case it wasn’t clear earlier in the post, All-Clad gave me the 8 quart pot you see pictured above in exchange for promotional consideration. I bought everything else featured in this post. 

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Preserving the Edible Bounty at the Omega Institute

omega class products

Most of the time, when I teach canning and preserving classes, they last no more than two or three hours. Occasionally though, I offer longer, more intense workshops in order to give people a chance to dig deeply and really get hands on with the preserving experience.

I’m teaching one of these weekend-long workshops this June at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. It starts on Friday, June 24 and runs through Sunday, June 26. We’ll make between 10 and 12 different products and will make sure to touch on a variety of skills, including jam making, pickling, fermenting, drying, pressure canning, hot packed fruit pieces, natural sweeteners, and more.

For information, or to register for the workshop, click here.

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Upcoming Events: May Classes, Demos and More!

jars on shelves

After all that travel in April, I made the choice to stay closer to home for the month of May. You’ll find me throughout the Philadelphia region for a number of classes and free demos. There will be samples for tasting and books available for sale at all of these events. Mark your calendars and tell your friends!

Thursday, April 28 (Reading, PA!)
Join me for a canning demonstration and book signing at the Exeter Community Library. 6 pm. Free.

Monday, May 2 (Mullica Hill, NJ)
I’m doing a canning demo and book signing at the Mullica Hill branch of the Gloucester County Library system. 7 pm. Free. Sign up here.

Thursday, May 5 (Broomall, PA)
I’ll be at the Marple Public Library, offering up a canning demonstration. There will be a brief book signing to follow. 6:30 pm. Free.

Sunday, May 8 (Wayne, PA)
This is the special Mother’s Day demonstration and book signing (mentioned above) at Valley Forge Flowers that’s being presented in partnership with WHYY. 4-6 pm. Details and tickets here.

Tuesday, May 10 (Horsham, PA)
You’ll find me at the Horsham Township Library at 7 pm, showing you how to make jam with natural sweeteners. There will be a brief book signing to follow. Sign up here!

Thursday, May 19 (Easton, PA)
I’ll be at the brand new Easton Public Market, teaching a hands on canning and preserving class. We’ll make a batch of Strawberry Cocoa Jam from start to finish and all participants will go home with a small jar of jam. 7-9 pm. $45. Register here.

Saturday, May 21 (Hanover Township, PA) You’ll find me at Dundee Gardens, offering a demo-style canning class. I’ll show you how to make a batch of Strawberry Cocoa Jam, and will get you ready to go home and make a batch yourself! 11 am. More info and registration.

Tuesday, May 24 (Franklin Township, NJ)
Find me at Franklin Township Library at 6:30 pm, for a canning demonstration and book signing.

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Cashew Butter with Honey and Cinnamon

jar of cashews - Food in Jars

Back in late March, before I left for three weeks away, I tumbled into a flurry of making. I find that this often happens to me just before I leave for a trip, for so many reasons. I’m a procrastinator by nature and so often have a few ingredients that must be used or preserved before I leave town.

roasted cashews - Food in Jars

I always need things to write about on this site and so I scramble to get a few things in the can (jar, really) to share while I’m gone. And knowing that I probably won’t be doing much cooking beyond demos and classes during my travels, like to cook up until the last minute, to fill up that creative tank until I return to my little kitchen.

cashew butter ingredients - Food in Jars

I’ve been thinking a lot about homemade nut butters lately. I’ve long had a weakness for interestingly flavored and spiced peanut, almond, and seed butters, but hate spending $10 or $12 for a nine-ounce jar (not that I haven’t done it on occasion). Several years back, I went through a phase when I often made my own, but hit a point where the elderly food processor I used for all things began to struggle with nuts.

cashew butter halfway - Food in Jars

Last summer, things changed in my nut butter making world. I got a new food processor. A former canning student got in touch to say that he and family were moving out of the country, and would I be interested in buying his barely used 14 cup Magimix processor for a very good price? We made a deal that day.

finished cashew butter - Food in Jars

This isn’t to say that you need a fancy new processor to make nut butters, but I won’t deny that this new, zippy beast has sped up the process. I also no longer worry that my machine is going to die halfway through the making ritual, which is comforting.

cashew butter jar - Food in Jars

Now, a bit about the actual cashew butter. I flavored mine with honey and cinnamon, but variations using maple with vanilla, or golden syrup with cardamom would also be nice. I also use a little coconut oil to help aid the transition from nut flour to nut butter. However, if you can’t stand the slight taste of coconut that it imparts, try using a neutral oil like grapeseed or canola.

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Curious Feast Postcard Box from Princeton Architectural Press

Curious Feast box - Food in Jars

I have always loved the convergence of food and art. Whether it’s a carefully arranged platter of cut vegetables designed to please the eye, or a more enduring still life rendered in oils or water color, I am always drawn in. Which is why I found the new box of postcards from Princeton Architectural Press so appealing.

Curious Feast open box - Food in Jars

Called Curious Feast: 100 Postcards by 10 Artists, this compact box features cards from artists who specialize in food-related art. The pieces are wide-ranging and include a realistic bowl of ramen, close-ups of food that look more like the surface of the moon than something edible, hand-written recipes, food sculpted out of fabric, and lots more.

Curious Feast strawberries - Food in Jars

The artists featured in Curious Feast are Naz Sahin Ozcan (curator), Alex Proba, Brest Brest Brest, Caren Alpert, Melinda Josie, Patricia Curtan, Michele Humes, Mimi O Chun, Wijnand Warendorf, and Joel Penkman. It should come to no surprise that my two favorite cards in the box are Mimi O Chun’s canning and pickling-themed ones. I want that plush jar!

Curious Feast jars - Food in Jars

 

The box would make a good gift for food lovers, those who like to send (or just collect) postcards, or anyone who wants to brighten up their workspace, kitchen, or dining room with whimsical pictures of food. The Curious Feast box is available from Amazon, or directly from Princeton Architectural Press.

Disclosure: The PR folks at Princeton Architectural Press sent me the Curious Feast box in the hopes that I might be charmed by it and be moved to share it here on the blog. I was entirely delighted by it and so wrote this post. No additional compensation was provided and all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. 

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