July Sponsors: Cuppow, Fillmore Container, Knives Ship Free, Mrs. Wages, and more!

three half pint jars

Happy July 1! It’s the beginning of the month, which means it’s time to thank the companies that help make Food in Jars possible! Tell them you appreciate their support of my work with a purchase or a social follow!

Back in the top spot are our friends at Cuppow. They are the creator of the original mason jar travel mug topper and the BNTO, a small plastic cup that transforms a canning jar into a snack or lunch box. Parents and kids love their EIO set, with its grippy silicone sleeve and a lid that makes for easy sipping.

Lancaster, PA-based and family-owned Fillmore Container are next! They sell all manner of canning jars, lids, and other preservation gear. Their blog has been in high gear for the canning season, with lots of recipes and round-ups to help you find your next preserving project. Check out this recipe for Savory Spiced-Mango Conserve and this post, all about using lavender in preserving.

New to the sponsorship rolls is Knives Ship Free. They sell all manner of knives, from blades designed for hunting and foraging, to the high end cutlery we all dream about having in our kitchens. And, if you’re looking for a deal, don’t miss their closeout page. Bargains abound!

Our friends at Mrs. Wages are on the roster again this month. They make pectin, vinegar, and more canning mixes than I can count. Their website is an incredible preserving resource and I can’t say enough good things about their salsa mix. I’ll have one more giveaway from them later in the summer, so stay tuned for that!

Looking for a culinary travel adventure? Don’t miss the Italian tours that Sean Timberlake from Punk Domestics leads. He’s currently booking a trip for the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It takes place October 6-12 and is not to be missed!

Mason Jar Lifestyle is a one-stop shopping site for all the jar lovers out there. They sell all manner of mason jar accessories and adaptors. If you’re in the market for lids, straws, and cozies to transform your mason jars into travel mugs, make sure to check them out!

If your company or small business is interested in becoming a sponsor, you can find more details here. I offer discounts for multiple month purchases and am always happy to work with your budget. Leave a comment on this post or drop me a note to learn more!

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Strawberry Ginger Jam

strawberry ginger vertical

Strawberry season is breathing its last gasps, and before it’s over for good, I wanted to share one last recipe.

Flat of strawberries

This recipe for strawberry ginger jam is one that I can’t quite believe I haven’t shared at some point in the past. Truly, I thought I’d posted every variation on strawberry jam that was possible. Happily I was wrong.

strawberries in a colander (1)

This jam gets its kick from a goodly application of freshly grated ginger root. I’ve found that there’s no better tool for grating ginger than a microplane zester.

sugared berries

With small berries, I don’t even bother to chop them. Instead, half way through cooking, I go in with a potato masher (this is my favorite) and work them until the fruit is pulverized. It works nicely and saves you a goodly amount of knife work.

finished strawberry ginger jam

Finally, if I’d had my wits about me, I would have canned this one in five half pint jars (as that makes for better quantities for sharing). However, I was clean out of half pints the day I made this jam and so used a motley collection of pints and quarter pints.

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Giveaway: Bee’s Wrap Sandwich Wrappers

An assortment of Bee's Wrap sandwich wrappers

I first tried Bee’s Wrap back in early 2013 and quickly tumbled into food storage love with it. It’s a reusable food storage product made from wax-imbued fabric. You mold it over plates, bowls, and things like hunks of cheese in place of plastic wrap or foil, using nothing more that the heat of your hands and the slight natural stickiness of the wax to keep it in place. Using it gives my after dinner clean-up a sense of satisfying timelessness.

An opened Bee's Wrap sandwich wrapper

In the beginning, Bee’s Wrap only came in flat sheets, but more recently they’ve started making wrappers designed to keep your sandwich neatly contained and ready for lunch time. These sandwich wrappers come in three designs (classic, geometric, and clover) and the button is imprinted with the image of a busy bee. Needless to say, I am entirely charmed by these wrappers.

Close-up of the Bee's Wrap sandwich wrapper

And so, that’s what I’m giving away this week. Three Bee’s Wrap sandwich wrappers. There will be three winners, each person receiving one of these nifty wraps. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me something that’s cooking in your kitchen this week.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, July 2, 2016. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, July 3, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States and Canadian residents. Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Bee’s Wrap sent me the wrappers you see pictured above for photography and review purposes, and has also providing the giveaway units. The warpers were provided at no cost to me. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

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Upcoming Events: Cornwall and Hudson, NY!

Eight jars of pressure canned beets from a workshop at the Omega Institute.

The canning workshop at Omega this past weekend was so good. I had eight participants who were curious, engaged, and excited about cooking, making, and canning. We made a dozen different preserves (and some semi-dehydrated fruit – there was a little snafu with the dehydrator) in just 12 active hours. I left feeling so invigorated and inspired to do more weekend-long, hands-on workshops.

I’ll be up in the Hudson Valley through July 4 and I have two more in the region if you happened to be based up here. Details are below. I hope some of you can make it!

(PS – I didn’t manage to write a link round-up post this weekend, but the winner of the Opinel giveaway last week is #279/Maura. Congratulations!)

Tuesday, June 28 (Cornwall, NY)
I’ll be at the Cornwall Public Library in Cornwall, NY for a canning demo and book signing. The demo starts at 6:30 pm and the program will last about an hour. Afterwards, I’ll have copies of all three of my books available for sale and, as always, I’ll be delighted to sign them.

Wednesday, June 29 (Hudson, NY)
Two years ago I taught a workshop at Valley Variety in Hudson, and I liked it so much that we’re doing it again! This time, we’ll be making two recipes from Naturally Sweet Food in Jars (Vanilla Peach Jam and Tomato Chutney) and digging in the details of preserving with natural sweeteners. I’m also bringing an assortment of preserves from my pantry, that shop owner Chuck will pair with cheese and wine. The class is from 6:30 – 8:30 pm and costs $50 per person. Register here.

For my complete calendar, click here.

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Online Canning Tools and Tidbits from Ball Canning

Interactive Canning Map June

This summer, I’m partnering the lovely folks at Ball Canning, to help spread the word about their new tools and products. Today, I want to take a moment to zero in on the online tools they’ve released this season, all designed to help inspire you to gather some produce and pull down your canning pot.

First up is their recently launched Tumblr, called Freshly Preserved Ideas. This page is bursting with ideas, recipes, and hypnotic gifs (truly. I’ve watched this one loop at least a dozen times). You’ll find introductions to the team of Fresh Preservers as well as the new recipes for summer preserves that we’ve all been tasked to dream up (the first of my recipes is Blackberry Lavender Jam).

Another fun tool is the Interactive Canning Map (that’s what’s pictured at the top of the page). It shows the various regions of the country and what’s currently in season in those areas. Clicking on the various images of fruits and vegetables will take you to preserving recipes that utilize those ingredients.

And just today, Jarden Home Brands (parent company of Ball Canning) released survey results in which they found that 40% of gardeners plan to preserve half or more of the food they grow this season and 44% freeze it for later use. A whopping 77% of gardeners have canned, frozen or dehydrated foods to preserve them, and 33% of those preserving gardeners are millennials.

Here’s hoping you all find some of those tools useful!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. My partnership with Ball Canning is a paid one. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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Lightly Pickled Sweet Cherries

Lightly pickled sweet cherries in jars

Sour cherries are one of my very favorite things to preserve. Sadly, thanks to a late freeze back in April, it is proving to be a very bad year for stonefruit in the Philadelphia region. Sour cherries are proving to be very hard to come by.

two and a half pounds of sweet cherries in a colander

Instead of bemoaning the 2016 sour cherry situation (though I must confess, I was able to get some from my friends’ community garden, so I’m not totally without them this year), I decided to take some of the sweet cherries from the Northwest Cherries shipment, and do what I could to give them a flavor profile similar to that of a sour cherry.

quartered cherries in the sink

I measured out two and a half pounds of the sweet cherries and using my trusty paring knife, cut them in quarters and wiggled out the pits (I don’t like using cherry pitters, because I resent how much cherry flesh you lose with every pit. Quartering them is fiddly work, but so much more of the fruit ends up in the pot).

lightly pickled sweet cherries in a stainless pot

Once the cherries were prepped, I combined them with sugar, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice and let them sit until all the sugar was dissolved. Then I set the pot on the stove, brought it to a boil, and cooked the fruit until the cherries were tender (but not falling apart) and the liquid had thickened slightly.

Lightly pickled sweet cherries in jars close-up

Towards the end of cooking, I took a tiny taste of the syrup in the pot and was so happy with the results. Bright, sweet, and just tart enough that you feel a pleasant shiver in the back of your throat. This is one for sparkling water, pairing with cheese, or eating with a pork chop.

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