Can you believe that rhubarb is still with us? Believe it: I got those lovely stalks above just yesterday at the farmer’s market. Strawberries may get all the glory of Spring, but they are here and gone in flash. Rhubarb, now: rhubarb pokes its head up in early May and just keeps on keeping on, well into July. Is it any wonder that I love it so?
You know what else popped up in May? Marisa’s new cookbook, Food In Jars. Marisa and I first connected through our blogs (via the Can Jam, I think) and our mutual love of putting food in jars. That connection grew into friendship, and as her friend, I’ve watched on the sidelines as Marisa made batch after batch of preserves, tested & tweaked recipes, and somehow fit writing a cookbook into her regular routine of work, play and putting by the seasons. Way back in April, when I was drowning under a particularly knotty dataset, I pre-ordered a copy of Food In Jars, as a little reward to myself. And was I ever rewarded! My copy came two weeks earlier than the official release date and as such, was a completely lovely and welcome surprise. In the meantime, Marisa and her publisher, Running Press, were kind enough to send me a review copy, so guess what? It’s yours! Well, for one of you at least (and only if you live in the US. Sorry, interntional folk: I would love to send it to you, but I’d have to publish my own book to afford the shipping).
The first thing you notice about Food In Jars is the quality: the sturdy, hardback cover, the thick, cardstock pages, the hefty 230+ pages. This is a book that will live on your cookbook shelf for years and years, before finally, recipes memorized, spine cracked, and pages jam-splattered, you pass it down to your son, your granddaughter, your neighbor that always let you pilfer fruit from her apple tree. The second thing you notice is the overall tone of the book: the muted color palette; Marisa’s easy-going voice, telling you stories from her childhood and making even a complex recipe seem like a piece of cake; Steve Legato’s gorgeous photography, perfectly capturing the mood and making your fingers itch to bust out the canning pot. Then, there are the recipes: vanilla rhubarb jam with Earl Grey, sweet cherry butter (why haven’t I thought of that?), mimosa jelly (fruit + booze, my favorite!), Cara Cara ginger marmalade; the list goes on. I’m really tempted by grape ketchup, caramelized red onion and even lemony pickled cauliflower (only Marisa could tempt me with a pickle recipe). And imagine my surprise and delight when, paging through the book and dipping into various recipes, I chanced upon her recipe for grainy white wine mustard, which lists me, and this little blog of mine, as her mustard inspiration! I might have gotten just a wee bit teary. (Shut up. It’s very dusty in here.)
What else can I say? So far, I love it. I’ve made the orange rhubarb butter, a fantastic yet simple recipe with only three ingredients; I’ve made the rhubarb chutney, which is mellowing on the pantry shelves as we speak; and I’ve put sticky notes on at least a dozen more. I’ve learned a few things: for instance, did you know that chutney, like wine, needs to age a bit after opening, or the vinegar flavor will overwhelm? Neither did I. I’ve seen some tricks that I use myself, like not blending a fruit butter until it is well cooked-down, because once you blend it, it spatters that much more. And I’ve been inspired by some recipes that I don’t tend to make at home, like fresh nut butters and infused salts.
I have over a dozen preserving cookbooks, so you would think that I wouldn’t need another one. But I think Food In Jars fills a unique niche: the recipes are human in scale, (no need to procure 6 quarts of strawberries or 20 lbs of peaches), classic basics are updated for the way we eat today (you won’t see “9 cups sugar” anywhere in this book); and while there are interesting flavor combinations, like nectarine-lime, pear-ginger and cantaloupe-vanilla, you won’t need to search out random floral syrups or homemade Meyer lemon pectin to get the job done. <ahem> The recipes are neither aggressively modern nor strictly traditional: some use commercial pectin, some do not; some are low-sugar, some are not; some employ classic flavor combinations, some are inventive and personal. All are clearly those recipes that work best for Marisa, a home-canner fitting preserving in and around everyday life, producing jars of goodness, one season at a time, in her tiny Philadelphia kitchen. Congratulations, Marisa: the book is truly a gem, and one that I will treasure for years to come.
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below answering the following question: “If you could can only one thing this year, what would it be?” Giveaway will close on Friday, June 22nd, at midnight EST. And please, only one entry per person: I will delete extra entries. Comments are being moderated, so it may take a little while to show up, but rest assured, it will be approved. Good luck! Psst: Want to triple your chances of winning? Of course you do! Head on over to Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking and Punk Domestics for more great giveaways!
Adapted from Orange-Rhubarb Butter in Food In Jars by Marisa McClellan
- 4 and 1/2 lbs rhubarb
- 1, 12-oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1 cup (8 oz) raw sugar (organic turbinado)
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) organic brown sugar
- Wash, trim and slice the rhubarb in approximate 1/2-inch slices. Combine with OJ concentrate and sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. At this point, I transferred the mixture to a heat-safe bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and stored refrigerated for about 1 week before continuing.
- Prepare canner, jars and lids.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until rhubarb has broken down, mixture has thickened, and volume has reduced by about half. The higher you keep the heat, the faster it will cook down, but the more you will need to stir. For a smooth butter, blend with an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender or food processor, then return to pan. Continue to simmer, stirring as necessary and using a splatter screen, until butter will mound on the back of a spoon. Consider using the stacked-burner trick if butter starts to stick. This whole process can take anywhere from 1 – 3 hours, depending on how much you want to stir, how high you keep the heat, how much liquid is in your rhubarb, and the width of your preserving pot. Taste and adjust sugar or orange flavor as you like.
- Fill hot jars with hot butter, making sure to bubble the jars, and adjust headspace to 1/2-inch. Wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Yields about 6 – 7 half-pint jars.
- Marisa’s original batch size was a bit smaller: 3 lbs rhubarb, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups orange juice.
- If you don’t have frozen concentrated orange juice, you can replace with 3 – 4 cups of regular OJ; it will just take a bit longer to cook down. If you happen to have a lot of fresh oranges, feel free to use fresh orange juice: rhubarb is plenty acidic enough so there is no safety concern. Fresh orange zest would probably be a nice addition as well.
- I reduced the sugar by about half from Marisa’s original recipe. The resulting butter is tangy and just barely sweet. Feel free to increase the sugar if you prefer a sweeter butter. You can easily use 1 and 1/2 cups of one type of sugar; I added the 1/2 cup after tasting and just grabbed the first one to hand, which turned out to be brown sugar.
Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year.
Spring into early Summer.
only one thing? bourbon peaches — which i found here at your blog first! SO AMAZING.
Only one thing!?
Tomatoes. And I hope we can can only one thing in multiple ways because tomatoes can be so versatile. Chopped tomatoes, tomatoes sauce, tomato jam, tomatoes juice, cherry tomatoes whole, etc etc.
Great give away.
What a tough question! I’m thinking……….pasta sauce made from my back yard tomatoes. In the past I’ve just canned tomatoes but want to try pasta sauce this year.
If I could only can one thing, it would definitely be gallons and gallons of tomato sauce. So much better than store-bought–and I know for certain that however much I make, we will definitely eat it all! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
Roasted corn relish – it makes summer fresh salsa all winter long.
Mmm….. if only I could can my enthusiasm for preserving. But only one realistically canned good…. I’d say amaretto peach butter. I was so sad to eat the last of it.
Easy: Dilly beans! Those make me happy year-round. I dedicated a whole bed in my garden to just pole beans this year for them.
Hmmm, that would have to be our roasted tomato garlic salsa. Most breakfasts wouldn’t be the same without it.
the one thing I look forward to canning each year is fig & ginger chutney. It’s good when first made but it gets even better as it ages. By the time the figs are long gone the next spring, we’re enjoying the chutney on fresh bread. Can’t wait for this year’s crop.
What a tough question…I’d have to say my tomato basil sauce!
Tomatoes. It is actually my least favorite thing to can, but I use tomatoes throughout the winter for many different recipes and I hate the idea of buying them.
I know! I was really surprised when I saw how much rhubarb is still about! You love that book don’t you?! haha. I’d probably can some cherries using a delicious cherry liquer – however, our cherry tree didn’t bear any fruit :(.
My one thing would be pickled green beans. I love them.
Only one thing I wouldnt want to be without is indian cauliflower pickles!
Picking one thing is entirely difficult, but I will go with tomatoes. Mainly because I planted so many this year (17 varieties of heirlooms!) that I’ll have to can them for enjoyment later too!
Hot-hot, chow, chow!
I’m going to have to say tomatoes, too. I can forgo summer fruits by eating myself silly when they’re in season, perhaps without really missing them the rest of the year. But tomatoes are so useful year-round, and I definitely feel their loss once I’ve used up my supply of them come spring.
Bloody Mary Blend! The various veggies that are great in a Bloody Mary because the pickling spices are similar.
Heirloom Tomatoes 🙂
Dandelion jelly! I can never get enough!
pickled garlic. can’t live without pickled garlic.
If I could only can one thing, it would be tomatoes. I use them throughout the year and stre bought pales in comparison!
If I could can only one thing…..hmmmm, tough question!! I would have to say vegetable soup! I love having a little taste of summer throughout the winter.
That’s such a tough question!! I guess I’d have to say, uhhh, hmmmm, raspberry jam. Or tomatoes. Or last year’s sandwich dills? Jeez. Does that mean I don’t get a chance to win?
Your orange rhubard butter, it sounds wonderfull!!!!
That is a hard question, so many things I like to put up, maybe NS chow, dillybeans, pickled okra and the list just keeps going
Strawberry vanilla jam! I’ve got a ton of stuff that I’m canning this year but couldn’t live wihtout a batch of strawberry jam.
It would have to be habanero jelly for me.
Marisa’s strawberry vanilla jam!
If the only thing I could can this summer would be apple butter bbq sauce!!
simple strawberry low sugar jam. luckily i wont be confined to that choice 🙂 as I want to do some experimenting this year!
BEETS………I have loads from the garden.
Definitely tomato sauce–couldn’t live without it. 🙂
a plum apple compote kind of thing at the end of the summer that is amazing in desserts through the winter. Or blackberry jam….
Strawberry rhubarb jam!
The one thing I would can would be a burbon apple butter BBQ sauce!!!
The one thing I would preserve is pickled beets. It makes me smile every time I open a new jar. 🙂
Ginger peach chutney mmmmm.
Apricot preserves! Little pots of summer
applesauce. If I didn’t I think my family would disown me
If I could can only ONE thing…Salsa! It’s time consuming so my mom & I do a huge batch together. After the last of the fresh things go these jars are doled out one by one for the rest of the fall, winter, and early spring!
Peppered Rosemary Peach Jam- an all
I would have to say the one thing would have to be peach pie jam! YUMMY!
Elderberry syrup, trees are so plentiful with new berries now, would make me happy with all dishes!
I have already canned mixed berry jam, using up some local blackberries and miscellaneous berries from in the freezer. So I will can whatever the local farmer’s market presents to me when the inspiration comes over me.
Plum & Rose Curd. So many people wanted it last time that I was left with not a bite for myself.
Figs! I made a killer fig chutney last year and then a totally unimpressive second batch. I would like another chance to make good, but there aren’t many figs on the shrub/tree yet.
peaches….if only I had some Georgia peaches!
For sure jam – made from my own grapes!
Tomatoes. I always think I won’t use them all, but I do. Delicious!
Strawberry Jam – nothing like local berries!
Sounds crazy but get ready…If I could just one thing this year, it would have to be spinach. I have some issues with eye health and my husband’s cousin has helped her eyes by eating spinach every day for ten years!!! So, I’m giving it a try…eyes and vision are a good thing to have. Have a great summer everyone and Happy Almost Summer Solstice Day!!! 🙂 🙂 …although the days begin to get shorter each day after the solstice 😦 😦 😦
My favorite thing to eat in the winter is Sweet Cherries in Almond Syrup. I was able to make 4 jars so far. It’s good on pancakes, waffles, ice cream, yogurt (frozen or not)….or just right out of the jar. Love it!!
One thing? Salsa!! Only one would be so sad though!
Only one thing?! I will interpret “thing” to mean, in a liberal sense, “item of produce,” and the answer is RHUBARB!!! I had never seen or heard of rhubarb until I was an exchange student in Germany and last week had the sweet experience of trading jars of homemade rhubarb jam with my host mom, who first taught me how to make jam 10 years ago. I’m currently draining colander of boiled rhubarb to make rhubeena (thanks!).
Oh RASPBERRIES! Red, black, golden…love raspberries! That would be my “only one thing”!
I would can summer!!!
I would be canning sour cherry preserves… My favorite!!!!
Cherries. We had an odd spring and a few badly timed frosts wiped out our local cherry harvest in the bud phase. I have been mourning for weeks!
Tomato Jam…..its swwet, spicy, and makes a sandwich, or simple cheese and crackers something a bit more special….
Tomatoes I think. Tough question though! Wouldn’t it be sad if we really could only can one thing this year….
Oh dear, this is going to sound so boring. If I could only eat one thing, I would pick my home made hot cereal mix. I love it so much that if I miss breakfast, I don’t mind having it at lunch!
Pickles, seriously, I love pickles so much
Sounds like I’m with the majority. It would have to be tomatoes in the veggie dept. Apricot Jam in the fruit dept. My friends get in line waiting for their yearly jar.
only one thing? it would have to be tomato sauce, I use it all winter long for everything from chili to soup to pasta. Kids would be lost without the sauce.
The first jam I ever made, and still the household favorite: strawberry jam with Oregon’s fabulous Hood berries. Summer in a jar!
love me some dill pickles with garlic
Since I have lots of tomatoes growing, I’d say tomatoes!
I would can fresh corn. It is abundant and inexpensive now, and I LOVE corn chowder in the winter!
Tomatoes. Nothing beats a canned tomato from a “jar.” If I had to be punished by only canning one item, that would be it. And think of how versatile that lovely concoction is….the basis of so many things.
My one thing would be crab apple jelly. My Gramma used to make it and it still tastes like home. 🙂
If I could only can one thing it would be crushed tomatoes. I love all the jams that I make but crushed tomatoes make winter bearable.
Can only ONE thing!?!? Ummmmm either strawberry jam or tomatoes. Jam seems more fun on the fresh end, but having the tomatoes is a bigger pay off. So… tomatoes. Thanks for the giveaway… I was sent by Punk Domestics. Great blog!
I would can tomatoes if required to pick one thing….but I’m glad to preserve just about everything.
Cucumbers! I love me some pickles!!
Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes
So hard to choose, but it would have to be strawberries for jams and preserves – in several different flavors!
Hello! First, I love anything Rhubarb and am so excited to try this butter! Second, I just yesterday, for the FIRST TIME EVER made Strawberry Jam! I was beside myself with pride 🙂 Now that I have that first one out of the way, the only other thing I would can, if only given one, would be Chow-Chow. I had it in Pennsylvania and fell in love! I made my hubby plant most of the things we need for it: beans, peppers, corn, cauliflower, onions, carrots and cabbage and can’t wait to give it a try! Not sure if that recipe is in Food in Jars, but I have had this cookbook on my list since I heard about it last year! I would LOVE a copy 🙂
only can one thing? oh my, probably that orange rhubarb butter, i made it last year and it was the first thing to get made this year, it is so good!
Hmmm… difficult to pick, but relishes is a favorite.
Jalapeno jelly, it makes my sammich taste good.
If I could can only one thing this year, it would be tomato sauce. I love the idea that I can have local tomatoes in the winter.
I would can peaches and eat them everyday for the rest of the year. seriously delicious!
If I only can one thing it would be dill pickles My grand daughters love the home canned ones.
(organic) Tomatoes…it’s hard enough to find organic tomatoes locally even when they are in season–and we go through a lot of them year round!
whole tomatoes as they can be used in soooo many ways next winter or just eaten as is!
Going down the list to see the replies I just wanted to ask so many for their tried and true favorite recipes. There are so many endless possibilities and numerous things to try. I would miss my zucchini pickles. I grow them just to make the pickles. Hate it when I run out.
Strawberries! And I’d like to figure out how to make a good coconut jam.
Too sad! I am one of your too expensive to post to Internationals. I am going to cheer myself up by ordering the book immediately.It looks perfect. Thanks for the review.
Sorry, Neil: but I can tell you that you won’t regret it!
Ps. My answer is definitely quinces, in any way.
I’m just learning about food-in-jars. Can’t wait to try and can my first batch of ANYTHING, but I an excited to can Iowa tomatoes, cherries and find ways to use my bountiful herb harvest!
Definitely peach butter. Just to keep the lovely, juicy taste through typical hard winters.
I discovered preserved lemons recently, so i keep finding uses. and it was so easy. so i pick that
If I could only can one thing this year, it would be crab apple jelly!! 🙂
Well – since I have 61 tomato plants in my new garden … I’m thinking salsa, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, ketchup … are you seeing a pattern 🙂
Sour cherry jam was at the top of my list for this year. I made a batch of it this morning.
One thing? Apricot jam! My poor husband has sat through Asian Spice Plum Butter, Strawberry Balsamic Jam, Blueberry Lime Jam, even a wild variety of salsas, but all he asks for, every year, is apricot jam and for some reason or another, I am never able to give him what he wants! Sadly, I think this year will go the same way. But I’d love the cookbook!!
Just one thing? Tomato basil jam, I think. It tastes so good as a side at Thanksgiving dinner with the turkety and the gravy, it goes amazing with a chicken sandwich, or even just an english muffin and some butter. Tomato basil jam for the win for me!
If I had to narrow it down to just one thing, Sweet and Sour Pickled Red Onions. They are wonderful on absolutely everything that we’ve tried them on. Mmmmm.
Wow! how inspiring. I’ve been wanting to get in to canning so badly. The first thing I would do is jalepenos. My boyfriend and I cannot get enough of them!
I’m a commited reader and truly enjoy your inventive recipes. The book sounds amazing. I’m a novice canner and have only successfully made jam & jelly thus far. This year I hope to put up tomato jam and pickled cauliflower. But, every year since I’ve started canning I can’t wait for blackberry season, and when picked at their peak there is nothing more delicious than blackberry jam!
That book looks fantastic. I’m growing my first garden this summer and I have a feeling I’m about to be overrun with tomatoes (I have 3 plants!) So I would have to say canned tomatoes!
Veggie beef soup, per my husband’s request. I know, it sounds ridiculous but during the winter I can’t make it enough. I usually make it & freeze it buy If I ha a pressure canner, I’d can that. I’m currently attempting to con my husband into buying a pressure canner for me. Lol.
If I could only can one thing this year, I would can applesauce. I eat applesauce for breakfast when it is in season while I try to can enough to use the rest of the year for baking and just plain enjoying. If I leave it chunky and cook it down with raisins, onions and cumin then it makes a really delicious chutney that I will eat on absolutely anything- burgers, a mayo substitute in tuna salad, seared tofu, all delicious! I am an applesauce girl!
Apricot butter – I can never have enough!
Okay, not original. Probably tomatoes with basil and garlic in them, but I am sorely tempted by the fire-roasted tomato and ancho chili sauce on this website, although I might make it with roasted poblanos instead. Or perhaps I’ll just be lazy and add the roasted poblanos to the tomatoes (they’re a staple out west at the farmer’s markets). So probably tomatoes plus (lots of plus).
I’m a bit worried about the cookbook. It sounds as though I might end up canning way more than tomatoes plus if I were to get it. But I do have a lot of cupboard space. . .
Apple Butter..I love it on toast!
SOUR CHERRIES! Canned in jam, mixed in bourbon w/ sugar or even just pitted and frozen for later.
Only one thing? Wow, that would be so hard, but I would have to say mulled plum jelly. Made it for the first time last year, and we all ate it by the spoonful right from the jar. Yum!
Thimbleberry jam. From the UP in Michigan. First I pick ’em…then cook ’em then can ’em. A rarity, and a delightful memory of vacation once back home in NYC.
Strawberry Jam. Last week I made it and It was the first thing I ever canned. It was a huge hit with everyone who tried it – me included!!
I don’t like fresh plums, which is unfortunate because there is a large red plum tree in my front yard. However, I sampled spiced canned plums at a friend’s house last week and they were delicious. Best of all, she cans them with the pit in, so they’ll be easy-peasy to do. I’m looking forward to making use of those plums this year instead of watching them litter the sidewalk!
I’d preserve the lemons off my first lemon tree – I may never eat them out of posterity, or gone in a flash, but i’d start with preserved lemons, lemon curd, and wrap it up with lemon marmalade 🙂
Anything to do with blood oranges…..usually I make a few batches of my own jammy spin on marmalade and then try to keep some extra around for gifts at holiday time…this year I used it to make Rosemary Thumbprint Cookies filled with Blood Orange Jam.
Sour Cherries! I have to get out there and start picking before the birds and the hailstorms get them all! Sorry if this is my 2nd comment – I don’t think the first one worked.
Tomatoes, tomatoes, TO-MA-TOES.
My Grandma’s recipe for figs with candied lemon
Purple Hull Peas!!! My grandmother’s canned purple hulls were a favorite staple of my childhood, and I still look forward to opening up a new jar in the off season for a little taste of nostalgia and summertime. Yum.
Spaghetti sauce. I use a lot of it, so I planted several plum tomatoes this year in hopes of putting up a large supply.
Oh Kaela – only one thing!? You make it difficult to choose between something new I want to try or my regularly used recipes! I guess I’ll go with a new to me, tried for the first time last year, is a huge success, and is now going to be a regular in our house … your Peach BBQ Sauce. DIVINE! We love it!
Spiced pears… my favorite treat 🙂
One thing?? I don’t think I could do that. But maybe… guacamole. There’s never a wrong time for that!
What a fantastic giveaway (and nice bonus recipe to boot). I really want to make raspberry jam–I’ve never managed to get my hands on the quantities required, but I hope to this year. Bonus if it could be black raspberries.
FIgs. Although I know that’s not going to happen because I always eat my fruit before I get a chance to preserve it.
Salsa! We eat tons of it.
Blueberries! Since I have 2 gallons of them from a You-Pick adventure this weekend.
Strawberry rhubarb jam the way my Norwegian grandmother used to make it! Thanks!!
I am dying to make elderflower syrup and think I have finally found a stash of trees to scavenge berries from! wish me luck!
Awesome! I want to make an elderberry elixir instead of buying it at the health food store. So nice that you found some wild trees! I don’t think they grow in my region… Good luck!
Well we made strawberry jam this weekend, but if I could only make one? Probably apple butter.
Only one? So hard to pick…raspberry jam.
marmalade. Can’t. Live. Without. It. Definitely working on sourcing some organic citrus this year to make it even better.
One thing? Strawberries! We only went strawberry picking once this year because the season was so odd, and we ate them all long before I could even think about canning some.
Only one thing?
Hoy. Well. Thank all the gods that’s not the case, but: Sour cherries. They’re the best for pie filling, make a jam that isn’t too sweet, and you can do pickles with them, too. (Plus they’re such a gorgeous colour!)
Dark opal basil jelly…if I HAD to choose!
Pickles. Pickles. Pickles!
I’d have to go with applesauce, although a bit boring, but it’s such a staple for us and I make a ton of it.
Morello cherry jam. Fix Brothers Farm in Hudson NY will have a good crop this year, I’m obsessively checking their website every day to make sure I don’t miss the start day for pick-your-own.
Tomatoes. In a variety of ways. We have been freezing whole tomatoes for winter use for the past several years, but freezer space is at a premium this year, and the cupboard storage doesn’t use electricity!
pickles!!! thanks for the giveaway opportunity 🙂
hmmm so many choices… red currant jam – such a great color and yum!!
Tomatoes, for sure!
Tough decision! I think it would be a giant batch of marmalade with rosemary – sweet and savory.
My home-grown tomatoes! So basic, but so true. They never seem to make it to the canning bath. I guess it’s not a waste because they all get eaten but I still wish I could open up a can, mid-winter, and taste summer all over again.
Plain ol’ strawberry jam…so necessary all year long!
Sadly, I may end up only canning one thing this year. Blackberry jam is at the top of my list.
If I could only can one thing I would be very sad, indeed! But if I HAVE to choose I’d say my roasted tomato sauce. We use it primarily over pasta, in lasagna and such – but in a pinch it works in chili and anything you’d add tomatoes to.
If I could can only one thing thing this year it would have to be strawberry jam, I make it as gifts for almost everyone is my family, and we love it!! It’s a treat 🙂
Would definitely have to be tomato sauce.
Definitely Strawberry Jam!
Cherry amaretto jam.
It would have to be plum jelly – my whole family would riot if I did not make and distribute jars to everyone!
Too hard! Probably tomatoes. But grape jelly and strawberry jam are trying to elbow their way into first place, too.
Lemon curd! Lemon curd!
My husband LOVES pickles!!
Tomatoes, of course. I think I have to try your orange and rhubarb one so pick me!
Wow that is so hard – Apple butter I think….
Strawberries!!! I love putting homemade jam on toast in the morning – just starts everything right – and strawberries make fantastic jam 🙂
If I could can only one thing it would be cherry jam/preserves. I have never canned a thing and look forward to trying it this summer.
If I could only can one thing I would do pickled mixed vegetables–I add them to everything I eat! Is that cheating since it’s sort of more than one thing since it’s mixed vegetables? 🙂
Cucumbers! I’m always in the mood for a tasty pickle!
I’m going to can fig jam later this summer.
Ummmm, tomatoes! No, wait, blueberry/blackberry jam! No, tomatoes. No, strawberry vanilla jam! Argh, I don’t know!! Great giveaway 🙂
lots and lots of pickles!
If you can believe it, I’ve been sitting with my fingers poised over the keyboard for a good five minutes, pondering which would be the “one” thing that I can, if I had to can just one thing…. sour cherries are the winner.
If I had to pick just one thing it would have to be Santa Rosa plum jam. My Aunt had a tree in her backyard in Pasedena, and I remember getting 4 jars every year in my stocking. Needless to say she moved and nothing tastes quite like her jam from her tree. Happy canning everyone.
I’ve got to go with tomatoes for my “one thing to can”. I’m entirely undecided on what form though! Probably sauce, as the most versatile. If there is one thing I can’t stand it is buying a tasteless tomato from somewhere far-flung in February!
My husband goes through jars and jars of jam and fruit butters for his pbj sandwiches. He fell in love with sweet potato butter, so I’m hop
ing to can lots of it this summer.
If I could can only one thing it would be strawberry preserves.
I would make blueberry preserves with cinnamon. I bought some at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago and have been putting it on everything!
Raspberry jam. The berries on our one bush are about to burst with their beauty, and the dark red deliciousness in the winter reminds me of summer’s beauty…
Stewed Tomatoes….so many uses for them!
Lemon fig jam! Makes me so happy in the winter, as long as I can make it last that long. Though I hope there will never be a time when I can only can one thing. Thanks for the great giveaway.
Sounds lie a wonderful book. I’d call it a necessity! 🙂 Thanks for the review as well as a great recipe! Debra
I would try canning beets. I’m growing my first garden and I planted a few varieties of beets to service my addiction to Gorgonzola – beet salad.
If I could only can ONE thing this year, it would be pickles. Any and all kinds. Everyone here eats so much of them, I can barely keep up!
tomatoes! I use them in soo much
Jeez, the idea of canning only one thing is a little difficult for me; however, since I have over 100 tomato plants–20 different types–in my garden (I’m a produce vendor at my local farmers’ market) I’m going to go with stewed tomatoes because I have so many, and they have so many uses.
The one thing: Colorado peaches. mmmm. mmmm. good. and the lovely golden beauties bring back childhood memories like no other.
That is a hard question. But if I have to only pick one, I would have to go with tomatoes/sauce. It was wonderful to have fresh homemade tomato sauce all winter long. Tomatoes are not in season all year long so when you buy them in the supermarket in the winter there is no nutrition in them and no flavor. They are not meant to be available in the winter. So having our fresh tomato sauce in the winter is awesome!
Great giveaway – this book looks awesome! If I could only can one thing this summer, it would be strawberry jam – I definitely need that in the summer months!
Hard to pick just one thing to can, but it’d probably be my raspberry jam. I make it every year with raspberries from my garden, and give lots of it away during the holidays! It’s the perfect hostess gift, plus it’s something homemade that I don’t have to worry about making right before Christmas.
Would SO love to win this book! I’ve had my eye on it. Thanks so much for the chance!
Great giveaway! I’m having a hard time deciding between pickled beets & rhubarb blackberry jam, but as I’m a die hard PB&J fan, i’m going with the jam. Nothing like homemade “J” to make the winter months bearable.
Raspberry fresh fig vanilla bean jam with lavender and maraschino liqueur comes to mind though really it is whatever is in season at the time is what it really comes down to.
I want to can something spicy! Spicy and garden fresh to cheer me up In The middle of dreary Seattle winter. I need inspiration!
Call me a classicist, but… strawberry jam. I can’t wait to crack open my new batch with Pomona’s pectin: not too much sugar, just the berries, ma’am!
One thing? Salsa for sure! We can go through a jar/night, it’s soooo good!
Geez that’s a hard question but I would say, tomato sauce. Then I can season it up for pizza sauce, pasta sauce, cook it down for tomato paste, or use it as is.
Blueberry jam. My husband adores it, and so do I. Yes, I’m not afraid to admit it.
If I could can only one thing, it would be my Elderberry Jelly. Everyone loves it, and its not something that you can easily find in a store. Last year I canned 16 8oz. and 7 pints of it. I am hoping to do more than that this summer.
I made a rhubarb apricot jam a month ago that was pretty good, but if I had to stick to just ONE thing, it would be wild-picked huckleberries 🙂 It’s satisfying to both harvest and make/can the jam! 😀
Gah. If I were truly limited to one thing only, it would have to be sour cherries. I just cannot get enough of them. I could eat a jar of sour cherry preserves every day for a year & not be tired of them. They’re hard to find in my area, though, but I grab them whenever I do see them. Yum!
So hard to choose! But, I can’t live/cook without chipotles in adobo!
Sour cherries. Just picked 10 pounds and in the process of pitting them. It’s the best part of summer. 🙂
I’d be happy with a pantry full of cinnamon pickles! I just love them!
So hard to decide. I think it would be beets. I am slightly obsessed with pickled beets and I would find it difficult to make do without them.
dilly beans, for sure!
I was going to say blueberry-lime jam, at the request of a friend who loved it last year, but the comments changed my mind. I have to thow my lot in with the other tomato canners.
My little family of two is overrun with jam, but we have used up every jar of tomatoes I put up last year. Clearly, we need those more.
My thanks to your commenters for helping me see my priorities!
Hmm…How to answer your question…since I’m canning some raspberry jam tonight! But if I went with what we used the most, it would be strawberry syrup. It’s great for controlling the sugar in kiddo’s yogurt.
so hard to choose, but if only one thing it’d have to be brandied cherries. my old fashioneds would miss them if I ran out.
lemon curd. defintely lemon curd.
Wow – I’m intrigued by all of the ideas from the responses and want to try them all! The ONE thing I would choose would be Rhubard Ginger Jam. But I would be very sad that I couldn’t do the others! Thank you for the opportunity
My kids are huge into Orange Marmalade…I would love to attempt various types of different marmalades!!
after not making nearly enough of it last year, i would have to say apricot jam!
Quince jam…I love all things quince!
One thing!? Probably would have to be crushed tomatoes. They are so versitile, I use them year round!
Homemade apple butter – yum yum!!
I’m a brand new canner. This summer it’s pickles to start with!
Canning ONE thing? That’s just blasphemy, but I think the one thing you can do the most with & appreciate ALL winter long is a backyard tomato.
My pick would be tomatoes for this first time canner.
If I only can one thing, it will be Meyer lemon marmalade from our tree because that is the one jam that people keep asking for more of.
We love our salsa!
Unfortunately, I won’t be canning anything this year–for shame! I agree with most people that canned tomatoes are the most useful/used in my house, but it’s also very special to have a jar of homemade jam. BTW, I made this orange rhubarb butter a couple of years ago when I had access to a lot of rhubarb. I added some ginger to zing it up; I really enjoyed the texture of it!
I’ve been totally into blues and cherries this summer so far. So I’d can those, maybe a combo of those.
Last season I canned up whole wild (huge!) blackberries in a lightly sweetened blackberry syrup.
HEAVEN over vanilla ice cream – The entire batch was gone in about 3 months.
And now I’m hungry….
One thing….a pressure canner!! I really want to increase my canning knowledge and skills.
I have yet to start canning, but I think pickles would be a great place to start. I love pickles.
Blueberry Jam. I’ve lived in the western part of Oregon for about three years now and I’m in awe every year when blueberry season sweeps through the valley. This plentiful little blue gem was the inspiration for my very first canning endeavor and has gotten me hooked on the beauty of preserving food.
if I only had to pick one thing it would be tomatoes but just because I cook with them everyday. I’ve recently discovered strawberry jam (okok I’ll admit I’ve only canned tomatoes and now jam lol) and I think I’m spoiled now and will not ever want to buy store bought jam!
I really want to make blueberry-thyme jam this summer!
Hmmm… Curry sauce. I would love to can my own curry sauces. Mango curry sauce to go over whatever fresh veggies I have. Yum!
I think I would make more pickles. They go with everything.
It is definitely green tomato chow-chow, my Moma’s recipe. I have even made it with the first tomatos of the year instead of waiting till the end of the season. My whole family loves it.