Sunday, May 25, 2014

Food in Jars and Vanilla-Rhubarb Jam

I received a copy of this a year or two ago in exchange for an honest review. I'm sorry it has taken so long, but I've thumbed through it with longing on multiple occasions. I declared 2014 to be the year of food in jars!

Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-RoundFood in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If Marisa McClellan wanted to consider another profession, I think she would take easily to perfumer. Her flavor combination ideas just in this book alone make me want to try every recipe and stock my pantry with little batches of goodness.

The recipes catching my eye the first time through:
-Vanilla-Rhubarb Jam with Earl Grey
-Chunky Fig Jam
-Apple Pumpkin Butter
-Orange Vanilla Curd

You get the idea. I've had some of these recipes marked for a year and finally had a chance to make the Vanilla-Rhubarb Jam, and instead of Earl Grey I used my Reading Envy tea which is part Earl Grey, part coconut. This is a lovely light but intricately flavored jam! I've been putting it on toast this week but will bring it to work in the form of oatmeal jam bars.

The recipes in this book include directions for small batch canning, but the recipes aren't in great quantities, so it is just as easy to consume what is made. The idea behind small-batch preserving is to eat some, save some. Many of the recipes could also be frozen. If canning intimidates you, you could either simply not do those steps or allow McClellan to instruct you in your first attempts.

She also has a fabulous blog, Food in Jars, with additional instructions (I went to it to find out how to substitute powdered pectin for liquid in the recipe I was trying, to great success.)

Just a personal note: Marisa McClellan is the sister of Raina Rose, a singer-songwriter from Portland who I first encountered on the streets of Memphis (during an art walk) and lives in Texas. It's a small world out there in internet land, and I had followed both before knowing they were connected.

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