August 13, 2013

Can-It-Forward with Ball Jars + Canning Discovery Kit Giveaway!

Blueberry Pie Filling

I am a big fan of preserving. Over the years I’ve written about many of my favorite jams, jellies, and pickles and I’ve linked to the recipes below. I even included a few never-seen-here canning recipes in my cookbook. In addition to my own recipes, I am a devotee of Marisa McClellan’s blog, Food in Jars, and cookbook of the same name. I also frequently consult my Ball Blue Book and Well-Preserved for recipes and answers to my myriad of canning questions. I’m fairly sure preserving is one of those things I’ll always practice but never master. The nuances of each recipe and idiosyncrasies of produce ensure that no canning batch is ever truly a slam dunk. Every year at least one or two variables has to be adjusted to accommodate sour fruit or soggy cukes. No two batches are ever exactly the same. Which is exactly why I love it.

I frequently package my canned jams and sauces to give away at the holiday season. It is one of my favorite gifts to give because for me it is like giving someone a slice of my warm kitchen. I want to share and spread the yumminess far and wide, especially during times of celebration, or even in times of need.

Can it Foward 2013

It makes me happy to note that preserving foods is making somewhat of a comeback. Not that it was ever out of style, but for many years we were, as a nation, so infatuated with the canned foods in the supermarket many people gave up canning their own foods at home. However, now you will find something of a wonderful preserving resurgence taking place. People are growing food in their own backyard and preserving it like crazy. Not only is it ultimately healthier, it also helps unsure that we know what we are feeding our children without guessing how the food is processed in a large distribution plant.

Today I am thrilled to be partnering with Ball Jars Brand, makers of terrific canning jars, to promote National Can-it-Forward Day. The amazing Ted Allen is hosting a live webcast on August 17th. I’ve embedded the screen here and it will go live the morning of the 17th. They’ve also set up a great user-friendly website that showcases awesome canning recipes and provides helpful tips and tricks for all kinds of home canning. You can join the fun on Twitter using the hashtag #canitforward and by following @BallCanning.

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In addition to the cool webcast and online content, Ball Jars sent me their new FreshTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker to test out. I am used to the stir and test with a frozen plate method so this machine was a real eye-opener. All you do is add the ingredients, press a button, and the jam comes out perfect every time. As you can see here, the first thing we made was a delicious gooey peach jam. It was incredible! While this machine won’t replace my hand stirring method, it is great for making small batches of preserves, especially if you are a novice.

Now for the truly exciting news: today Ball Jars would like to invite one lucky reader to win a Canning Discovery Kit. This includes:

·         The Ball Canning Discovery Kit: A kit is designed to demystify the home canning process and make fresh preserving accessible for even the most novice canner.

·         The Ball Blue Book Coobook

·         One case of the Heritage Collection Jars: These limited editions jars commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Ball brothers’ Perfect Mason Jar and come in a beautiful vintage blue tint.

To Enter to Win:

1) Leave a comment sharing which favorite food you would like to preserve for winter. It can be anything from fruit to vegetables to sauces!

2) Like Ball Canning on Facebook.

3) Like Kelsey Banfield on Facebook

4) Subscribe to The Naptime Chef newsletter (upper right hand corner)

5) BONUS: Tweet giveaway: Win a Canning Discovery Kit from @BallCanning and @TheNaptimeChef {insert URL here} #canitforward

6) Contest runs from August 13th at 7:00am through August 20th at 7:00am. Winner will be announced in the Friday August, 23rd newlsetter. US Residents only please.

Some Naptime Chef Preserving Recipes for Summer:

1) Rhubarb Lavender Jam

2) Merrill’s Strawberry Jam

3) Eternal Summer Apricot Jam

4) Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce

5) Bread & Butter Pickles

6) Strawberry Rhubarb Skillet Jam

7) Blueberry Pie Filling

8) Apple Pie Filling