Hello friends! Happy Can-It-Forward Day! In partnership with Ball Canning, I’ll be celebrating and sharing the simple joys of home preserving with fellow canners, gardeners, and food lovers today — live, on-air, at 3 pm ET!
Tune in to Facebook Live on the Ball Canning page, where you can watch me demo a refrigerator pickle recipe inspired by the Mexican taquerías in my neighborhood.
(Gemma at one day old.)
I feel like I just wrote this post, yet here I am with a post about my four-month-old. Four months old! Officially out of the “fourth trimester,” out of newborn stage, and onto greater things like grabbing, rolling, and bouncing.
When other parents say it goes by in the blink of an eye, they aren’t kidding. I recently put away the last of her newborn clothes and could not believe how tiny she used to be. I’ve made my husband promise that we won’t utter the words “I can’t wait until…” because I want to enjoy every moment at every stage we have with her.
Motherhood has been many things that I expected, and many things that I did not. As I’m watching my little one grow like a weed (a weed I don’t mind having, that is!), here are four thoughts I want to share about my journey thus far.
The five little things that made my week…
1. Vintage Ball jars that I scored in Orderville, Utah, in a random antiques store a couple weeks ago. I adore the blue color and am so happy Ball brought it back with this year’s Collection Elite Color Series. As one of their ambassadors, I’ve been working with this great brand all summer to promote the simple pleasures of whole food and home canning. They recently released a survey about gardeners and how they plant, preserve, and prepare their harvests. Among the interesting tidbits: Did you know that 33 percent of gardeners are millenials? And that almost a quarter of gardeners are city dwellers? The survey also found that tomatoes top the list when it comes to garden excess, followed by peppers and cucumbers. Click here to learn more from their fascinating infographic.
As an official ambassador for Ball Canning, I’ve been developing a series of preserving recipes for the brand this summer. (Did you miss them? Click over to my first two recipes, Quick Pickled Roasted Beets and Balsamic Strawberry Jam.)
And, I have another one coming to you next week in conjunction with a very special event. On Friday, July 22, 2016, Ball will be hosting its sixth annual International Can-It-Forward Day, a celebration to share — or pay forward — the joys of canning and bring together canners, gardeners, and food enthusiasts alike.
I recently returned from a road trip around the Southwest and the Rockies, two weeks spent visiting family in Nevada, staying in an Earthship in New Mexico, attending a wedding in Colorado, and touring national parks in Utah. It was part pleasure, part work. (Though when your work is pleasure, it makes a photographically gorgeous trip like that so sublime.)
Along the way, we camped and cooked in a variety of kitchens both indoors and out, built crackling fires beside high alpine lakes, and spent happy hour on a sunny riverbank. It was a fun-filled journey of good food in the great outdoors, and I’m ecstatic to finally share the news with you: I’m writing a new book!
The strawberries at my local farmers’ markets are going strong right now, and I can never resist picking up a few baskets after the vendors ply me with samples and smiles. My favorite way to eat them is right out of hand, or sometimes crushed with a little sugar and ice.
But seasonal strawberries are fleeting, so I try to save a bit of that fresh, fruity flavor for winter when I’m longing for summer berries. This balsamic strawberry jam adds a savory note to the traditional preserve, making it suitable for charcuterie spreads as well as grilled pork tenderloin, fruit vinaigrette, and anywhere you want a rich, bold flavor with a touch of sweetness. Get the recipe here!
Have you seen Freshly Preserved Ideas? It’s a new Tumblr page brought to you by the fine folks at Ball Canning, and it’s full of pretty inspiration for crafters, useful tips for first-time canners, and enticing recipes for all kinds of concoctions.
It’s not all jams and pickles, either (though you’ll find all that, and more). Scroll down the page for links to botanical cocktails, herbal salts, salad dressings, and overnight oats — all made in mason jars, of course.