Watch Marisa of "Food in Jars" Live, Plus a Giveaway

Click here to watch the video with Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars.

Update: Huge thanks to Marisa for coming to our humble abode and hanging out to talk canning. She answered many of the questions, and we will answer the remainder as replies to the comments on this post. She's a busy gal, though, heading to LA for the remainder of her West Coast book tour, so please allow us some time. 

FIJcomment /sites/default/files/u7/FIJtweetpin

Congratulations to our winners! We had 42 comments and 54 tweets/pins. Amazingly, the random number generator chose comment #1, so kudos to Nomnivorous! And of the pooled tweets and pins, the lucky number is 21, a tweet by user @ourgirl. Congrats to you both! 

Food in Jars. It's a much-loved blog on canning and all other manner of jarred goodness. And now, it's a book that's got us all popping our lids. People are talking about it. People are cooking from it. And believe you me, you want it. And you can get it. 

Marisa is gracefully taking some time out of her very busy book tour schedule to stop by Punk Domestics World Headquarters, and we'll be streaming live on Saturday, June 23, at 11 am PDT to answer your questions. 

The best part? I have two -- that's right two -- copies of Food in Jars to give away to two lucky recipients out there. If you're really lucky, maybe I can even get her to sign them. Here's how you can win: 

Enter to win book #1
Ask your question by leaving a comment on this blog post between now and midnight, Wednesday, June 20. We'll collect the questions and tackle as many as we can. (Pro tip: For greatest ease of leaving comments, be a logged in member of the site by clicking "Join/Log In" in the upper right so you don't have to wrestle with the CAPTCHA code.) All questions have been captured for this giveaway.

Enter to win book #2
Click here to tweet about this post, or pin it on Pinterest. Do both and you get two entries. Again, you have until midnight Wednesday.  All tweets and pins have been logged for this giveaway.

Then, on Saturday morning at 11 am PDT, we'll post a link to the live stream (you do "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter so you can get all the latest buzz, right?) where you can tune in and watch Marisa answer your questions, moderated by yours truly. At the end, we'll announce the winners. How much fun is that? 

But wait, do you want even more ways to win a copy? Hop on over to Local Kitchen and the Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking, both of whom are hosting giveaways of their own. What can we say? We're crazy about Food in Jars, and we want to share the love with you. 

Live streaming video via iPhone holder by Boomgrip.

That is nice. Thanks for your

That is nice. Thanks for your explanation

Love the small batch concept!

Tweeted and pinned! Love the small batch concept. A great way to try new things!

Some times I can only find

Some times I can only find recipes for big numbers of fruit or veg. But I don't always have enough or don't want to do that much. How can I brake the recipe down to still be safe?

Thanks for the question. It's

Thanks for the question. It's past the deadline for entry for the giveaway, but we'll put it in the queue to answer just the same.

Sorry here is my pin:


Just tweeted!

just tweeted!

Using recipes that don't provide times for processing

Some jams I'd love to make don't provide the times for water bath processing--for example Blue Chair Fruit says to use her oven method or "process according to manufacturer instructions"--I have no clue how to properly process those recipes in a water bath (or how long). I know jams are lower risk, but I'm a safety freak with this stuff!

making your own recipes

I want to start canning my own recipes, but am struggling to find reasonable guidelines for ph and processing length to ensure I do so safely. Where should I look?

Favorite Canning Recipe

If you could make only one canned item this year, what is
your most favorite canning recipe?

I love to can but often find

I love to can but often find it challenging to do anything other than small batches because I live in Washington, DC. I want to buy local(ish) food to can but it can be really expensive in the city. My urban garden is tiny and doesn't yield huge quantities. Any tips on how to get the quantity I need to can a lot of veggies without breaking the bank?


Will fermenting foods keep them edible as long as preserving with heat and vinegar?

Shelf Life

Sometimes I forget about stuff I canned and find it hidden away years later. When is it time to toss stuff?

Jam and marmalade question

How do you compensate for high altitude when making jam, jelly, and marmalade?

Exotic Canning

What is the most exotic item you have canned? What you love to try if you could get your hands on some?

Canning Staple

What canned/ jarred item do you feel is a staple for ones pantry?

Pinned it, thanks for the

Pinned it, thanks for the opportunity!

How did you get started with

How did you get started with canning?

Small Batch Canning

My primary interest (I'm fairly new to canning) is small batch canning. I've found Marisa @ Food in Jars, Ellie Topp's book & a handful of random posts on the internet about small batch canning... But there doesn't seem to be a good centralized resource internet-wise with more than a few small batch recipes.

Are there any more good resources specifically for small batch canning that you can recommend? From what I've read so far, it's iffy whether or not you can successfully halve & reduce recipes for canning & I'd rather not waste my time & money on too much experimenting at this stage. I'm new to the endeavour & am learning at this point.

Thanks so much!

Canning tofu

I saw plain tofu in a jar on the shelf of a Swedish grocery store. Very strange. Do you think it's possible to home can tofu, plain or flavoured?

Pinned it too!

I also followed you on Pinterest. :)

using herbs in jams

I find that using herbs such as pineapple sage often leaves a grassy taste to the jam instead of the herbal taste. What can I do to fully utilize herbs in my jams?

Tweeted it!

Joined Twitter to do it too! Ha. About time I suppose.

Thin Jams

I'm really new to canning/jam-making, and I've had a couple of instances of jams that are thinner than I like. I'm using the crinkle test to figure out when the jams are done, and I guess my question is whether there is a test to give you an idea of how thin the jam will be so you know when you've got a consistency you'd like? (Can I just leave it on the heat longer for thicker consistency, or is there a point of overcooking?)

I want to start pressure

I want to start pressure canning, what are some good things to start with for the first go around.

I want to start pressure

I want to start pressure canning, what are some good things to start with for the first go around.

Pinned It

I pinned this post.

Thickening Syrup

i made some strawberry syrup this year, loved the flavor, but not thrilled that it is so thin. Any suggestions for making thicker syrup?

Pressure Canner

Which brand of pressure canner do you think is the best,easiest to use and most cost effective in the long run? I know there are a lot out there, some much more expensive than others. I like the idea of not having to worry about replacing gaskets, so am thinking of an All American. What are your thoughts?
I did share this on Facebook, but I don't Tweet or Pinterest. :(

Food In Jars Question

I know you need to stick with the recipe when canning for safety. But can you either double the recipe or use half the recipe with safety too?

Canning of pumpkin; yes or no?

Since I don't tweet or use Pinterest, I'm just presenting you with a question that has baffled me longer than most other canning related mysteries: Here's a quandary I've had for a while, and asked for answers for repeatedly...

Considering the amount of pumpkin we end up during harvest season causes me to want to put it up in jars, in stead of freezing it all. However, practically every source I look into, and ask (I've asked Canning Across America this, too), they say that canning pumpkin is not safe, but at the same time, I see glimpses of the elusive canned pumpkin in gardening blogs.

I do understand, that pickling pumpkin would be safe (my mother loves this stuff, and buys it in jars back in Finland), but I'm thinking of canning essentially pie filling, in about single pie portions. Would there be a trick for canning the pesky pumpkins safely at home, or will I have to keep freezing it in our tiny freezer?

There has to be some trick to safely putting up pumpkin (sugar, citric acid... something!), or otherwise there wouldn't be pumpkin pie filling for sale in cans at my local megamart.

- Penny

How do you keep pickles crisp

How do you keep pickles crisp when canning and what is the best size to cut larger pickles, so they don't soften?

Weck jars

I am interested in using weck jars for canning. Have you used them and if so, what precautions or differences are there from using standard jars?

Rice vinegar

I love the flavor of rice vinegar but I can't find any that is 5% acidity for canning Asian flavored pickles. Is there any way to use it safely, maybe by using less water?

And the bigger question: what can I safely improvise in a canning recipe and what can't I? How can I combine parts of several recipes to find one I really like?


Tweeted it

Pinned it!

Advice to be more adventurous

I've only canned jams and I'd love to can other things but I have this strange fear to move past what I am comfortable with. What is a good next step recipe?

I tweeted as well! :)

I tweeted as well! :)

I pinned this post! :)

I pinned this post! :)

I'm a Beginner and would like to invest a minimum in equipment

What are the absolute essentials to get started and what are the important pieces to invest in? I'm especially interested in making fruit preserves.

favourite fruit

What's your favourite fruit to can, and why?

What are some creative uses for your canned yummies?

I am fairly new at canning, and I try to get as many different "products" out of a particular fruit/vegtable so I have a lot of variety. But then I sit back and say, "Hmmmm... tomato relish (or pickled beets/asparagus/okra, or lime curd, or whatever!). Now what am I going to do with all of that?" Do you have some creative ideas for using these yummy ingredients? I am not used to having some of these goodies on hand, so I need some refreshing ideas!

I like to can fast and

I like to can fast and furious, getting a lot done over a long day, so small batches are appealing in that I can have a lot of variety at the end of day. Any tips on how to streamline the process when you are making multiple batches of such varied things as pickles, sauces, and jams one right after the other?


How much time to you spend blogging, versus doing things you'd like to blog about?



So where is the best place to

So where is the best place to start, really, from the beginning with no experience.

What to make?

What do you wish you would have made earlier in your canning career? Either that you didn't think you could or you now can't live without. I'm relatively new to canning and still overwhelmed by all the things to create.

Pressure canning stock

Do you have favorite recipes for pressure-canned stock? I always make my own, but I'm excited to have it be shelf-stable instead of filling up my freezer!

BPA Free Canning Lids

Wherever possible, I'm trying to limit the use of plastics. I'm also concerned about products with BPA lining due to hypothyroid issue. Are the Tattler reusable lids worth the switch?

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