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The Sounds of Preserving

Check out this awesome video from CAA Member Brook Hurst Stephens of Learn to Preserve. Be sure to turn the volume up on your computer.

“The Sounds of Preserving” from Kabja Concepts on Vimeo.


Save the date: Can-a-rama

For the fourth year in row, we’re putting on a party — of can-tastic proportions!

We’re thrilled to announce Can-a-Rama 2012, a weekend of putting up, preserving, pickling and canning, coast to coast, from sea to shining sea.  When a merry group of us in Seattle formed Canning Across America, we envisioned a day or series of days when home food preservationists of all levels would belly up to the canning kettle and preserve summer in a jar.  As far as we’re concerned, the more the merrier, so we’ll hope you’ll join us July 20-23, and put together your own canning party in your town.

From recipes to giveaways, we’ll be giving you all kinds of resources and tips on joining the Canvolution.


CAA in the News: New Day Northwest

Kim O’Donnel, cookbook author and founder of CAA, shows Margaret Larson how easy and tasty it is to can. To view the full segment, please click here.

You can can too! Join us online this Saturday, August 13th, for live-streaming demonstrations as part of National Can-It-Forward Day. View the full schedule of events here and be sure to sign up to get your log-in info on the website.


CAA in the News

Look who is getting excited about National Can-It-Forward Day, August 13th.


Can-It-Forward Day Demo Schedule

Can It Forward


In our third season of spreading the love for “putting up” food, Canning Across America is cooking up its most exciting endeavor to date. Mark your calendars for the weekend of August 13-14, when Canning Across America will be preserving up a storm at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

As part of the first-ever National Can-It-Forward Day, Canning Across America members will teach the basics of water bath canning and some of the most popular summer canning recipes. The day-long event is free and open to the public and will include several how-to canning demos that will be streaming live on 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM PST. Viewers will be able to ask questions and post comments in real time. 



8:00 a.m.

Mixed Berry Jam Canning Demonstration featuring Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin by Jeanne Sauvage, Canning Across America, Gluten-free baker & author

9:00 a.m.

Cooking Demonstration by Kelsey Angell of The Pink Door Restaurant featuring Mixed Berry Jam

10:00 a.m.

Canning Demonstration of Kosher Pickles featuring Dill Sandwich Slices recipe from Fresh made by Judith Dern, and cookbook author

11:00 a.m.

Cooking Demonstration by Diane LaVonne of Diane’s Market Kitchen featuring Dill Sandwich Slices


Canned Tomatoes Packed in Own Juice Demonstration featuring the Ball® Salt for Pickling and Preserving by Brook Hurst Stephens, Blogger,

1:00 p.m.

Cooking Demonstration by Philippe Thomelin of Olivar Restaurant featuring Canned Tomatoes Packed in Own Juice

2:00 p.m.

Mixed Berry Jam Canning Demonstration featuring Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin by Jeanne Sauvage, Canning Across America, Gluten-free baker & author

3:00 p.m.

Pepper Jelly Canning Demonstration featuring Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Pectin by Shannon and Jason Jason Mullett-Bowlsby, Urban gardeners, canners, DIY masters & authors


The preserving celebration continues Sunday, August 14, with more free and open-to-the-public demos from Seattle’s most seasoned canners. It also marks the kick-off to Canning Across America’s third Can-a-Rama, a week of home canning parties and seasonal preserving nationwide.


Apricot-Raspberry Jam Demonstration by Rebecca Staffel, of Deluxe Foods, a Seattle artisanal preserves company

2:00 p.m.

Pickle Jalapeno Chile Peppers by renowned pickle expert Lucy Norris

If you do not live in Seattle area, we encourage you to host a party in your in your neighborhood and watch Can-It-Forward Day Web TV on August 13th! Sign up for Can-It-Forward Day here.


Summer in a Jar

Last year putting up fruit became a mission for me. It was my second year of canning.

Using a palate of flavors to mix apricots, cherries and peaches with ginger, brandy, and nutmeg I have dutifully preserved random bags of fruit that have landed in my kitchen.

Intellectually, I feel pretty good about myself. I have not wasted food, I have taken advantage of peak of season prices, and I have a good start on holiday gifts.

Emotionally the pay-back is bigger. Nothing can compare to that first taste of blackberry jam on the tip of your tongue. It snaps you back to the very day you hand picked the fruit, fighting off the stickers while working toward the goal of changing the ping of the berries hitting the bottom of your pale into the soft plop of fruit hitting fruit. You recall the special sweetness of those berries on that hot summer day. The jam brings to mind the scent of dry grass in August and summons the feel of the warm sun on your cheeks.

Indeed, homemade jam is summer in a jar.

CAA Contributor Mina Williams has written and edited articles for food and fashion trade magazines for twenty years. With her industry insider perspective, she brings a new insight to culinary topics and gives food enthusiasts a peek into the inner workings of restaurants and food retailers. A native of Shoreline, Williams has worked for publications based in New York, San Francisco and Chicago reporting on restaurants and retailers. Returning home to the Northwest she now freelances, based in Shoreline. Her passion is rooted in the farm to table movement, practicing her own skills in her home garden. The Slow Food movement has changed her outlook on food and food policy, as have her frequent exchanges with growers and producers in the United States and Italy. She is a journalism graduate of the University of Washington.


Canning Across America on the Seattle Channel

Hey folks! Canning Across America hits the small screen! We had the honor of being filmed for a story done by the City Stream show on the Seattle Channel. Two of our founding members, Kim O’Donnel and Jeanne Sauvage, along with Jeanne’s daughter, Eleanor, canned and chatted in Jeanne’s kitchen about what canning means to them. Also included in the video is Amy Pennington, author of the new book, Urban Pantry. Check us out!


Canning Chat THURS 8/19

That’s Food in Jars blogger Marisa McClellan pictured above, and I’m tickled (pickled?) to have her as a guest in this week’s Culinate chat Thursday, Aug. 19 (1 ET/10a PT). Marisa always seems to have the canning kettle fired up, which is why we think she’s can-tastic. Join the conversation!

P.S. We’ll have giveaways throughout the hour.


Breakfast of Jam-pions

Breakfast of champions: Strawberry jam, toast & coffee. Photo: Kim O'Donnel.

A half-flat of lipstick-red strawberries was calling my name earlier this week. Their honeyed perfume was darn near intoxicating on the car ride home. I quickly hulled, rinsed, pat-dried the ruby jewels and froze them overnight, as they were ripening by the minute.

The next morning, my canning partner in crime and I got to work. We had a total of nine cups of berries.

On the left burner, a kettle of water was at a rolling boil. On the right, a large saucepan was the home for berries, 3 cups of sugar (we did a 3 to 1 ratio) and 1/4 cup of bottled lemon juice.

Jeanne reminded me that as fruit ripens, the pectin level diminishes, so we knew this batch of berries might take a bit longer to gel. Total cook time: 40 minutes. The house was filled with strawberry perfume; we were swooning and oohing and aahing.

Nine cups of berries yielded 7 half-pints, plus a little extra for cook’s treat (which you see pictured above). Total processing time (after water comes to a boil with sterilized, packed jars in the kettle): 10-12 minutes.

Ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping. Music to our ears, just moments after jars are lifted out of the water bath.

Cost of half flat: $9.99. This morning’s breakfast: Priceless.

Now go put something up, ya hear?

Stay tuned later this week for a Canning Cheat Sheet, with safety basics that you can post on the fridge for reference.


Today, we celebrate!

Canning Across AmericaPhoto: Flickr/mikeunited

In many ways, it feels like we’ve known each other a lifetime. That’s the power of twitter, facebook, press, and above all else— a canvolution.

Inspired by Yes, We Can, a community home canning project in the Bay Area, founding member Kim O’Donnel asked out loud on Twitter: What if Seattle got in on the canning act? Better still, what if we led the charge and set a date for a city-wide can-a-thon and encourage other cities around the country to follow suit for simultaneous coast-to-coast canning ‘stravaganzas?

Within less than a week, was born.

Together, over the past year, we’ve shared success and disappointment, resources and recipes, mentoring and festivity around the canning kettle and here on the computer screen. It is the sincere desire to celebrate the bounty of local and seasonal produce that has unified people from all walks of life and level of expertise.

We could not have done this without every one of you. Because of your support and readership, Canning Across America has evolved from “a nationwide, ad hoc collective of cooks, gardeners and food lovers committed to the revival of the lost art of  “putting up” food”, into a true movement.

The collective voice of Canning Across America celebrates our one-year birth today. Pop a can and enjoy with us!