The Atlanta Canning/Preserving community turned out in droves for Marisa McClellan, author & blogger of FoodinJars.com, in town last Thursday through Saturday. Perhaps I should say Atlanta & North Georgia as we met folks from all over the area who wanted to met and hear what maybe canning’s most popular blogger and book author! It was my pleasure to met, host and tour these 3 days with Marisa. She is as accessible as she sounds on her blog!
Not only has Marisa introduced many neophytes to the art & science of canning, but now she’s introducing us to canning in small batches. Her latest book which brought her to the South on Tour is Preserving by the Pint.
The book is loaded with recipes for small amounts that means you can complete a full canning in an hour or less – and have your pantry stocked with a large mixture of a canned goodness of every variety and season.And it’s perfect for the urban canner who shops farmer’s market or the backyard gardener who’s yields are “pint-sized”. And, by the way, if you’ve never canned, this book has complete instructions for getting started.
Not content with just sharing recipes, Marisa shares cookware ideas that mean you don’t have to pull out that large stockpot. You can do food prep in a skillet while making dinner or cleaning up the kitchen. And the canner? A nice small multi-functional pot that she calls the “4th Burner Pot” when there’s hardly any space left on your stove top. All in all, you probably have everything you need right in your kitchen to do a quick small batch.
And by the way, the recipes aren’t confined to jams and jellies. I had a chance to sit down with the book Monday night – and read it cover to cover – not something I usually do! I found great tips along with recipes for pizza sauce (yes! made in small batches) and pickley things and chutneys and sauces and syrups and kimchi and salsas and pestos…..so much! And it’s all done in Marisa’s “come can with me” voice that makes you feel like she’s your nextdoor neighbor!
Marisa’s tour continues on to Chicago, then all over the Eastern Coast this summer. You can follow her on her blog, FoodinJars.com, where she also posts all kinds of recipes as well as sharings about food from other sites
While reading the book, I came across a Herb Vinagrette recipe. FYI, not all canning has to be done in a water-bath canner – using refrigeration is an acceptable method of preserving, too. I had all the ingredients and jumped up to make this. I used on a salad the next day. It is marvelous, easy, tasty. Give it a try. I adapted it a bit for my palate by adding more garlic cloves and also capers which added a bit more acidity to it – my preference – but you can omit if you choose.
Herb Vinaigrette, as adapted from Marisa McClellan’s Preserving by the Pint
Makes about 1 to 1 1/4 cups
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried yellow mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Capers
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Or, if preferred in a bowl and use an immersion blender. Blend until all is incorporated. Store in a Mason jar in refrigerator for up to two weeks.