September 30, 2011

Cookbook Giveaway - Put 'em Up!

Put 'em Up!
"People are rediscovering the pleasure of the process: the delight of squirreling away locally grown corn, the joy of putting up some of those treasured summer strawberries, the kinky thrill of opening up our own jarred tomatoes in the middle of February."
Sherri Brooks Vinton in her cookbook Put 'em Up!

In today's marketplace nearly everything is available year-round and yet, "putting up"-the act of canning and food preserving-has experienced a resurgence in popularity that doesn't appear to be a fleeting one.  Those who do it promise that it's not long before you're hooked and looking to preserve any and every little last morsel before the season moves on.

With a modern sensibility, canning and food preserving today doesn't have to mean massive amounts of produce to prep and a long, tiring process.  The list of reasons to preserve include better taste, quality, affordability, tradition and being planet-friendly among others.

But there's another reason that seals the deal for us.

It makes us feel good-really good-and it's a lasting sort of good that crops up in the middle of winter when there is local, summer-sweetened blackberries in the freezer for adding to oatmeal-or when 6 jars of pickles that were canned with a friend greet you every time you open the cupboard. It makes you feel like you have grabbed the heart of the season and managed to savor it - literally and figuratively.

As Sherri notes above, there's a pleasure in the process and even novice "put 'em uppers" can find simple ways to save the best of the season. This is especially true if you're armed with a book like Sherri's Put ‘em Up!-a truly comprehensive guide that features a complete how-to for every kind of preserving: refrigerating, freezing, canning, pickling and others.

With ingredients calling for as little as a pound or as much as a gallon, Put ‘em Up! is perfect for our Farm Fresh To You CSA members who might, for example, have extra green beans on hand and want to freeze some for winter soups-or the members who can't pass up a good tomato deal at the farmer's market and are thinking salsa!

In the spirit of September, a perfect preserving month, we wanted to stir up a little canning and food preserving talk, and end with a little giveaway.  Put ‘em Up seemed like a perfect pick!  In addition to answering some of our customer's canning questions on our Facebook wall, Sherri helped us preserve the last bits of summer by giving us a copy of Put ‘em Up to give away.

Here's How to Enter –
To win a signed copy of Sherri Brooks Vinton's Put 'em Up! cookbook, simply leave a comment below answering this question -
What method of food preserving
(canning, fermenting, freezing, drying, pickling, etc.) appeals to you most?
Thank you for all the amazing comments!  They were so wonderful that we chose TWO WINNERS!

The first winner chosen at random is: The Emery Board who wrote:

I've never tried any of these methods, as I hadn't even thought of using my produce in this way! It excites me greatly, as I just bought a house recently and finally have a kitchen in which I can cook! I think canning sounds like a lot of fun. Whether I win or not, I think I need to start buying some super cute jars!
The second winner chosen at random is: Maureen who wrote:
I am interested in learning about all the methods, but I could really use drying for food on sailing trips and am intrigued by fermentation of foods!

EmeryBoard and Maureen - please email us at with your contact information. Thank you again to all who entered - we are enjoying your comments so very much!  A big thank you to Sherri Brooks Vinton and be sure to check out Put 'em Up!  

September 20, 2011

Spicy Carrots

Spicy Carrots

With summer coming to an end, now is the perfect time to "put up" some of the fresh fruits and vegetables currently in season. Celebrated cookbook author Sherri Brooks Vinton shares with us her recipe for Spicy Carrots from her Put 'em Up! cookbook. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Spicy Carrots
Makes about 3 pints

I like these carrots spicy, so I use a combination of jalapeño peppers and red pepper flakes. You can reduce the heat by adding fewer peppers or omitting the flakes. Make sure to sample your peppers for heat, as their potency varies.
Note: The boiling-water method is necessary to tenderize these cold-pack pickles.


  4-6  garlic cloves, sliced
  1-2  jalapeño peppers, sliced, with seeds
     1  teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
      2  pounds carrots
      4  cups distilled white vinegar
      1  cup sugar
      3  tablespoons salt


1.  Divide the garlic, sliced jalapeños, and pepper flakes, if using, among three clean, hot, pint canning jars. Trim, peel, and cut the carrots 1 inch shorter than the jars. Pack the carrots into the jars.

2.  Bring the vinegar to a boil in a large nonreactive saucepan. Add the sugar and salt and stir to dissolve. Pour the brine over the carrots, covering the vegetables by 1/2 inch with liquid. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.


Can: Use the boiling-water method. Release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Excerpted from Put 'em Up! (c) by Sherri Brooks Vinton, Photography (c) by Kevin Kennefick, used with permission from Storey Publishing.