Marisa McClellan, popular Philadelphia-based Food in Jars blogger and author of the newly released canning, jamming and pickling cookbook Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches will be in Lancaster on First Friday, August 3 leading a canning class, signing books and breaking
bread with fans and local foodies.
The schedule for the evening is as follows:
4pm – 5pm: Book signing at DogStar Books, 401 W. Lemon Street, Lancaster. Complementary.
5:30pm – 6:30pm: Canning Class at Lemon Street Market, 241 W. Lemon Street, Lancaster. $20.
Reserve at essencooking.com or 717.391.8270.
6:30pm – 8:30pm: Essen Cookbook Club (bring a dish to share from Food in Jars) at Manheim Township Public Library, Lancaster.
Complementary and advance reservations are required at essencooking.com or 717.391.8270.
Growing up on the West coast, staples like homemade jams and applesauce were always on the shelves of McClellan’s childhood home in Portland, Oregon. Fresh produce, especially backyard fruit bushes, was in easy reach and was a no-brainer for her family. “It wasn’t like my family was canning crazy. It was just something I grew up knowing how to do.”
Fast forward a few years when McClellan moved to Pennsylvania to care for her ailing grandmother – and decided to stay in the area. This was when she found old and new traditions colliding and hasn’t stopped since. McClellan “lives online” and authors a canning blog, writes a pickling post for “Serious Eats” and has just published her collection of contemporary condiments in a cookbook.
What sets McClellan’s book apart from other canning cookbooks is its focus on small-batch canning, “between three and four pints. Most classic canning recipes are designed to fill a canning pot, seven to nine pints. Living in a small apartment I found that was always far too much. Small batches are a way to be creative and explore different flavor combinations without canning taking up my whole life.”
McClellan is excited to include Lancaster in her book tour given the county’s agricultural roots and food preservation traditions. “So many factors have come together right now to make preserving popular again. If you want to eat locally and have variety through the winter, then you’ve got to can … People want some control over their food; the best way to know what’s in your food is by canning it yourself. There are also
economic factors: People need to save money and canning can be one way to do that … All those factors are coming together and making it just a perfect storm for food preservation.”
McClellan’s Lancaster hosts, Essen, DogStar Books and Lemon Street Market, are excited to spotlight a regional expert on a hot topic such as DIY. “With our crazy busy lives, there’s little opportunity to pass along the tradition and skills of cooking,” states Betsey Gerstein Sterenfeld, proprietor of Essen, a local cooking school and host. “At Essen, our students are reminded, or come to understand, that food is the vehicle to bring your friends and family together around the table. We do this through our classes and parties as well as our community events.”