2 Fresh Summer Salad Recipes

SHARE THIS PAGE:

We have two family favorites to share with you today – Maw Maw’s Cucumber Salad and Gigi’s Copper Penny Salad. These recipes are really easy and great for a crowd.

Maw Maw’s Cucumber SaladMawMawsCucumberSaladCrackerJar

This dish is perfect for all those cucumbers that continue to populate in your garden! We suggest starting it the day before, so that it can be chilled properly for a few hours, and soak up the dressing flavors overnight. This will make a family supply, multiply as needed for larger amounts.MawMawsCucumberSalad

  • 3 medium – large cucumbers sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion sliced thinly

Place cucumber and onion in a bowl, cover with water, sprinkle a little salt…just to draw out juices, chill for about 3 hours then drain.

Dressing

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 3 T water
  • ½ t salt
  • Dillweed (liberally…as desired) You can use fresh Dill – which always adds that just picked appeal!

Put all the dressing ingredients into a Mason jar and shake, shake, shake it up. Place your cucumbers and onions in a serving jar and pour the dressing on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The longer this sits, the better it gets…within reason…but it usually lasts up to 10 days.

Gigi’s Copper Penny SaladSalad Serving Jar

Here’s what you need to make this fresh and colorful salad.

  • 2lbs carrots; sliced like coins, cooked ’til tender & cooled.
  • 1 pepper; sliced into strips.  We like to use a little of yellow, green & red to add some more depth of color.
  • 1 large onion; sliced into rings. We used a variety of cute little onions from my mostly failed garden…but those little rings of white & purple looked & tasted great!

While the carrots are cooking/cooling, mix the dressing:

  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 3/4 c. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can tomato soup

Put all the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake it up.

Layer these fresh and colorful veggies in a large glass bowl or serving jar.  Pour the dressing over the veggies, lid and refrigerate for 24 hours.

We always use our Heritage Hill Jar or Cracker Jar to serve these salads. They are perfect to transition from the refrigerator to the table, and easy to transport if we are bringing our dish to a gathering.  Smaller sizes of these jars are available.

Quick Pickling Recipes

SHARE THIS PAGE:

This week’s CSA share included some new plant foods for our family. I’m drawn to the heirloom botanicals and intrigued by the sometimes odd looking “fruits”.  My friend Melissa (who runs the True Vine CSA)  was amused by my excitement over the interesting items – lemon cucumbers and some very large, long white radishes.  I must admit, I planted some heirloom radishes but the odd spring weather did a number on them and they bolted, so I consider this some divine intervention.  The ride home was spent partly on how I wished to pickle these lovelies and partly on how in the world I’d have the time.  Cucumbers & Dill

Quick Pickling to the rescue – not only because of the ease of preparation and process, but also due to the crisp deliciousness!

Along with the lemon cucumbers, came some very large cucumbers who I knew wouldn’t stand a chance in the water bath, so I added them to the quick pickling docket.

There are so many versions of quick pickling out there…but the minimalist guideline is that you need enough water & vinegar (in about equal parts) to cover what you’re pickling and a little sugar (can be adjusted for taste).

Quick Pickled Lemon Cucumbers

After your cucumbers are washed & trimmed, slice them to your liking – but you may first want to consider how large they are and which containers you wish them to fit into. Super thin slices may fall apart more quickly. Consider slicing thicker strips, or slicing them in a slanted fashion to make them larger. If you have very long cucumbers, trim it to fit your jar before you slice it into spears. Remember, this jar won’t go into the canner, so it doesn’t have to be “canning safe”. I wanted something special for my lemon cucumbers, so I used one of my antique “Crown” jars with the glass lid. This is also a good time to get some use out of those “already been canned with” lids.Slices LemonCucs

Place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle generously with kosher salt.  Let them set for 20 – 30 minutes while they give up some of their moisture.

While they’re soaking in the salts, mix & heat your brine and prepare your jars.

BRINE:  For a large handful of cucumbers, I used 4 cups water, 5 cups vinegar, ¼ sugar for the brine. (I did have a little left over, but I can hang on to that – I might have some more things from my own garden to pickle in the next day or two.)

SPICES: I like to put these in the jar while the veggies are in their salts, and the brine is warming up. Fresh dill & garlic, dry coriander seeds, black & white peppercorns and a fresh chili pepper went into the jars.   Pickling SPices in Jars

After the jars are spiced, and the cucumbers have set long enough, you may pack the cucumbers into your jars. I like to add a few more springs of dill on top.  Packed Jars

When your brine is ready, carefully pour it into the jars over the cucumbers being sure that they are covered.  Packed Jars with Brine

Let set uncovered until they are cool, then cap them and place them in the refrigerator. I always need to sneak a taste the next day, but really, the flavors need about 3 days to really blend.

Now, what to do with those huge white radishes? Why not Vietnamese Pickles!

Vietnamese Pickles – Carrots & Daikon from White On Rice Couple.

What you need:Daikon Julienned

½ pound carrots
½ daikon radish  (After washing & trimming them, cut them into thin strips. My mandolin julienned them in a flash!)
4 cups water (Warm enough to dissolve the salt & sugar, but not too warm to wilt the veggies.)
3 T sugar
2 T salt
6 T distilled vinegar (rice vinegar if you have it)

Mix the water sugar, salt and vinegar in a large picture or saucepan, ensuring all is dissolved and mixed fully.

Place the julienned daikon and carrots into your jars and pour the vinegar solution over them. Be sure that all pieces are covered. Daikon & Carrots in Jars

Lid the jars and refrigerate. Like most quick pickled things, it’s best to let them mellow for 3 days for the best flavor distribution. Quick Pickles Finished

These will last for several week in the refrigerator – if you don’t eat them first!

Here’s another quick pickling recipe from the archives – Quick Pickled Broccoli. TIP: We’ve swapped the broccoli with fresh green beans too. It was a hit!

Seawicks Candle Company + a Giveaway

SHARE THIS PAGE:

We are consistently impressed with the creativity of our customers and their unique business stories. We always love hearing about (and testing) our customer’s products!

Today, we’re featuring one of our ingenious customers, and giving you a chance to win one of their products.Seawick logo

Seawicks Candle Company, like many, has a great story. After a move to a small town in Maine, Cara and her husband, Michael quickly fell in love with the smell of the sea, the sounds of lobster boats, and summer on the coast. However, the first winter came and they longed for summer and the scent of the sea, and Seawicks was born.

Seawicks Candles are hand poured, by Michael, in small batches using 100% Soy Wax. All of their 26 scents are a reflection of life on the coast and are available in a few different sizes.

As they looked through some old photos of Michael’s grandmother on the coast they were inspired to include them as part of Seawicks Candle Company. The company logo is a direct reflection of a photo of Michael’s grandmother. They continue to keep those family memories alive by featuring family beach photos on the tops of all their tin size candles.

Right now, we really love their limited edition candle poured in our blue Heritage Collection Mason Jars, by Ball. The white candle is beautiful in the vintage style blue Mason jar. And when your candle is all gone, wash out the jar and reuse it as a vase, for storage, or whatever Mason jar DIY idea you come up with. There are dozens of them hereSeawicks Blue Pair

We are giving away two of Seawicks Antique Replica Blue Mason Candles with the misty seaside fragrance – Summertime On the Pier. Enter below for your chance to win. If you don’t want to take your chances you can order your own online here, or find out where Seawicks Candles are sold near you. If you happen to be traveling to Damariscotta, Maine stop by the Seawicks shop, Off To The Cottage on Main Street, and be sure to tell them Fillmore Container sent you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tips for Making Double Batches of Jam

SHARE THIS PAGE:

Making Multiple Batches of Plum Star Anise Jam & Tomato Basil Jam from Food in Jarsdouble batch jam

Our jamming kettles & canners were quite busy the other day as I multi-tasked, something I usually don’t recommend with preserving. However, I needed to do some testing of some new jars and lids that we may add to our line, and I needed to put up some tomato jam for our family.  While getting my tomatoes at our local orchard, some plums & white peaches jumped into my basket. So, I got busy making Marisa McClellan’s Plum Star Anise Jam and my version of her Yellow Tomato Basil Jam. (To hear more recipes from Marisa McClellan register for our meet the author and canning event on August 8th.)Plums

Sometimes, doing multiple batches of preserves isn’t a good thing  – like when you’re using pectin other than Pomona’s, when you have a very finite amount of time in which to complete your canning or when the recipe specifies “do not double”.

However, sometimes multiplying your batch is OK.  If you have the time and if you’re using Pomona’s. It also helps if you have a nice wide jam pot, as it increases your evaporation surface area. My Le Creuset kettles are perfect for this – we use them for all of our preserves. They heat evenly, and the smooth, creamy finish makes stirring and cleanup a breeze. While they are pricey, I was able to get some at a great discount at our local Le Creuset outlet – which is what triggered my discussion with the gals there about doing some canning demos.

An important note when doubling batches: It’s still important to cook your jam down in order to decrease the water content in your end product. The sugar and the evaporation work together to lower the water activity – which plays an important role in pH stability and the shelf life of your preserve. If you double your batch, you can plan on cooking (don’t forget stirring) it more than twice the time of the original recipe. Even though I put both kettles on the stove at the same time, I had my Plum with Star Anise Jam jarred, processed and cooling with time to spare before my tomato jam was ready.  I knew I had the time, so it worked for me.

We’ll be sharing the recipe with their original measurements. I did use a mix of yellow & dark plums and actually tripled the recipe. I love that Marisa uses weights! I’m not great at estimating how much fruit I have – and how much prepared (trimmed, pitted or cored) I’ll end up with.  It’s so much easier to use my kitchen scale as I prepare the fruits. Then I do the math and adjust the amounts for the other ingredients accordingly.

Italian Plum Jam with Star Anise (from Preserving by the Pint) –makes about 2 – 8oz jars

Plum Jam Ingredients

1 pound (460g) Italian Plums – Pitted & Chopped
¾ Cup (150g) granulated sugar
3 Star Anise

  1. Combine the pitted & chopped plums, sugar & star anise in a bowl and let them sit for at least an hour so flavors mingle & juices flow
  2. Gather & prepare your jars (place clean jars in your water bath for preheating) & lids (simmering in a saucepan) and your other tools–funnel, dipper, clean cloth for wiping jar rims, wand for your lids, jar lifter. Plum in kettle
  3. Cook fruit mixture in a wide skillet or kettle over med-high heat, with regular stirring. Bring it to a boil and continue until it bubbles and begins to thicken.  For single batch – about 10 – 12 minutes. If your spatula leaves a void as you stir, the cooking is complete. (I actually tripled mine, so it took about 45 minutes. I could still see the void behind my spatula as it thickened.)
  4. Remove from the heat, funnel into your clean jars leaving ½ inch of headspace, apply lids & bands and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.Lidding Plum Orchard Road
  5. At the end of the 10 minutes, carefully remove them from the water bath, place them on the towel lined countertop.
  6. Let them cool for 24 hours, remove bands & check seals.Orchard Road 8oz Jelly jar Plum Jam

Got a big “Mmmmmmm!” from all of my taste testers!
Jam Tester

Tomato Jam & Basil    (makes about 6 pints)

For my Tomato & Basil Jam, I used the Yellow Tomato & Basil Jam from Food in Jars blog. However, we used reBasil for Tomato Jamd canning tomatoes and doubled the batch.

8 pounds tomatoes; cleaned, cored & chopped
6 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice
Zest of 2 – 4 lemons (actually only used 2)
½ cup clean, chopped basil

  1. Clean, core and chop tomatoes
  2. Combine tomatoes & sugar in a large non-reactive bowl and let set for at least an hour to allow juices to flow.
  3. Gather & prepare your jars (place clean jars in your water bath for preheating) & lids (simmering in a saucepan) and your other tools –funnel, dipper, clean cloth for wiping jar rims, wand for your lids, jar lifter.
  4. Pour tomato mixture into a large (preferable wide) kettle, add lemon juice & bring to a boil. Tomato Jam bubbling away
  5. Cook for at least 1 hour 15minutes – while stirring regularly. If you have a nice wide kettle, it will likely take another 15 – 30 minutes until it’s cooked down sufficiently.TomatoJam collage
  6. When you’re satisfied with the set, remove from the heat, stir in the basil and ½ of the lemon zest. Taste and add the rest of the zest if you feel it’s required.
  7. Funnel the jam into your clean jars leaving ½ inch of headspace, apply lids & bands and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  8. At the end of the 10 minutes, carefully remove them from the water bath, place them on the towel lined countertop.

Let them cool for 24 hours, remove bands & check seals.

Finished Tomato Jam in Orchard Road Wide Pints

To hear more recipes from Marisa McClellan register for our meet the author and canning event on August 8th.

Marisa McClellan Comes to Lancaster for Canning Demos & Book Signing

SHARE THIS PAGE:

Marisa McClellan author photoWe are so excited to announce that Marisa McClellan, popular canning blogger and author of canning books, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year Round and Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, is coming to our neck of the woods on Friday, August 8th!

Join us, at Fillmore Container, for a meet the author and canning demo event on August 8th from 10 am-11:30 am. The morning event will kick-off a full day of canning demos by Marisa here in Lancaster, PA.

Marisa will be demonstrating how easy it is to preserve by making Yellow Plum Jam with Vanilla, a recipe from her newest cookbook Preserving by the Pint. Preserving by the Pint

She will share insight from her new book and answer questions. Be sure to bring your copy of Food in Jars or Preserving by the Pint, as Marisa will happily sign your copy. If you don’t have one of her books, we have them available here, or you can purchase one that day.

Space is limited, so registration is requested.  All registered attendees will take home a special canning bundle! Please register here.

In addition to the canning demo at Fillmore Container, Marisa will be offering demos and book signings at a few other locations in Lancaster. You can see her at:

Le Creuset at Tanger Outlets from 1pm – 3pm (no registration required)
Lemon Street Market from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. Please register here.

Marisa has been a great inspiration for new canners and preserving pros and we are pleased to welcome her to Lancaster on Friday, August 8th!

Mark your calendars, and please help us spread the word by sharing, tweeting and pinning this post!

If you aren’t local, check our list for canning classes in your area.

Sweet Cherry Vanilla Jam

SHARE THIS PAGE:

Cherry season is one of our favorites, but it never seems to be around long enough! It seems that every year, we’re scurrying to get and create something special with these delightful little fruits!

We’re very blessed to live in an area with several wonderful orchards including some that offer the “Pick Your Own” opportunity! I have fond memories of going to Cherry Hill Orchards with my mother and siblings 30 years ago and love sharing that with my own children. Cherry Pickers2014 Cherry Prices

I haven’t done comparison pricing for cherries in other regions, but in our area, the pick your own price is usually close to ½ of what you’d pay at market. So if you have the opportunity to pick, it’s usually worth your time! Plus, you can put those fruit bins you’ve been squirreling away to use again!

We decided to make a double batch of sweet cherry vanilla jam with our freshly picked goodies. However, we’ve heard cherries make a great kombucha. Phickle has a recipe for sweet cherry kombucha and a giveaway of our 32oz Amber Growlettes and a Stainless Steel Funnel on her blog.

I knew that we’d be on a tight schedule to get these cherries into the jam kettle, so when we picked them, we didn’t keep the stems. This will also cut down on your weight when paying….why pay for stems? However, if you will not be able to get to your cherries quickly, I’d recommend picking them with their stems as it helps to last a little longer after being removed from the tree. The light ones will start to show visible browning around that broken flesh very shortly after picking, but any stemmed cherry will spoil more quickly.

We rinsed our cherries in cold water, removed any imperfect cherries and promptly drained them.

Rinsing Cherries

My faithful little helpers took care of pitting the cherries with our nifty Push Button Cherry Pitter. They had fun seeing who was filling their mason jar the quickest! Pitting Cherries_Fillmore ContainerIf you haven’t used one of these pitters, you’ll want to check out our video.

While the cherries were being pitted, I mixed up my calcium water according to the Pomona’s Pectin pamphlet (1 teaspoon calcium powder into 1 cup water in a jar). I got my water going in my canners and gathered my jars and lids. Because of the plentiful cherries, I decided to do a double batch. Half the batch went into a variety of 8oz mason jars and the other half in 9oz Hexagon lug jars.

This recipe is a modification of Marisa McClellan’s Sweet & Sour Cherry Jam on her blog, Food in Jars.

Because the recipe calls for Pomona’s Pectin, doubling is allowed! As is an adjustment of sugar! Please note, though…sugar does play a role in lowering water activity in preserved products and helps to prolong the shelf life.

Double Sweet Cherry Vanilla Jam

Ingredients:
18 cups pitted sweet cherries (we mixed the light sweet and the dark – figured we’d get a lighter more red color)
4 lemons – zested & juiced
6 teaspoons calcium water
4 cups sugar
6 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin
1 – 2 vanilla beans

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath (or 2) and 16 half pint jars. (I used 8 half pint and 8 of the 9oz hex).
  2. In a large jam kettle, combine your pitted cherries, lemon zest & juice, calcium water, and about ½ cup – ¾ cup water. Cover and bring to a gentle boil and allow the fruits to soften and release their juices. Stir frequently to avoid scorching…more likely to happen with larger batch. cherries and zest
  3. Slice open your vanilla bean(s) and scrape out the contents and add to the fruit. You can throw the remaining bean in as well, but remember to take it out before blending.
  4. In a bowl, mix the sugar & pectin with a wisk.
  5. When the fruit has softened, use a potato smasher to gently break up the fruits. I like being able to recognize the chunks of fruit, so I didn’t go wild…just enough mashing to ensure softness and to locate and remove the lemon seed and a few cherry seeds that managed to get into the kettle. If you prefer a less chunky jam, you may chop more or give it a good zip with your immersion blender.
  6. When your fruit is to the consistency you desire, add the sugar and pectin mixture and stir well to combine.
  7. Bring the fruit to a boil and allow it to boil vigorously for another 4 – 6 minutes until the jam begins to thicken.
  8. When the jam has reached a good consistency, remove it from the heat.
  9. Scoop & funnel jam into your prepared jars, clean the rims and apply the lids, being careful not to over-tighten.
  10. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
  11. At the conclusion of the 10 minutes, remove the jars from the canner and place them on layered kitchen towels to cool.
  12. After jars have sealed and cooled, remove rings from the 2-piece and label them all. If any of your jars didn’t seal, put it in the refrigerator and enjoy it in season!Sweet Cherry Jam in Jars

Mason Jar Banks – DIY Craft Project

SHARE THIS PAGE:

Mason Jar BanksSchool is out and it’s time for some fun DIY projects for the kids. We created these Mason jar banks as a fun crafty activity, and we were able to sneak in a lesson about money management.

We simply took tissue paper and used ModPodge to secure and seal it to the jars. Since we were trying to work with our kids on the saving, sharing, spending concept of money management, they each did three jars and we printed out the words, cut them out and worked them into the design. CoinSlotCollage

The sky is the limit on how you decorate yours! These could also be a great touch for showers, collections for special events or simply a vacation fund bank!Coin Slot Mason Jar Lids

The coin slot Mason jar lids are available in regular mouth with an aluminum finish and a gold finish. These lids will fit any of our regular mouth jars.

The coin slot lids are also available in a 58 Lug style with a gold finish. The Lug style coin slot lids fit the 58mm lug jars, as well as a one of our favorites – the honey bear jar! All lids are manufactured in the USA and finished by Lancaster craftsmen.

For more Mason jar DIY craft projects here’s our Pinterest board.


How to Use a Mason Jar Cherry Pittter + a Giveaway

SHARE THIS PAGE:

Cherry season is about to begin in our neck of the woods. Pick-your-own cherry season starts on Friday, at one of our local fruit farms.

Picking cherries is loads of fun, but pitting them…well it’s the pits…literally! In an effort to forever eliminate this grueling task from our cherry jamming efforts we found a better way. Our push button Cherry Pitter fits on regular mouth canning jars! All of the cherry pits go into the jar…no waste & no mess! Needless to say, we were in love at our first pitting.

We put together this quick video to show you how easy it is!

The Giveaway

In celebration of cherry season we are giving away one Cherry Pitter to a lucky winner! Hurry, this giveaway is ending on Thursday, June 19, 2014! Enter yourself to win at the end of the post.

If you don’t want to take your chances, you can get your own Cherry Pitter here and replacement rubbers here.

Now that we’ve saved you a ton of time pitting cherries, maybe you’ll add an extra cherry recipe to your list this year. We know a few folks who do the most delightful things with cherries!

Find more recipes on our jams & jellies Pinterest board!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fruit & Herb Infused Water Bar

SHARE THIS PAGE:

Last week we posted our favorite home brewed summer tea recipes. This week we thought we’d share some fun we had with a fruit and herb infused water bar. It was a hit at a recent gathering!Drink Bar-FillmoreContainer

We equipped each our our guest with the very own Mason Jar Handled Mug and Paper Straw. We gave the option of water or tea in our Beverage Dispensers. Then we used the Elite Ball Pint Widemouth Jars to store our infusions because they were user friendly while allowing the freshness of the contents to show clearly. We cut the mint as close to the start of the event as possible, washed it in very cold water, and refrigerated the jars until our guests arrived to maintain freshness. Water Bar Add ons- Fillmore Container

Here’s some of our favorite infusions:

The SWEET route – Fruits like sliced strawberries or peaches, pitted cherries, watermelon, honeydew or cantaloupe cubes, raspberries or other edible berries that are in season, slices of other citrus add a sweet freshness. You may want to give whole berries a little pinch before adding to your glass so that you can enjoy the flavor more quickly.

ThymeThe SAVORY route – Sprigs of rosemary, basil, thyme, lovage or even a few burnet leaves add some depth.

Try pairing some thin slices of ginger for a little zing, cucumber for that cool taste or some fennel fronds to add a touch of licorice.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to infusing fresh flavors into your water!

What’s your favorite flavor combination?

For more fun drink ideas check out our Pinterest board.


Announcing Our Pay It Forward Program

SHARE THIS PAGE:

Pay-It-Forward-Ad

Wonded Warrior Project 4H Komen Cobys

We are pleased to announce our Pay it Forward program! You may remember the movie “Pay it Forward”, about a boy who sets out to help others by “paying it forward” with good deeds. Our program follows a similar premise – a portion of the proceeds of some of our products will benefit several charities including the Wounded Warrior Project, 4-H, Susan G. Komen, and COBYS Family Services.  When you purchase the Pay it Forward products we will send a portion of the proceeds to the associated charity.

 

Patriotic Straws - Fillmore ContainerSince summer means the Fourth of July, which means fireworks and remembering those who founded and fought for this country we will start with the Wounded Warrior Project, which raises awareness of the needs of injured veterans.  Proceeds from the sale of our patriotic red, white and blue Paper Straws will benefit this worthy organization, and who is more deserving than our wounded warriors? And, our straws will add a star-spangled touch to you next party!

 

Pink-SusanGK ProductsIf pink is more your color, then you’ll be glad to hear that proceeds from sales of our pink Paper Straws, pink Daisy and pink Canning Lids will aid the Susan G. Komen foundation, which is dedicated to eradicating breast cancer. Pink is the color of breast cancer awareness, so our products are both pretty to use and will help a good cause!

 

 

Baby CoBYs StrawsAs long as we are going pink, proceeds from sales of our hot pink, powder blue and bubblegumpink heart Paper Straws will help out COBYS Family Services, a Christian agency which centers on adoption and foster care, as well as family life education.

 

4-H Products Fillmore ContainerBut we’re not stopping there. Check out our green and light green Paper Straws, green Daisy Lids and Canning Lids and you’ll help out 4-H, America’s largest youth development organization, which reaches more than 7 million young people in urban neighborhoods, suburban schoolyards and rural farming communities. 4-H’ers engage in hands-on learning activities in the areas of science, healthy living, and food security.

 

 

So sip, enjoy, celebrate and help us Pay it Forward by sharing, tweeting, pinning, and liking this post!