Easy & Delicious: Crockpot Preserving Recipes


Autumn may be my most favored season, perhaps because it always seems to fly by all too quickly. Balmy days and cool evenings are quickly filled with country fairs, farm-to-table meals, parades, harvest parties & actual harvesting; leaf raking & garden clean out which leads to extra work to the compost pile; bonfires & walks in the woods. All this while trying to maintain home, making sure the kids are staying on top of their homework & have something clean to wear, enjoying a few family meals that don’t include Band Burgers, Soccer Booster Fries, Milkshakes, Road Apples or Funnel Cakes. Naturally, preserving must fit in there, too!Crock Pot Meal

Enter the Slow Cookers & Crock Pots…one wonderful invention that helps me to soak in more moments of the season. They seem to allow me more time, and whether slowly transforming fresh fruits into rich butters or some roast for pulled pork or beef, they manage to free up some minutes while creating a hassle-free end product and a home that smells so good.

We’ve pulled together some of our favorites to help you enjoy more of your autumn!

Fruit Butters:

Crockpot Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Plum Butter , Slow Cooker Peach Vanilla Butter and Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter from Marisa over at Food in Jars

Crock Pot Pear Butter  from Sharon at Simply Canning

Tomatoes:crockpot tomatoes

Crock Pot Tomato Base from Natalie of tend collective.

Homemade Crock Pot Ketchup from Sharon at Simply Canning

Crock Pot Pizza Sauce  from the Crock Pot Ladies

Slow Cooker Tomato Butter  from Marisa over at Food in Jars

Our favorite crock pot meal, Pulled Chicken or Pork BBQ, will happily be the star at suppertime any day of the week! It’s great for those meals when you’re grabbing a bite before flying in all directions or for those slower evenings when you get a chance to just enjoy being home.

Review of Brown Eggs & Jam Jars + a Giveaway


Most of the cookbooks we’ve chosen to carry are quite heavy on the practice of preserving foods – which makes sense to us because most of our other products support those habits. However, as a busy mom of 3, a farm girl at heart and wannabe homesteader, I fell in love with Aimee’s book as soon as I opened it up! (Psst…we are giving a copy away at the end of this post.)

Brown Eggs & Jam Jars CookbookAlthough Brown Eggs & Jam Jars is packed with beauty, it was really her take on the simple lessons and valuable skills that families can experience together as they embrace a variety of homesteading practices that made this book a must for our library.

What this book is not:

  • A guilt trip or a list of unreasonable habits you must put in place at once.

What this book is:

  • A healthy dose of encouragement for busy families wanting to eat better;

  • Grounded with reasonable ways to work better practices into everyday living;

  • Full of delicious family recipes for great seasonable eating;

  • An inspirational toolbox of tips for those with kids-  on engaging children onto the world of real food; from the growing, to the table or preserving.

Our family made Aimee’s Cinnamon Apple Sauce and we loved it!Apples Cooking

Straining Applesauce

Cinnamon Apple Sauce


We canned some of the applesauce for the pantry in our Orchard Road regular mouth pint jars.

Finished Applesauce

We always make sure that we freeze a bunch in small jars for the kids to pack in their lunches. They using them instead of ice packs, and by Lidding Applesauce for the Freezerthe time lunch rolls around, it’s at that slushy stage that’s just perfect!

We use the 4oz Canning Jars  (for smaller appetites) and the 8oz Widemouth Canning Jars (for the larger appetites) because they’re tapered – safe for freezing. This is where I get to re-use those single-piece canning lids I’ve squirreled away. (I do check them for aromas that may be lingering from the lid’s previous life – garlic & applesauce don’t play well together. Usually, these hit the recycle bin right away, but sometimes I miss one.)

For other great recipes and reflections on homesteading, you can visit Aimee’s blog Simple Bites.  Better Homes and Gardens featured her in a lovely piece in their Fresh Gatherings segment called the Pickling Picnic…just another way of bringing the social aspect into preserving. What a great excuse to gather with friends!

We are giving away a copy of Brown Eggs & Jam Jars to one lucky winner. Use the Rafflecopter entry form below.

If you can’t wait to see if you won, and need your copy of Brown Eggs & Jam Jars now, don’t forget you can optimize shipping for a book only orders, by select UPS Ground and leave a comment on your order “SHIP MEDIA MAIL” and we will charge a flat $5 for shipping. Yep, that’s right only $5 shipping for any book only orders!

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A Family Tradition and a Recipe for Quince Honey


Thanksgiving MemoriesIn the past couple of years, we’ve had the honor of hosting Thanksgiving for my father’s side of the family, and crazy as it may seem, I love it. The planning, cooking, decorating…but most of all, getting to fellowship with some of my favorite people. As we prepare, it always brings back fond memories of helping my Great Aunts –  Mary and Elizabeth set up – because for years, that’s where we’d gather. As a young girl, I loved walking out our farm lane to their home the week before to help them set out their serving bowls, each with a little note on what it would hold.

On the first year we hosted, Aunt Joanne brought some of her quince honey. It disappeared so quickly upon its opening, that I immediately asked if she’d share her recipe! The kids absolutely loved it and I was intrigued by the use of quince – something you don’t see every day. Although she said yes, I’m only now getting around to sharing it with you!

Quince Honey

Her version is based on one in the Mennonite Cookbook – by Mrs. M. H. Godshall & Mrs. Harvey L. Alderfer

2 cups grated quince (It may take 2 large ones or up to 5 small ones – Discard gritty parts)
2 cups grated apples (It may take up to 6 apples, depending on size.  I like to use Stayman Winesap.)
1 pint water
4 lbs. sugar (I use less sugar.  I have used 2 lbs. and 3 lbs.  Both seem to work okay.  Most recently I used the 2 lbs. or 4 1/2 cups.  It may not thicken as much but then it’s more like honey.) 


Wash and pare quinces and apples.  Core and cut into quarters.  Grate or grind both fruits and mix together.

Add water to fruit and bring to a boil.  Add sugar gradually and stir until all is dissolved.  Cook slowly (on Medium to Medium Low) until fruit is clear and mixture is thick (about 20 minutes or maybe 25).

Ladle into hot jars (8oz or smaller) and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: about 6-8 8oz jars

Simply Canning Reviews + a Giveaway


SimplyCanning LogoIf you haven’t discovered Simply Canning, which is a very informative canning website, it’s high time you did.

Sharon Peterson, the woman behind Simply Canning, began her canning journey for the same reason many of us have; gardening and home preserving food proved to be a great way to provide nutritious, simple, delicious meals and provides an alternative to the many preservative laden commercial products found on the shelf of the local mega markets.

Simply Canning is a great resource for information on canning safety, recipes, canning tips, how to’s and product reviews. The information is valid for a newbie & veteran canners. The articles are easy to read and understand; ‘it’s like being taught canning techniques by your best friend.’

We’ve partnered with Sharon to offer a Simply Canning Giveaway. We put our heads together to create a prize pack that includes a few of Sharon’s favorite things, and some canning essentials that every canner should have in their preserving tool box.

The GiveawaySimply Canning Fillmore Container Giveaway-ItemsMarked

1. The 4th Burner Pot is such a versatile pot. It has become a favorite of many canners including, Simply Canning. You can see Sharon’s review about the 4th Burner Pot here, and specific product details from us here.

2. The Orchard Road Jars were added to our product offering about a year ago. Orchard Road is a fairly new canning company and its jars have a clean sleek look, and the quality is comparable to Ball jars. Simply Canning had a chance to test out these jars and wrote a review here. We are including a case of regular mouth pint, and regular mouth half-pint jars and lids in the prize pack.

3. The Ball Elite widemouth jars are a favorite of ours, and when we found out Simply Canning loved these squatty jars too; we had to add them to the mix. The prize pack will include a case of both the Elite 8oz, and the 16oz jars.

4. Pomona’s Universal Pectin & the book Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin are essential items for anyone who wants to reduce sugar in their preserves, or who may want to use alternative sweeteners such as honey. Simply Canning had a chance to test out some recipes from the book, and put the pectin to the test. You can read her review of the book and pectin here. The winner will get a copy of Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin and a box of Pomona’s Universal Pectin.

5. We know how Simply Canning loves stainless steel, so we thought we’d add our widemouth and regular mouth Stainless Steel Funnels to the prize pack.Simply Canning Marked6

6. Simply Canning’s Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning, is a necessary resource to add to your canning library, so Sharon will send the winner a signed copy.

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter your chance to win the Simply Canning Giveaway!

Good Luck!

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Knowing When to Can OR to Freeze


I am quick to admit that it is very satisfying to see my countertop lined with cooling jars, and then to know that I can grab one just seconds before the contents are needed for a meal or snack. It is enjoyable to browse the shelves of preserves & choose a few jars perfect for a hostess gift, to say “Thank you!” or to brighten someone’s day.

However, on some days and with some items, freezing just works better in our home. So, we both freeze and can – because we’re able and because both preserving methods help us reduce spoiling & waste.  The choice to be OK with freezing instead of canning something may mean the difference between preserving it for later or it being destined to the worm pile. Sometimes, it simply means that I will have time to spend in other ways – like enjoying some game time or a walk with my family or to get a better night’s sleep.

As a general rule, I’ve found that it really only makes sense to preserve what you & your family enjoy and what you’re confident you’ll use. It is disheartening to see containers of preserved foods sit so long that they become less than optimal. This may be why people who quickly go gangbusters with preserving may lose steam – it takes too much work to preserve things only to end up pitching them in the end! If you’re trying some new things, try it in small batches. It will feel much better at the beginning of your next growing season to contemplate how you might grow or source more of something for the coming year than to look at your shelves filled with items that just haven’t been enjoyed and may end up going downhill.

For most people, freezer space is more limited than “shelf” space. However, I’ve found that when I’m able to plan ahead for more of my meals, it allows time to thaw frozen items. I’ll save the canned tomatoes for when I’m short on time. It turns out, that if I’m just going to freeze something, my batches are not as large because I’m not pulling out my canning tools.

Here are some of the items that I often end up freezing.

Pumpkin/Squash:Freezing Squash-FillmoreContainerI’ve never grown these but am confident that every year, I’ll have plenty because my dear father who frequents the local produce auctions delivers them to our home and stores the extras in his barn. We cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and roast them in the oven – 375 for about an hour. The time may vary due to size. I usually check them with a fork to see that they’re soft through to the skin.  After they’ve cooled enough to handle, I scoop the meat out and into freezer jars or containers, allow them to cool for an hour, then lid, label and freeze. TIP: Freeze this in the volume your recipes call for most frequently. 

Roasted Tomatoes: Here’s how we do them.Roasted Tomato Sauce Collage

Quartered & Cored Peaches:Mulled Peach Smoothie with Text

When peels are not cooperating or I don’t have the time – we core them and freeze them for smoothies. Our vitamix does such a great job you don’t even know they’re there. These also work well for making Marisa’s Peach Butter or a Peach Sauce if you break those peels up with an immersion blender.


Strawberries and blueberries  are wonderful for smoothies or winter time jam making. Shae shares some great tips on using frozen fruits in jam on her blog Hitchhiking to Heaven.


If you have an excess of swiss chard, spinach or any other greens, here’s one way that we like to save them for later. Clean the greens and stem as needed, throw the greens in the blender with a enough water to puree. Once pureed freeze in ice cube trays. Add 1-2 cubes to the blender when making a fruit smoothie. TIP: Add a squeeze of lemon to your smoothie to soften the bitterness of greens and the kids will never know they got an extra serving of veggies!


Don’t forget your herbs! Freezing herbs is so easy, and you’ll thank yourself later. Here’s some tips for freezing leathery or tough herbs, and chives.Freezing Herbs Tray-001

Pureed Veggies for Baby:

When my kids were babies, I’d often steam a few extra serving of choice vegetables and freeze them so we didn’t’ have to buy baby food from the store. We saved a lot that way, and the babies loved it! Here’s how we did it.How to make Broccoli Baby Food

Applesauce Pods:

Our kids love these! They put the frozen applesauce pod in their lunch bag in the morning or the evening before if it’s refrigerated and by lunch time, it’s their favorite…slushy applesauce!Lidding Applesauce for the Freezer - FillmoreContainer


We’ve Added New Honey Jars


We’ve got some sweet news! Our honey jar collection is expanding! HoneyJar Fillmore COntainer

We welcomed two new honey jars this month.120_12_oz_Skep_Hive_Jar_58mm_Lug

Hive Jar

This attractively designed 12 oz Skep (Hive) Jar is the perfect container to showcase honey. The front and back of the jar provides a surface for labeling. We like to encourage customers to add our Coin Slot lid as a suggested way of re-purposing the jar when the honey is all gone! What a cute piggy…I mean honey jar it would make!

Muth Jar4_oz_Muth_Jar_with_Cork_Finish

Our 4 oz Muth Honey Jar is the newest addition to the Muth jar collection. A beautiful replica of the old fashioned square honey jars used by Charles Muth, one of the largest honey sellers in the 1800′s. Not only will your product look lovely, but once the honey is gone you’ll also enjoy the keepsake bottle! The Muth collection also features 8 oz & 16 oz sizes. Corks are sold separately.


Our entire honey jar collection includes Muth, Queenline, Honey Bear, Hive, and Hexagon jars.Honey Jar Collection

Honey Resources

If you are interested in learning more about honey – to give as wedding favors, to create a unique body scrub recipe for holiday giving, or even to become a bee keeper, we’ve got some helpful links to get you started:

The Honey Locator - If you need a source for your honey project, you’ll need to find a local honey source. The Honey Locator is a helpful resource to connect you with honey near you.

The Ultimate Guide to Bee KeepingIf you want to start bee keeping as a hobby, or a business the Ultimate Guide to Bee Keeping will get you started.

The National Honey Board (NHB) - Is a huge resource for all things honey, from history, to benefits, to studies, to recipes. The National Honey Board is the ‘go-to’ resource for honey.

Honey Recipes - If you want to reduce your use of sugar, use honey – it’s a natural sweetener. Here’s some recipes and ideas on how to use honey in your cooking.

Skin Care Recipes – Honey is often used as a natural ingredient in a variety of bath & body products. If you’re making some handmade goods for gifting consider using one of these honey bath & body recipes. Our Elite 8 oz widemouth jars are perfect for bath and body products…they are easy to get the product in and out of the jar. We found these recipes to help you get started with your DIY bath & body products.

Honey Grapefruit Salt Scrub

Honey-Almond Scrub

Honey-Vanilla Body Scrub

Honey Lip Balm

Body Moisturizer with Honey

Packaging Honey – You’ll find inspiration for more ideas on packaging and presenting pure golden honey goodness for your special occasion, or for retail sales, on our Pinterest board.

New TruScent Fragrances, Tools for Better Candle Testing + a Giveaway


Soy Candles in Mason Jars 11-6-2013 10-06-57 AMOne of the exciting and challenging parts of running a small business is the task of deciding which new items to add to your line, or how to change things up in preparation for the upcoming season.

For our chandlers, we understand that it isn’t a simple task! There are so many considerations, whether you’re adding a new fragrance, changing a container line or even just adding another size to your existing line of products.

We’ve just added these new fragrances to our line, Amaretto Tiramisu and Chilled Sangria. Don’t forget, all TruScent fragrances are available in 1oz sample sizes, and our wax is available in 5 lb samples sizes for your testing purposes.

We also recently reworked our wax case pricing. So, be sure to check out our new pricing.


In an effort to help you with your planning for new products we are giving away a sample pack and store credit, to help you test out some new fragrances. Giveaway details at end of post.

A Clean Burn  –   A Clean Jar  –  A Good Throw

Soy Candle Wicked CloseUp[1]

While each chandler’s product line will be unique, a clean burn, a clean jar and a good throw are the basic characteristics that are expected of each candle.

An experienced chandler will tell you that it takes a tremendous amount of testing in order to arrive at the proper formula – wax type, fragrance, wick type & size, and container.

Even though there is still much testing required, we’ve tried to pull together some guidelines that should help get you started in the right direction. Documents specific to a product will usually be accessible at that product’s description page.

Wax Handling Sheets provide some basic details about pour temperature and handling for each type of waxTruscent Fragrance that we carry.

Wax Properties Chart pulls characteristics of our waxes into 1 location to help you identify the wax that best suits your needs.

Wick Selection Chart provides recommendation on wicks based on the diameter of the container. If your container diameter varies or has distinct shoulders or a smaller opening than body, you may need to test a wider range of wicks.

MSDS LogoTruScent Fragrance descriptions provide flashpoint as well as maximum % uses for Soap or Lotion applications, and Vanillin and/or Ethyl Vanillin percentages.

MSDS sheets are also available for download for your safety records.

The Giveaway

To get you started testing some new fragrances, containers, and wax we are giving away:

  • 5 of the 1 oz fragrance samples
  • 1 sample box of wax (5lbs)
  • $50 Credit (toward product and/or shipping)

Enter using Rafflecopter below.

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Drinking Vinegar Never Tasted So Sweet


Today we’re thirsty and we’re talking about shrubs. No, not the green, leafy kind that grows in your yard. The acidic yet refreshing beverage enjoyed by many for CENTURIES. Crazy, right?

Meyer-Lemon cropped

Shrubs are an acidulated drink that stems from almost as early as the Middle Ages and was drank in the Middle East in hot weather for thirst quenching. These citrus-based drinks eventually made their way to Europe via the trade routes, where folks used shrubs to dilute badly tasting liquors or strong punches. In Colonial times, the early American settlers adapted the drink in order to help preserve fruits and began using vinegars. The word shrub then came to be known to include both the vinegar and citrus versions.

If you haven’t heard of this kind of shrub, there’s a reason. They fell out of popularity during the early 1900’s when preservation methods, such as refrigeration and pressure sealing became available. If you’re from our area, you might have stayed in touch with this timeless drink. The Pennsylvania Dutch have been keeping the tradition of shrubs alive!


It wasn’t until the late 1980’s when a local farmer, David Tait of Tait Farms needed something to do with his bumper crop of raspberries. A friend recommended an old Pennsylvania Dutch recipe and well, the rest is delicious history! Other farm stands caught on, and inevitably, so did the Wall Street Journal. Cocktail aficionado and journalist, Eric Felten discussed shrubs in a 2004 article and thus shrubs were launched back into the limelight.

Today people are using shrubs in all kinds of creative ways; mixing fruit and veggies, herbs and spices, flowers and nuts, for marinades and dressings and cocktails. Your imagination is the limit really! If a flavor profile tickles your palate, then it would work well in a shrub.

As far as a recipes go, you can try the standard ratio of 1:1:1 (fruit : sugar : vinegar). For those that would enjoy fruitier flavors with less sweetness, try 2:1:1 (two parts fruit : one part sugar : one part vinegar). This ratio will still capture some of the tartness, much like a refreshing lemonade.

As fruits and veggies come into season, use them to inspire your shrubs. Recipes are very flexible and can be made via a cold or hot process, using fruits for a sweet shrub, or tomatoes and veggies for a savory shrub.

Straw Hole Mason Jar Lids John Deere Colors FrontMason jars are perfect to macerate your fruits and sugars or to infuse vinegar with herbs and spices, or enjoy them in style with our Mason Jar Handled mugs, our paper or stainless steel straws and jar toppers.

Lily Pulitzer Style Mason Jar Lids and Straws2

There are some wonderful histories and recipes out there on the shrub. Tait Farms has a wealth of recipes, and you’ll find recipes for a Black Raspberry Shrub and a Blueberry Ginger Shrub over on Food in Jars.

We hope we’ve inspired you to investigate a little further and maybe even experiment by taking a shrub class! We carry Linda Ziedreich’s book The Joy of Jams Jellies and other Sweet Preserves which includes recipes for Blackberry Shrub and for Raspberry Shrub.Shrub - FillmoreContainer

Local shops such as Lemon Street Market and Prince Street Cafe have shrubs on their shelves and menus if you’re not in the mood to do the preparation. And if shrubs just aren’t your thing we have other refreshing drink ideas here and from our friends over at Phickle!

Happy shrubbing!

3 Great Giveaways!


Feeling Lucky?

We have 3 really great giveaways happening now! Win some jars & canning labels; or win a Mason Jar Meal Kit; or win essential preserving equipment and supplies. Choose one or enter all three. But, hurry they won’t last long!


Giveaway #1 – Personalized Canning Labels
Felix Doolittle creates the most beautiful personalized canning labels; they are truly customized pieces of art.

Of course, all of Felix Doolittle’s labels are a perfect match for our jars and lids! Which is why we are giving you the chance to win a case of our jars & lids, and a box of Felix Doolittle canning labels!

Get all the details and enter here.
*Hurry, the giveaway ends 8/28 at 11:59pm


Giveaway #2 – Mason Jar Meal KitMasonJarMealKitFillmore Container Cuppow BNTO Giveaway

Win a Mason Jar Meal Kit filled with Cuppow products, jars, and plastic lids and you’ll be ready to pack a healthy lunch to go! Using Mason jars for meal prep and planning helps to control portions, and you can prepare a number of lunches or meals at once, and jars are safe for freezer, microwave and the dishwasher. Read more about why Mason jar meals are pretty great here.

Get all the details and enter here.


Giveaway #3 – Preserve the Harvestcys-harvest-250x250[6]

Harvest season is right around the corner! In celebration of this bountiful time of year, Countryside magazine invited Fillmore Container to participate in its Preserve the Harvest Giveaway which boasts a new prize every week for 8 weeks. This week is our week! And we are giving away one of our water bath canners, a $50 store credit, and our friends from Pomona’s added some Pectin to sweeten the prize pack.

Psst… for our friends that chimed in about our recent Facebook post about the height of canners. We are happy to report that the stainless steel water bath canner that we carry has a healthy 3 inches between the top of the quart jars and the rim of the canner.

Clearance of Stainless Canner[1]

Get all the details about the Preserve the Harvest giveaway and enter here.

Packing Lunch in Mason Jars + a Giveaway


MealsInJarsLabelsIt’s back to school time, and even if you don’t have little ones rushing out the door to catch the bus, it’s still seems to be the time of year when everyone tends to re-group, and get back in a regular routine, as the fun of summer winds down.


Mixed Fresh Fruit, Oriental Slaw Salad, Goat Chevre Cracker Sandwiches

Taking a fresh look at meal packing and planning is a good place to start! Especially for those that might be going off to college, starting a new job, or maybe you just indulged in one too many tasty treats during summer and it’s time to get your food planning back on track.


Chicken Fajita Meal in Jars with Strawberry Shortcake

One way that we stay organized and healthy in our food planning/packing is by using Mason jars. The jars offer measurements to help control portions, and you can prepare a number of lunches or meals at once. A quick snack, or meal is always ready and in the fridge or freezer making mealtime a snap! Read more about why Mason jar meals are pretty great here.


Salad in Jars – Greens, Chicken, Hard Boiled Eggs, Cheese, Snap Peas
Chunky Bleu Cheese in Jars

The key accessories we like to use with our Mason Jar Meals, are Cuppow Coozie, Cuppow lids, and BNTOsCuppowCoozie

The Cuppow Coozie is made with Pfelt, which is created from recycled plastic bottles. The Coozie insulates hot or cold beverages and fits a wide mouth 16 oz jar. It boasts a stretch webbing to easily store a reusable straw, fork, or spoon and a loop for carrying. Pair it with a Cuppow lid (available in a variety of colors) to turn your Mason jar into a travel cup. Salad-MasonJarMeal

The BNTO, also made by Cuppow, fits inside a widemouth canning jar, separating the jar into two leak-proof compartments. The BNTO is made from BPA-free plastic and holds six ounces of whatever you want to fill it with – salad dressing, hummus, granola, nuts, salsa, etc. The BNTO is the perfect way to keep your snack or meal separate until you are ready to dip, mix or dunk it.APint BNTO Parfait for CommUnity 5K

The Giveaway

We are giving away a Mason Jar Meal Kit to one lucky winner. MasonJarMealKitFillmore Container Cuppow BNTO Giveaway

The winner will receive: (Enter giveaway below)

If you need help getting started with Mason jar meals, we have some great ideas on our blog and Pinterest.


You can find a number of other great recipes on Big Red Kitchen  otherwise known as the home of Mason jar meals! Enter the giveaway below! a Rafflecopter giveaway