Judging Preserves At The Alameda County Fair

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I was asked to be a judge at the fair. I’m very naive thinking I was going to taste some wonderful home made preserves. They had me tasting butters, marmalade, curds and hot sauces. They had other judges tasting jams, pickles, olive oils, honeys, relishes, chutneys, canned fruits and jellies. The butters had too much spice and sugar. I couldn’t taste the fruit. The marmalade had big pieces of peel, very bitter. The curd had the smell of eggs and you could see the egg whites. The hot sauce was in a new category for professionals. This is a category for people that sell their products and want to say they won in the Country Fair. We all know the first thing you do when opening a jar is look, smell and taste. The ” look”  you are looking for is bubbling and or mold. The “smell ” will be stinky if there is a problem. If a jar has bubbles, mold and smells bad please do not taste. After opening one of the hot sauces it started to look like a volcano, pouring out all over the table. This is a bad jar with a lot of bacteria built up inside. This could have happened because the room was warm. They had another category that was mixed fruit. This is where I found the best jar of the day. It was a Cherry Balsamic Chutney. It was a beautiful color with great texture. The balsamic was the perfect hint of vinegar and it had some nuts for a little crunch. After I was done I walked around to see what was out there. I asked where is the Pie Filling and Mustard. They wrote them down, so maybe they will be doing that next year.  There are a lot of bad canners out there and I hope they find All In A Jar Private School. Remember to keep jars in a cool dark place. Happy Canning.

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Bring Your Own Produce Class

100_1156If you don’t know, yet, about our
“Bring Your Own Produce” class, you should take a minute to read about this unbeatable offer. All In A Jar provides a personal experience for you and
at least one other person to learn beginner, intermediate our advanced techniques using your very own produce! This class is ideal for individuals with gardens and trees that are overflowing with ripe food. Maybe a neighbor gifted you four grocery bags of apples, or maybe tomatoes were on sale at a local fruit stand. Chef Penny will work with you to choose the best recipes for your ingredients. The best part – you get to go home with everything you have made! Just imagine: 10 jars of ready made tomato sauce for quick family dinners; 7 jars of delicious apple pie filling for a warm summer dinner party; 15 4oz jars of homemade pickles or jam that you can give as gifts at Christmas time.
These one of a kind classes are offered Sundays at 11:00 am or Thursdays at 6:00 pm. If the
time or days do not work for you Chef Penny will do her best to accommodate your schedule while your produce is fresh.
For this class, you will provide all of the ingredients, all of the jars and go home with all if the goods. Set up your intimate class today!

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Gifts

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There’s nothing better than a homemade gift. Last year for the holidays, my family received All In A Jar’s finest preservers, jams, pickles, hot sauces, chutney and more. They all seemed satisfied with their gifts and I’m alright taking orders for what they would like in a jar this year. And I’m not the only one thinking about homemade for friends and family. In some of my classes, I have been talking about the December calendar and how it will be all about making gifts.

All In A Jar’s gift to you is an extra recipe in the month of December! For each class we will make three different recipes and you will go home with three jars of what you have made.  We will be making recipes to please everyone in the family from Cranberry Ketchup and Pickled Garlic, to Spicy Mustard, Marinated Mushrooms and kid-friendly Taco Sauce. There are so many options during the month of December. Please go to the class calendar to see what classes you would like take. Come and have some fun in the kitchen.

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