Happy International Can-It-Forward Day all! It’s that time of year again where I suddenly decide I need to can, pickle, freeze and do everything I can to preserve the last bits of summer to last all year long. This year’s Can-It-Forward day, sponsored by Jarden Home Brands brings a special guest, renowned chef and Bravo’s Top Chef judge, Hugh Acheson! You can check out his webcast taking place at Brooklyn Borough Hall Farmers Market. I also totally dig the fact that over Twenty five farmers markets across the country will also be hosting Can-It-Forward Day celebrations! So cool……
Just like last year, I knew that making homemade organic jam was on the list. I turned these super sweet organic blackberries…..I got this entire flat for $20 – deal!
Into a bunch of jam that we will can enjoy all year long. It’s so easy to make – here is a link to how I did it.
We also bought a bunch of organic cucumbers for $1.00/lb. that I turned into Bread and Butter pickles that I think will have a spicy kick as I used a sweet red Fresno Chili in them.
This year, Ball really went the extra mile creating new ways to preserve summer all year long ~ this time with all things Herb.
First up ~ the Fresh Herb Keeper that keeps herbs fresh for up to two weeks.
It’s so easy to use ~ fill the bottom with water up to the –max- line.
Add any herb you’d like to store in the fridge that has stems.
Close and put it in the fridge door. You can keep your herbs fresh longer by simply pouring out the water and refreshing it every few days. I usually do this whenever I grab a handful to cook with.
I think the thing I am most excited about is the Frozen Herb Starters. Preserve your fresh seasonings in ready to use cubes filled with butter, oil or other liquid. Then, simply add them to soups, pastas and recipes all year long.
The tray is flexible so it makes it really easy to pop out just what you need.
While the recipe book gives you so many ideas ~ I love the fact that I now have a way to save herbs versus taking just a handful and eventually tossing the bunch.
The one gadget I never knew I needed in my life until now is their 5 Blade Herb Scissors.
These are some serious scissors – they have 5 blades to gently cut and evenly slice herbs like basil, parsley and cilantro.
The little green tool helps you scoop out the herbs and makes clean up a synch.
Of course I had to buy pretty much every herb I could find at the Farmer’s Market and of course pull everything I could from our gardens to try these out.
I “started” with ~ Thyme, Cilantro, Chives, Basil, Parsley
Then, I used these scissors to “finely chop” up every single herb.
I am not sure I’d chop chives this well with my kitchen shears or knife ever….
I have plans for all my herb cubes and decided to put them in alphabetical order so I would not forget what is what.
Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Parsley, Thyme and the bottom 3 are my low-fat homemade pesto.
I used olive oil for the chives and thyme and broth for the everything else.
To preserve pesto, I always put a layer of olive oil on top to keep it fresh….it also melts making a great sauce in soups or fresh pasta.
Put the lid on a fresh ~ tadah ~ see, it really is that simple.
The next thing I started today was “drying” the rest of my herbs to save in these Dry Herb Jars which are such a great idea for storing your dried herbs, seasonings, spices and rubs too!
I’ve never dried herbs before but I’ll be sure to report back if it worked.
These containers are awesome – shake, measure or pour.
I wanted to be able to share in the fun with you all as well so I am kicking off today’s International Can It Forward Day with a fun giveaway too!
ONE LUCKY READER WILL WIN THEIR OWN HERB PRESERVING KIT:
You will get everything that is included above so you can start canning it forward too!
- The New Limited Edition Spring Green Heritage Collection Jars (two cases – one pint size and one quart sized): These limited edition jars commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Ball brothers’ “Perfection” Jar and come in a beautiful green tint. These are being produced only in 2014 and are available in both pint and quart varieties.
- Fresh Herb Keeper
- Dry Herb Jars
- Frozen Herb Starters
- 5 Blade Herb Scissors
- Ball Blue Book : Offering 125 pages that will guide you while you learn about preserving, this book provides information on equipment, instructions for the preserving method and recipes!
HOW TO ENTER:
1) Simply leave your FIRST comment telling me what herb you’d preserve first. If you have a favorite herb recipe, I’d love to see it (the recipe part is totally optional, I just have a lot of herbs to use up)
2) TWEET and/or Facebook about this giveaway, “Ready to #CanItForward & win a @BallCanning Fresh Herb Preserving Kit? Enter this #Giveaway hosted by @danicasdaily http://danicasdaily.com/?p=48525“. Be sure to leave your SECOND comment to let me know you did.
3) Follow @BallCanning on Twitter and leave a THIRD comment letting me know you did.
4) ”Like” BallCanning on Facebook and leave a FOURTH comment letting me know you did.
5) If you have a blog, LINK back to this contest and leave a FIFTH comment letting me know you did.
If you do not have a blog, just leave a comment below telling me someone you told about this giveaway.
The Fine Print: Thanks to Ball for letting me participate in this year’s International Can-It-Forward celebration and letting me “Can-It-Forward” by giving away one fantastic herb preserving kit like the one I received.
The Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
Good luck everyone!