• Posted by Califia Suntree on December 15th, 2014, 10:48 AM

    As readers of this blog (or my recent cookbook, Bring Your Lunch!) are probably aware, I’m rather down on plastic. Even before all the hoopla about BPA—a chemical found in most plastics that acts as an “endocrine disrupter,” especially in developing bodies—I was anti-plastic because (to quote myself in 2010): “It’s in the ocean and turtles eat it. It never fully disintegrates. It’s made out of petroleum.” Well, the BPA angle is looking more significant by the day, and that whole turtle/ocean thing is more of a problem than ever.

    BPA gets into our systems—the CDC found it in the urine of 93% of a survey group, which they consider “representative” of the entire U.S.— in all kinds of ways (including cash register receipts). But per the NIH, the main way it gets into the body is “through the diet,” including food containers, beverage bottles, and, most especially, the “protective internal epoxy resin coatings of canned foods.” Yes, canned foods are the main culprit. Since hearing this, I have cut way down on my canned food consumption—I buy shelf-stable items in jars and make my own soups and beans to freeze. However, I haven’t been able to eliminate them entirely—I’m devoted to light coconut milk (I use it in everything) and occasionally need some pumpkin puree or roasted chilies or a quick can of chili in a pinch. I get all these items from Trader Joe’s, so I decided to just ask: Are all TJ’s canned goods lined with BPA? Here’s the surprisingly detailed answer I got, from Nikki in Customer Relations.  Read on… »

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  • Posted by Califia Suntree on September 9th, 2014, 12:54 PM

    Print is so yesterday–literally, because TODAY my e-cookbook Bring Your Lunch! comes out from Workman Publishing! Download it to your tablet here or anywhere e-books are sold. This book has been percolating in my mind since I moved to New York in 2002 and, as a worker bee editing cookbooks at HarperCollins, saw a profound need for a comprehensive lunch cookbook and guide to brown-bagging. Now, finally, I offer you more than 60 recipes for everything from soups to snacks, plus lunch staples like dressings and sandwich spreads, a complete chapter on the all-important mess kit, and helpful hints galore. Download now, and revolutionize your lunch!

    To tempt you even further, here’s a glimpse of just a few of the recipes on offer–all for a mere $4.99! Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on August 16th, 2014, 5:00 AM

    Celebrate the season by learning to preserve the harvest! Ball hosts today’s International Can-It-Forward Day, with demonstrations and lessons by top canning experts, hosted from New York’s Union Square by Hugh Acheson. Head on over to the live webcast here starting at 10:00 am EST. Highlights include: urban gardening and herb preservation (10:45 am EST) and how to make peach sriracha (!!) with Food in Jars‘ Marisa McClellan.

    I’m also happy to announce the winners of Spooning’s Can-It-Forward recipe contest! Ann Forsthoefel (of Portland, OR) for her Tarragon Beets and Chris Ericsen and Keri Padon (also of Portland, OR) are in the winner’s circle for the second year in a row with their Refrigerator Kimchi. Check back this week for the recipes! They will receive a bounty of Ball goodies, including their new Heritage Collection Spring Green canning jars, an herb preservation kit, and more. Congrats to the winners!

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on August 6th, 2014, 10:49 AM

    Hot kitchens aside, August is the best month to get to canning–what with all those late-season berries softening on the vine, peaches galore, and tomatoes and zucchini going bonkers, you need to preserve the bounty before it’s gone! And nothing brightens a winter day like opening a jar of summertime jam, salsa or pickles. Every year, Ball celebrates the canning season with an event they call Can-It-Forward Day, when they gather in New York’s Union Square for a full day of canning and how-tos, all streamed live on the web. This year’s Day is August 16, the host Hugh Acheson, and the scope international, with events taking place in Canada, South Africa and Australia.

    In honor of the event, and in support of the effort to get everyone to try their hand at canning, Spooning is offering it’s third sort-of annual Canning Recipe Contest. Submit your original (or family-heirloom) canning recipe here (plus a photo, if possible) and you are in the running to win fabulous prizes courtesy of Ball. Two winners will receive an array goodies plus see their recipe published on Spooning! Submit your recipe by Friday, August 15, and be sure to join the Can-It-Forward festivities online on August 16.

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