Giveaway: Gloria Nicol's preserving book & Ball's vintage edition jars

Spring is here, for many of us (sorry snowy midwest!), which means fruit is on its way. I’m excited to offer up a preserving book from an e-friend in the UK, Gloria Nicol, whose lovely blog I’ve tracked for some time now. When browsing in a local shop for resources supporting my kitchen book research, I came across her book:

And absolutely fell in love with the simplicity and style of her recipes.

They’re fruit-forward and elegant; I think this is another great book to have when considering what delicious end your strawberries or [insert fruit/veg] might face. Thanks to CICO Books, and her publisher’s US office, I have a copy to send you!

As a bonus, courtesy of our friends over at Ball, I’m also able to toss in a flat of their newly-released Heritage Collection jars. They’re blue, like the old quart jars I’ve been collecting from every antique shop I run across. These limited-edition jars come six to a case and match year-appropriate writing for the 100-year anniversary of Ball “perfect mason” jars. Read more about them here.

Ball also announced that their lids no longer contain BPA in the sealing rubber effective last fall. New packaging is rolling out this spring indicating the omission of the toxic plasticizer. Good news for us!

Back to the book and considerations for what you’re going to put in your brand new, not-chipped, old-timey jars.

Reading Gloria’s book is like going on a trip overseas and visiting your cool aunt. She takes you to the market (you probably ride cute, old bikes), she feeds you scones and lets you taste a bite from all the jars from the pantry.

Here are a few highlights from the book, which features lovely photography and a blend of unique and classic flavor ideas.

I made her strawberry jam last weekend with our stash of berries and it was a vibrant and dazzling spread.

I love the nectars section!

Yes, she’s in the UK, where preserving practices differ from our USDA-prescribed methods, but you need not worry about safety. Either reduce the recipe and stash your jars in the fridge, or (ever so blasphemously) just process the jams or chutneys according to waterbath times listed for other US-published recipes of the same fruit jam. (Pretty much any jam gets a 10-minute processing time…)

For shipping reasons, we’re asking for entrants from the US & Canada only. Sorry international loves. Please enter by Friday, April 5, 2013 at midnight CST by leaving a comment below telling me about traditions, anything large or small that you’re continuing or bringing back with your family or within your friend circle. Good luck! (p.s. if you don’t leave your email address in the little box where the comment form asks for it, you won’t win because I can’t track you down otherwise)