Nice place to be in a jam…or pickle

selections at the triangle canning swap

The first thing I noticed that was different about this year’s Triangle Canning Swap was the spread of jars and bottles on the table – it must have been twice as big as in 2011. (Thanks to greeneatsblog for organizing.)

Canning has become hip, hot and happening. I’m not sure what my canning-crazy grandmother would have said about coconut-banana jam, but it looked really good. As did brandied cherries, peach-bourbon butter, lavender-mint-raspberry jam, dilly beans, homemade ginger beer, salsas, tomato chutneys and the other goodies.

You can even subscribe to a jam-of-the-month club through This & That Jam of Durham. Read more about that here.

I’ve canned pickles, jams and jellies for years, and I’m glad so many people are discovering what fun it is – and how excited others are to get a little jar of something homemade as a gift. Really, people kind of freak out about it. Some friends and I will be spending a big chunk of this weekend making our famous relish. The favored few who have received it before say it should be classified as a controlled substance.

I took my blackberry-Earl Grey jelly, classic bread-and-butter pickles, and lavender-lemon jelly to the swap. I came home with balsamic-bell pepper jelly, green fig-apple-Calvados jam, and heirloom tomato-basil jam.