It's no secret that I am inspired by fellow foodies, moms who cook, food swappers and the people I've gotten to meet and know along the way because well, my kitchen has basically turned into my (home--well only) office.
For the 1st time in almost 5 years, I didn't go to the International Housewares Show here in Chicago. It was just a crazy weekend for us with kiddo stuff going into a busy week but I did pay attention to those who did go and posted pictures. And Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars had a few photos that caught my eye. With good reason!
Marisa's new book, "Preserving by the Pint" just came out and I'd already heard some rave reviews so it went into my cart on Amazon.com. And sat, for a day or so. And then she posted a photo from the show of a curious little pot. Very simple, straight forward but very multi-tasking. So I looked it up on Amazon.com added it to the cart. And they both sat. For just about a day if even that.
Well, my package with both arrived on Friday and I've already made one recipe from her book and used the pot for canning said recipe, cooking pasta, fish and chips and it's only Sunday afternoon! And the Kuhn Rikon, 4th Burner Pot is teeny (albeit 12 cup capacity) in comparison to what I normally use (note, my 25 qt pressure cooker is not in the photo) for canning but did the trick!
Marisa's introduction..."When I first started canning, I made huge batches of jam..." hmmm, sounds familiar as well her lament to the sticky mess it makes in the home office. Yes, I know that all too well! And I've always gone on the, if you're going to make a mess, make a huge one and then clean it up mentality. Well, now that I'm in the kitchen experimenting 7 days a week it seems, that doesn't work as well anymore and I needed a bit of a tweak to get me out of that mentality.
I can't say I'm going to give up my larger batch canning projects but as I continue to expand my canning and cooking genre, honestly, I wouldn't have even thought to scale down like this. Rather ironic--expand and scale down but it all makes perfectly good sense! It is also a reminder that my first dinner parties were cooked in a dorm community kitchen with zero budget and zero margin for error and in small apartment spaces in my native SF. No granite countertop, no fancy equipment or pots and pans. Just what one had procured from mom's cabinet or borrowed from a friend. I can thankfully justify every bit of equipment I have gotten over the years from wedding presents to the latest Amazon.com purchase but it's good to be reminded that my love for cooking and food didn't start off with any of it. And no, I am not giving any of it up!
Thank you Marisa for continuing to inspire and to the others who fed my love for cooking as well and yes, do check out her book and this really, awesome not-so-little multifunctional pot. You will not be disappointed!