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Handmade Holiday: Food in Jars


Learn to have a can-do attitude

Featured Artisan: Marisa McClellan

Knowing where your food comes from makes it taste better, and being part of the process is even more rewarding. That’s where home canning comes in. It not only preserves garden fresh foods through the winter months but also gives you complete control—and might even save you a few bucks.

In her blog,, Marisa McClellan documents her adventures in canning. A compulsive jar collector, McClellan “owns more jars than she’d like to admit.” Canning was a part of life growing up in Oregon, where her mother always made jams. Now a web producer, food writer and photographer, McClellan is continuing the family tradition and passing it along to fellow Philadelphians.

“It’s fun and rewarding,” says McClellan. “When you do it yourself, it makes you appreciate your food. Plus, people are so impressed when they receive something you’ve canned—and it’s really not hard to do.”

McClellan teaches classes at Foster’s Homeware and has done demonstrations at Philly Kitchen Share. She’s also available for private lessons. McClellan stresses the importance of canning what’s in season and utilizes the freshest local ingredients. She plans to offer marmalade classes in January, when citrus is at its peak, and there are future plans for condiment classes, with instructions for making mustards and mayonnaise.

For class schedules and information on private lessons, visit

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