Late summer means lots of things to me. The kids going back to school. My tomato plants (finally!) bursting with fruit. Attempting to ignore any yearnings for fall by eating as much summer fruit as possible. And, of course, canning. There are not many things as satisfying as hearing the popping sound of jar lids sealing. Canning tomatoes to last us through the winter is now a late summer tradition for me.  Along with tomato canning, I usually like to make at least one or two batches of jam.

If you were to ask me about my happy place, I can assure you that it would involve some really good bread, high quality butter, and excellent jam. The problem is, I always have such a hard time deciding what flavor to make. There are just too many wonderful possibilities! After browsing around a bit, I decided to make something with berries and a hint of lavender.

You may recall that I only recently came around to the idea of lavender in food, but I have to tell you that in this recipe, it’s pretty much perfect. I adore this jam. The initial taste is the floral note of lavender which is quickly replaced by the fresh blueberry flavor and a hint of honey. As much as I love classic unadulterated fruit jam, the lavender does a beautiful job of enhancing the berry flavor here. If you’re on the fence about incorporating floral essences into food, this would be a perfect first recipe to try. And also if you are new to canning, this is a very simple, low complexity recipe that would be great for a beginner. Don’t be scared of canning! I was definitely intimidated by it the first time I tried but, like almost everything in the kitchen, you’ll do just fine if you follow the recipe.

Did you know tomorrow is International Can-it-Forward Day? Perhaps you remember me mentioning it last year? The concept behind this event is to allow home cooks to connect via a series of online parties and in-person activities. This year the main event is taking place at Brooklyn Borough Hall Farmers Market, featuring a live webcast with Bravo’s Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson. The webcast will include canning demos where viewer questions will be answered in real-time by Chef Acheson and other experts while they learn popular (and delicious) home canning recipes. Twenty five farmers markets across the country will also be hosting CanItForward Day celebrations! So, so cool! I love seeing people coming together excited about making and preserving homemade food.  The webcast will start at 10 am EST on Saturday, August 16 and I’ll embed a link once it is live. (Update: Link to live webcast HERE!)

To help celebrate Can-It-Forward Day, Ball is also providing an awesome giveaway for my readers with some great canning supplies and other preserving items to get you started.  Visit the giveaway page to find out more and to enter!