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I first met Cathy Barrow “virtually” back in 2009. We were both new bloggers. And frequent participants in the recipe contests run by Food52.

In the summer of 2010, Cathy and I made plans to meet up for lunch at The Spotted Pig in NYC. I recall being extremely nervous beforehand: I didn’t know if we’d have anything to talk about! Well, conversation didn’t end up being a problem…we gabbed for hours, and we have been good friends ever since. We’ve roomed together at blogging/writing conferences, we’ve had many more meals together, and I’ve spent the weekend at her lovely home in Washington, DC. And now it is with great pleasure that I get to tell you about Cathy’s newly published cookbook: Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving.

Cathy is truly a preserving maven: she is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the craft of canning. Her first book (I am pretty certain there will be more!) is both beautifully written and photographed (the photos were taken by Christopher Hirscheimer and Melissa Hamilton, the team behind the wildly successful Canal House). If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen and have an interest in preserving fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, canning beans and soups, and making cheese, I think you will love Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry.

One of the things I like most about this book is that it’s not just a collection of preserving techniques. It also includes numerous “bonus” recipes that show you how to use what you have preserved. Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Rugelach, which I made with 2 kinds of jam, is the perfect example.

I’ve sampled Cathy’s jams many times before this book was published and I know them to be exceptional, so I was excited to see her recipe for Straight-Up Preserves with Any Fruit. This is a brilliant recipe that works as a starting point for turning just about any fruit into jam, and Cathy gives many suggestions for herbs, spices, and other flavorings one may use to complement the fruit. With guidance from the book, I made Pear Preserves with Bourbon and Rosemary.


syrup dripping

pear preserves

Then I used some of the pear preserves (along with some of my Preserved Rose Petals) in Cathy’s rugelach.

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2 preserves on dough 1_

2 preserves on dough

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pear preserves + walnuts on dough

These rugelach are really fabulous and I will be making them again and again! I hope you’ll give them a try, and that you will pick up a copy of Cathy’s book.

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  1. 1

    Lynda — November 8, 2014 @ 10:38 am

    I just got a copy of Cathy’s book and I cannot wait to try the recipes. The rugelach are tempting me. It’s fun how F52 has created a blog community – the only downside is being so far from the east coast!

  2. 2

    gluttonforlife — November 9, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

    Winnie, these look so beautiful! Such a lovely tribute to Cathy and her wonderful new book. xo

  3. 3

    people are cooking from the practical pantry | Mrs Wheelbarrow's Kitchen — November 10, 2014 @ 3:32 pm

    […] Winnie Abramson & Healthy Green Kitchen bakes beautiful rugelach  […]

  4. 4

    Anne Kim — November 15, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

    Lovely blog, beautiful photos and clear writing. I appreciate how they all come together to tempt me to try this: perhaps for an alternative Thanksgiving dessert. The ability to change the fillings make it possible to try different flavors, for sure. My sugar-consciousness has eliminated for years the use of jams. However, I an still appreciate what you’ve produced here. Thank you. Anne

  5. 5

    Lisa — November 16, 2014 @ 11:52 am

    This recipe sounds so yummy. I may make these as Holiday gifts. Rugelach always brings back memories of my childhood. Love your blog!

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    elizabeth @LocalSavour — November 19, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    Love this write up, recipe, and Mrs. Wheelbarrow! Well done, Winnie. :)

  7. 7

    eva@myfrontburner — December 8, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

    I’m a big fan of Cathy’s too. Love her blog and book. Very pretty post – the jams look so bright and fresh and I love how you own up to forgetting the egg wash. They still look great!

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    eva@myfrontburner — December 8, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

    Forgot to add in my previous comment that my mom used to live in Olive Bridge (near Stone Ridge- have you heard of it? I’ve spent a lot of time in the area and really loved it and there is some great food happening in them hills.