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Writing The Canning Kitchen - winter update

Early January and my upcoming canning book is in full production mode. You might not think there'd be a lot to can in winter, but it's peak citrus season at the moment so I'm squeezing and peeling and slicing my way through the marmalade chapter of The Canning Kitchen (to be published by Penguin Canada next year).

The first thing I did when I started work on the book back in the fall was to get myself set up with some great gear. I got a new laptop (finally, no more flickering screen), some simple new foodtography props, plus jars, jars and more jars. I was writing in the corner of my kitchen, which is more like a sauna these days, until Mr. Feedbag finished making me this gorgeous little writing desk over the holidays. Cute, huh? Now I can write away in comfort in a designated space while watching the seasons change on the old birch tree. I may even be using the table top in some of the book's photos.

I also have a new tablet that I'm completely attached to lately. Staples sent me a Google Nexus to try out and, well, I pure love it. I had another tablet before, but this one has an incredibly clear screen, it's light weight so I can hold it in one hand for photos on the fly in the kitchen, and the camera is great (I swear I'm not being paid to say this). The best part is Mr. Feedbag put a turquoise cover for it under the Christmas tree so now it's super duper cute too.

Even before the book project came along, I used to dream at night about recipe ideas. These days it's dreams about marmalade recipes (should I use pineapple or ginger in this one?) and nightmares about showing up at my green grocer and finding out they've sold all the Meyer lemons. Just call me Marmalady, I guess, because I'm happily up to my ears in the stuff like a pig in... mudalade. See? It's a condition. And the only cure is more marmalade.

Finding the time to work on the book has been the biggest challenge so far. With two little kiddies, including one that's still at home with me full-time, I'm doing most of my canning and writing on weekends when Mr. Feedbag is home from work. During the week, I carve out times to do some photo shoots and plan ahead for my next canning/writing day. I'm on target for timing so far. I figure I'm about 40 per cent done the book's recipes and so, so close to being done the marmalade chapter. I'm in love with the flavours in this chapter and I hope you will be too.

So, that's what's happening in the canning kitchen lately. New gear (even though my fancy laptop's fingerprint reader struggles to recognize my citrus-soaked right index finger now), never enough jars and never enough time, but so much fun and great food. To me, there's nothing more lovely on a winter's day than filling jars with beautiful food.

Are you doing any winter canning? Got any New Year's resolutions in your kitchen? Leave a comment and spill all.