Brook Hurst Stephens

Brook Hurst Stephens

Brook Hurst Stephens.

That’s Brook. She joined our ranks this spring and our only regret is why it took so long for us to meet. Her passion for preserving is infectious, and we think you’ll agree when you meet her on Can-It-Forward Day. Brook has a lively blog aptly named Learn to Preserve, where she’s constantly sharing the lessons learned at the stove.

What inspires her to can:
Growing up in the Wenatchee Valley of Washington state, everyone had a fruit tree in their back yard, if not an entire orchard. As a child, many of my friends had rows of beautiful jars of homemade pickles, jams, and fruit butter in their pantries. To me, all of that homemade goodness was irresistibly delicious, and more than once I invited myself to someone’s house for an "after-school snack" based mainly on the fact that their mom made the best sweet syrupy peaches or bread & butter pickles.

Since a young age, I've enjoyed gardening and cooking; these two things seemed to progress naturally to learning how to preserve. Once I discovered how to duplicate the magical alchemy of fruit + sugar + heat = jam in my own kitchen, I became obsessed with preserving.

Today I find my inspiration all around me, all year-round. Whether it’s the wild huckleberries on your walk through the woods, the unwanted crab apples from a neighbor’s tree, or one of the many farms and farmers markets in Washington state, I promise you can find something to “put up” on a daily basis.

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