I am thrilled to introduce Sarah B Hood as the author of this week's Featured Blog.  Sarah writes about local, sustainable, organic and artisanal food and wine; recipe experiments; food preserving and history; tastings and classes; street eats; amazing chefs; great restaurants and unforgettable meals on her blog Toronto Tasting Notes where she covers all things delicious around Toronto and abroad. Her slogan? Eat locally, blog globally! Sarah is also the author of a number of books and articles.

I have met Sarah a couple of times and am always impressed with her energy in championing all that's local.

Sarah's latest book We Sure Can! is a true reflection of her passion for this movement and celebrates the ongoing "Canvolution," in which everyone from urban "preservationists," local-food aficionados, rural picklers and jammers, and food bloggers are rediscovering the vanishing art of home canning jams, pickles, and other preserves, often featuring unexpectedly exotic spices and ingredients.  The book features over 100 recipes as well as practical and important information and safety tips for those wanting to start canning produce at home.

As well as her tireless work to promote the local food movement, Sarah has served as editor of three national Canadian magazines, and published articles in dozens of periodicals, including Canada's National Post, to which she contributes the regular column "Clerk". She has been shortlisted for both the National Magazine Awards and the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards for business writing.   Sarah also writes for numerous trade publications and carries out research and writing projects for corporate clients.  She currently lectures on writing, arts and culture in the Centre for Arts and Design at Toronto's George Brown College. She also spent five years training online writers at Suite101.com, and is available for seminars on these subjects, as well as media relations, cross cultural marketing and related topics.  She literally is a Jill of all trades.

RELATED:  Featured member blog: Cheap Ethnic Eatz

Sarah is a self-taught canner (making her book even more impressive than it already is!) so if you are like me and haven't ventured in to the magical world of jams and jellies and preserving, there's hope for us yet!  For those of you wishing to try canning for the first time, Sarah has these words of wisdom which she shared over on Member Suzie Ridler's blog last week:

The standard advice is to do it with someone else who already knows how, and, while I agree, that's not what I did myself. I got a well recommended book and read through the part about food safety three or four times, until I was sure I understood the basic concepts. But the other key thing would be to give yourself lots of time. You shouldn't have anything else big planned the first day you ever try it, and you shouldn't wait until bedtime to get started, if you can possibly help it.

Sarah takes "we sure can" literally - in 2010 she completed the "Tigress Can Jam" challenge - 12 months, 12 preserves. and this year, she is participating in Charcutepalooza  this year -her enthusiasm for these locavore challenges is impressive.

Check out her blog for delicious recipes and follow her on Twitter to find out what's happening in Toronto and beyond.  You can also check out "We Sure Can" on Chapters or Amazon.

Featured Blogs will be a regular feature on the FBC website.  If you know of a blog that deserves some love, let us know!

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So I had added this book to my Christmas wish list. I love the idea of canning but have always been a little afraid to do it. Mostly I think because I won’t do it properly and end up food-poisoning my family and friends! Hoping Santa brings me this and I can get over that fear.

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