I have often wanted to make my own ketchup, butter and jam, but I assumed that canning would be a complicated affair and never seriously considered it until I came across Marisa McClellan’s “Food in Jars.” The book covers just about everything you can preserve in jars, breaking down the basics and pointing out the surprising possibilities. It has changed the way I look at grocery shopping; I am seeking more and more control over the flavors and quality of what I feed myself and my loved ones. McClellan’s book contains over 100 recipes, including sections on jams, marmalades, syrups, pickles, salsas, nut butters and more. I was particularly excited to learn how to make my own vanilla extract. Who knew it only takes vodka and vanilla beans? This holiday season, I just might try giving foods preserved in my own kitchen. As my parents always said, there’s no better gift than one that you made yourself.