About Marisa

I was born in Hollywood and lived in Eagle Rock, CA until I was almost 9 years old. My parents had been looking for a way to escape the smog and rot of LA when my mom had a dream about living someplace with snow-capped mountains. They looked around, checked out Portland and about a year later we were living there. More than 25 years later, they are still there.

I went to Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA and while I love the west coast, after college, I was looking to be someplace else. About three months after I graduated, I came to Philly to visit my grandmother (both sides of my family are from here), and as I got off the plane I knew I had to move. It was like I had been hit in the head with with a long, heavy piece of wood, so powerful was the message. Always one to try to listen to the little dribbles of guidance the universe sends my way, I transplanted myself to the east coast.

After 12 years, four jobs, a stint in grad school, an exploding freelance career, two cookbooks, a husband and the same old 1992 station wagon finally a new car, it still feels like the right choice.

I have a younger sister who is a folk singer and I write about her on occasion. In addition to all her musical talents, she has the best head of hair I’ve ever seen close up. If she wasn’t my sister, I’d be really jealous. In November 2011, Raina and her husband Andrew had a baby and named him Emmett. He inherited Raina’s amazing hair and I adore him. They live in Austin, TX, which is entirely too far away.

I started this blog as a way to help me figure out what I want to do with my life and I’m happy to report that things are actually working out pretty well in that department. After finishing a Masters in Writing at St. Joseph’s University in December 2007, I went to work at the agency that promotes Philadelphia as a tourist destination. I was there until August 2011 when a layoff forced me to dive fully into the freelance world. It stung at the time, but turned out that they had really just set me free.

I now make my living writing about food and teaching canning classes. You can find my work on The Food Network, Saveur’s website, Table Matters, and in Food 52′s Small Batch series. I’ve also written two cookbooks dedicated to canning and preserving. The first, called Food in Jars came out in May 2012. The second, called Preserving by the Pint, will hit stores on March 25, 2014. I’m currently working on the proposal for another book.

Here’s where you can find me on social media:

Flickr | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Tumblr

If you want to get in touch, feel free to shoot me an email at apt2024 AT gmail dot com.

13 thoughts on “About Marisa

  1. Cynthia Marx

    Hi Marissa, I have been doing some research about blogs because I, too, want to write one. So, I researched blog titles like: most beautiful, utopia, writers (don’t go there!), art, food, etc. Then I just decided I would search “old fashioned” because all I really want to do is write a reflection a day along with a photo. I found your blog and enjoyed reading about your food interests and journey to Philadelphia. My sister is also a singer, though she does not make a living at now. I know where Eagle Rock is because I had a friend who lived there, when I lived in Sierra Madre while attending Pasadena High School…But that was a very long time ago. Since then I have lived in New York for many years, then in Silverdale, WA. I’ve been to Walla Walla. Love the Columbia Valley. Today, I am an English and History teacher in Juneau, AK. This is a temporary position while I sort out a new direction for the last half of my life. Anyway, just saying thanks for your inspiration. I’m not expecting a reply. It feels strange writing to a complete stranger, but I guess that is the way of blogs. Cynthia

    1. Brandee

      I found Marisa’s Food in Jars on accident, and follow her almost (embarrassingly) religiously. I love her writing. I recently started a food blog for my friends and family….none of whom actually read it. It;s amateurish. But I enjoy it, when I get a chance to write.
      I’m responding to you because I lived in Silverdale for 10 years. Born in SoCal, raised in Eastern WA, after Silverdale spent a few years in Hawai’i, and now am in Ohio.
      You’d think I would have a endless supply of material for my blog. Ha!
      I’d love to share ideas.

      1. Mary Ann Sweeney

        I don’t believe in ‘accidents’ (unless their physical). I too, ‘stumbled’ upon this website while I was frantically searching for how to can produce that I’ve grown this summer for the first time in my life (I’m almost 76). I love this site, and I’ve come to love Marissa just through it. I may never meet her because I live about 350 miles northwest of Philly (originally a Bronx girl – never been to Philly), but her words, encouragement and recipes with all the interesting info added are a joy to behold to this old lady just beginning the best part of my life! Thank you, Marissa!

  2. Almaz

    I heart this blog. Not just because you write it but because the images are stunning (simple, sublime, evocative) and the writing is straight forward. It’s just delicious.

  3. sandra

    i just found this site and your canning food site and your photos are just beautiful! especially the simple pics of drinks, plates of food, etc. do you carry a camera around with you all the time? thanks for sharing your life with all of us who visit with you through your words!!

    1. Marisa Post author

      Sandra, thanks for the comment! I’m so happy to hear that you like what I do here. I do have a camera with me nearly all the time. I’m totally in love with capturing moments of life.

  4. Justine

    I’m so glad I found your blogs! They are quite inspiring! I’ve just set my foot on my first garden here at our new home and I’m excited about the outlook! Canning may be in my near future! What a great place to go to for information! Thank you!

  5. Mark Rohr

    So glad I found an urban canner, and here in my city as well! At the ripe young age of 48 I have discovered canning! Always a cook (amateur), I canned for the first time last week to cope with sneaky apple picking friends who took us picking and then stealthily left the apples they’d picked along with the ones we picked into our car before we left for home. Suddenly we had a bushel or so on our hands (frankly I wouldn’t know a bushel if I was peeing in one – but I am learning (and digressing)). Now we have about 15 qts of applesauce and a 19 month old who loves the stuff. It was fun but once I learned that meat can also be canned my thoughts turned to advance food preparation for our annual Fall Festivus. The idea of cooking for 50 in advance and then just popping lids and rewarming was much more exciting than the prospect of reheating bags of advance prepared frozen foods. So my All American 21 qt pressure canner arrived today and the canning adventures are to begin in earnest.

    So where can I buy your book locally? I like to support my local talent and book sellers and with your resume it sounds like you know you cans. More importantly, once I have the book can I get you to sign it (just kidding… mostly)? Good luck to you in all things.

  6. Marisa

    Greetings from a fellow Marisa. I wonder if you pronounce your name like mine (mah-REE-sah). I stumbled upon your blog by chance while googling my name. I think I will stay a while and peruse. Best wishes from hot and humid California!

  7. Danita Day

    Marissa, I have followed your canning blog for a few years now and had no idea you also had a personal blog. I was looking for a fermenting recipe idea for this month’s challenge and went down the internet rabbit hole ending up here. I read your post on Sue Grafton and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed her books. I have been a long time fan of her work and was lucky enough to attend an author reading she did many years ago at Bookpeople in Austin. Anyway, I just wanted to leave a quick reply and say hello.


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