Welcome to The Preserved Life—a space I created so I can talk about some of my favorite things: growing, preserving, cooking, and eating food. My name is Julia Sforza, and I’m drawn to preserving food in all it’s forms—canning, drying, fermenting, etc. To me, preserving food is an alchemy that makes the vibrancy of life last longer. I feel that way about writing as well. It’s short, this time we get, and all my life I’ve been writing things down so I can hold onto that time a little bit longer. My preserving is connected to that: every time a jar of food that I have prepared is opened it reminds me of another time. I love that feeling.
I’ve worked with food ever since I can remember: as a child at both parent’s sides–both excellent cooks–learning all they could show me, then as a teenager in various restaurants with numerous talented people which set the stage for the varied gigs I held as an adult. My focus all these years has been on home cooking and local foods. For a long time I wrote the canning-centric blog, What Julia Ate. I started it in earnest in 2008 when I had my son. There’s still a lot of good stuff there, but in 2014 I felt like I needed a new space, and so this was created.
While writing What Julia Ate, I started an award-winning sweet preserves company called Half-Pint Preserves. Half-Pint’s jams were cooked in small batches, using local Hudson Valley fruit, organic sugar and no commercial pectin. Half-Pint won the Good Food Awards two years in a row for Strawberry Rhubarb Rose Petal Jam, 2012 and Apple Plum Star Anise Jelly, 2013. I closed Half-Pint Preserves in May 2016 to pursue other delicious goals.
Last fall I was profiled by the extremely talented writer Eve Fox. It was a real feather in my cap to be showcased in the highly regarded Edible Hudson Valley magazine!
I live in the Hudson Valley of New York with my husband, our son and a cat. We live on a few acres, and I have been cultivating a large garden and many fruit plants with varying degrees of success over the past ten years. It’s great knowing that people are actually out there reading this, so leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!