Tigress can jam: a food blog challenge!

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this past few months we’ve talked about the trend of canning, witnessed the beginning of the canvolution and a rise in the blogosphere of a plethora of bloggers who, like me, can’t resist the urge to share about pickling, jamming, mason jars and the like. from fellow preservationists’ blogs devoted mainly to the craft, like food in jars, saving the season, consider the pantry, well preserved, put up or shut up! and doris and jilly cook (whew!) to other crafty cats that count canning high on their list of homesteading and/or cooking skillz, like small measure, urban hennery, gluten free girl & the chef, straight from the farm, etc., etc!

what can i say?

i like this! IMO canning is catching on because even though it harks back to old foodways, it is so right now-

local – i think many of us became interested in canning as an outgrowth of the locavore movement. preserving fresh produce grown in your area is the logical progression. and when you grow your own, and a glut is on, it can become a necessity!

organic – in an effort to control what we eat, be it produce, sweeteners, flavors, etc., when we make it ourselves we know what went into it, and we know how we like it. it’s having a real choice about what we consume.

in season – canning produce in season in a way, keeps it in season all year. ergo a much tastier interpretation of eating seasonally than abstaining altogether but once a year!

humane – i heard tell that veggies get a kick out of being pickled, and fruit, well, who among us canners has not witnessed that barely audible exclamation of fruit about to be jammed, “sweet!”

so in an effort to spread the jam, have some fun, kick-start the 2010 season (because who can wait really?) and inspire even more peeps to get off their cans and get on canning, this is the launch of the first ever tigress’ can jam!

now you understand that this is more about the jam of the can than the can of the jam. meaning, what i am proselytizing about here is canning, namely hot water bath canning so by definition that means that the canning can contain anything that can safely be preserved by the hot water bath method. so i’m talkin’ about sweet or pickled preserves.

here let me explain in more detail:

tigress’ can jam

start: january 1, 2010
end: december 29, 2010

scared?
me too!

The basics

  • each month we’ll focus on one fruit or vegetable to preserve. recipes may include other fruits or veggies but the food of focus must be integral to the preserve, and the recipe must include hot water bath canning.
  • the month’s produce of focus will be announced the last friday of the prior month. (we will rotate the choosers by order of sign up) the focused food cannot be repeated in subsequent months.
  • bloggers will post their recipes on their blogs during the 3rd week of the month with the deadline being friday midnight. (exact dates will be clarified each month when new produce in focus is announced)
  • on the last wednesday of the month i will post a round-up here or here and direct you to the blogger who will announce the next fruit or veggie of focus. said blogger will have until that friday of that last week of the month to announce new focus.

pretty simple huh? there are a couple of other important guidelines:

The local intention

  • though this is not an ‘eat local’ challenge it is understood that in the spirit of the movement the fruit or veggie of focus should generally be in season at that time – at least for the blogger that is choosing that month. my hope is that it will mean that it is in season for many if not most of us.
  • substitutes of food in focus is acceptable only if it really is not in season where you are and you would rather use a fruit or veggie that you can source locally. in this case, effort should be made, if possible, to choose a substitute that is closest to the focused food. and please, don’t let this stop you! we’re learning about canning here people! so can what you can!
  • copy & paste for the ‘leaner’ months. this is a year long challenge and i know that jan, feb, & dec especially pose a problem for many of us in finding local produce. so even if you are the chooser it is understood that there may be months where the choice won’t be local – say citrus in december – but perhaps in season in many parts of the world. (and a fine time to can citrus i may add!)

Not for bloggers only

  • no blog, no worries! you can still participate by following along every month, trying one of the posted recipes or use the fruit or veggie of focus as a jumping off point to finally try your hand at jamming & pickling, or to hone your skills. don’t forget to post your experiences in the comment section on the monthly round-up post on the last wednesday of each month. and hey, come to think of it, give a shout out in the comment section below and state your intention to join in the fun!

other stuff

  • it is my sincere hope that i’ve been compelling enough to inspire some of my fellow canning bloggers to join so that we can inspire each other in the art of canning, share ideas & techniques to improve our craft, and in so doing inspire other food bloggers and those at home who have been intrigued by all those gorgeous photos of jewel-toned jars & glass filled larders to join in the fun!
  • it is also my intention to add some excitement to the mix by bringing in some guests – interviews with experienced canners, question & answer sessions, and you know, maybe a give-away here and there (we like those).
  • oh, and in case you’re asking, “why can all year?” – because it’s a challenge people! and because it’s fun, and by the time summer’s overflowing we won’t feel like lucy & ethel in that famous chocolate factory scene, nope, not us. we’ll be lean, green, cannin’ machines – able to can bushels of produce in a single bound!

if you would like to help spread the jam please copy & paste the html code below to place the tigress’ can jamwidget on your blog (the graphic will show on your blog and it will link back to this post).

sign up

  • deadline for sign up is december 22nd, 2009
  • sign up by sending an email to: tigressinajam(at)ymail(dot)com please put tigress’ can jam as the subject and include your name and blog url.
  • final participant list will be announced on january 1st, 2010 along with the first month’s fruit or vegetable in focus.
12 months, 12 cannings, it’s a can jam people! get your jars ready & screw your lids on tight – ’cause we’re gonna have a ball.
it’s the first ever tigress’ can jam!
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