April Can Jam: Herbs!

Wedding favors

T.S. Elliot wrote, “April is the cruellest month.” I believe him to be correct, particularly when it comes to seasonal fruits and vegetables. It’s the month in which we (particularly the more northerly ones of us) plant and hope, dreaming of asparagus, strawberries, peaches and corn, but without any measurable (or at least, edible) yield.

And so, as the Tigress and I considered our April Can Jam options, we settled on herbs as the month’s ingredient. They’re widely available even in this time of seasonal anticipation, work in both sweet and savory applications and will be particularly terrific for those of you in warmer climates who already have some lovely fruits and spring vegetables to play with.

Do remember that whatever you make has to be suitable for water bath processing. This means no infused oils or pestos, as they can’t be processed and have a fairly limited refrigerator life.

April posts must go live between Sunday, April 18th and midnight on Friday, April 23rd.

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

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30 Responses to April Can Jam: Herbs!

  1. 1

    Oh my gosh! I *knew* you had something up your sleeve! I’m going to the bookstore tonight! I need ideas!

  2. 2

    Whoa! Herbs! What a concept! I have herbs in my container garden but no clue what to can with them. I’m with Carter! Time to go to the bookstore. This will be fun!

  3. 3

    I was hoping we’d get herbs for one of our 12 labours. My mind races to lavender, but I should maybe hold my horses and think a bit further. Maybe now’s the time to open a jar of my lemon balm jelly from last summer and see how it turned out. Thanks!

    BTW, love the charoses idea!

  4. 4
    Ted Fristrom says:

    Check out Jerry Traunfeld’s The Herbfarm Cookbook and the Herbal Experience if you haven’t already. I’ll probably do a blog post on them when Ann and I get around to planting our own herbs this season.

  5. 5

    Sweet! I’m eyeing the yard now. What will it be – lavender? Chervil? Lemon Verbena? Maybe mint? I’ve had something like this on my to do list since fall so it works out perfectly!

  6. 6
    Mama Urchin says:

    Oooh, I haven’t made herb jelly in a while. Yum.

  7. 7
    callyn says:

    I am a little anxious to get preserving so I dug out the two bags of frozen cranberries yesterday and made some chutney.
    Next up, something with herbs. I have an idea or two I have been wanting to try.

  8. 8
    Susan says:

    I’m just a beginner, and not a food blogger. (Except on my facebook page – just bragging to my friends!) But, I just bought two big bunches of mint to use making grapefruit-mint marmalade. I’ll infuse the sugar first, then tie the leaves in cheese cloth. I can’t wait to see what you all do!

  9. 9
    Julia says:

    So brilliant! This just totally opens the door on so many possibilities. Almost daunting in its breadth. Does this mean both fresh and dried?

  10. 10
    Amy O'Kane says:

    they look great and I like the soil being exposed.

  11. 11
    dogear6 says:

    I did some herb canning last summer – simple mint syrup as well as a peach mint salsa. Both were great and very much enjoyed over the winter. There is also a basil jelly recipe (I believe in Ball) that looks good for a meat glaze.

  12. 12

    […] I was pleasantly surprised to visit Food in Jars this morning and discover that next month’s Can Jam ingredient will be . . . (Insert […]

  13. 13
    Talia says:

    Very exciting! I have one herb based item on my list of want to cans already, will think of more!!

  14. 14
    Emily says:

    Well, I did not sign up to participate in the Can Jam officially, but I’ve been playing at home. ;) I did a lot of citrus in January and in March my 6 year old sous chef and I made a red onion-lemon zest jelly that was a big hit. But I admit, I’m not sure what to do with herbs other than mint jelly. Time to research!

  15. 15
    Mimi says:

    Ooooh, I have a couple of ideas! Awesome! Thank you!

  16. 16

    Hmmmmm. Given my aversion to liquid pectin, this will take some doing. Perhaps a lemon-balm-mint chutney of some sort??

  17. 17

    I’m so glad I checked back in to see your comments. I experimented with liquid pectin last month and have a good amount left to use up. For some reason mint jelly hadn’t occurred to me as an option for this challenge, but it’s one of my favorite jellies of all time! I cannot wait to hit up the market tomorrow and get cracking!

  18. 18

    […] is rapidly approaching (just two more weeks)! If you’re still stumped for ideas as to how to incorporate herbs into a canning recipe, I’ve got the perfect book for […]

  19. 19

    […] 18, 2010 by local kitchen April’s Can Jam assignment was herbs, which are, according to the Tigress “generally considered the […]

  20. 20

    […] tigress canjam time again and the ingredient of the month is herbs — Food in Jars and Tigress in a jam both have posts about this month’s challenge with lots of tips, thoughts […]

  21. 21

    […] a fruit or vegetable each month, and all the participants have to come up with interesting recipes. This month’s focus is: herbs. My first thought was: it’s possible to can herbs???? Then I flipped through the […]

  22. 22

    […] this month’s Tigress’ Can Jam, Marisa at Food in Jars has declared the focus to be on herbs. An excellent choice that opened the doors up wide to experimentation. Herbs are what make hundreds […]

  23. 23

    […] of apple butter in the pantry and I had my brain percolating over April’s Can Jam assignment: herbs.  Apple Rosemary Jelly fit the bill […]

  24. 24

    […] of Food in Jars, decided to really thrown down the gauntlet with a canning challenge that completely baffled […]

  25. 25

    […] artisanal preserves, in favor of my work-a-day, practical, frugal canned goods. I have been a fool. Food in Jar’s announcement of herbs as the starring ingredient for the April canjam practically gave me hives. I found the admonition […]

  26. 26

    […] month’s CanJam roundup — hosted by Marisa at Food in Jars — focuses on herbs, a fitting subject for a month when many canners have little fresh produce […]

  27. 27

    I love this theme! I am definitely going to do more herb-flavored preserves. :)

    I couldn’t decide whether to go sweet or savory so I did one of each, tarragon pickled asparagus, and tarragon-Champagne jelly:
    http://marriedwithdinner.com/2010/04/23/tarragon-pickles-tarragon-jelly/

  28. 28

    […] hello.  This is about TCJ.  Okay, right.  Sorry.  So this month is all about Herbs for Tigress’ Can Jam.  My herbs of choice seem to be cilantro, mint and tarragon.  Mint was the first thing to pop […]

  29. 29

    […] Blue . . . (April Can Jam) When the Can Jam ingredient was unveiled here I was both excited (because I have lots of herbs growing) and anxious (because I had no idea what […]

  30. 30

    […] having known about the April Can Jam challenge for more than a month (I helped pick the topic, after all), I still waited until the VERY last minute to make my jam. What can I say, I’m […]

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