Tag Archives | mastery challenge round-up

May Mastery Challenge Round-Up: Cold Pack Preserving

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The May cold pack challenge is over and it’s time to round-up our results. This challenge wasn’t as popular as those in past months, which I sort of expected. Cold pack preserving isn’t as exciting as some of the other skills we’ve tackled, and for lots of you, it was hard to find good seasonal produce which was appropriate for cold packing. Perhaps it wasn’t the best choice for May. Live and learn!

This month, just 92 people submitted their finished projects. Asparagus was the most popular ingredient to cold pack (which is appropriate since it was in season in many parts of the country in May). Other popular varieties of produce last month were Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, green beans, jalapeños, okra, red onion, and tomatoes.

From the data that you all reported this month, it looks like most of you weren’t moved to make more than one batch. However, from the optional comments, it sounds like a lot of you are looking forward to trying out this skill later in the season when there’s more that’s appropriate for cold packing.

One thing that I found interesting was that many of the participants felt mixed towards cold packing at the start of the challenge. Which I get. It’s not one of the sexier food preservation skills.

Happily, those of you who tried it seemed to shift to the more positive end of the spectrum by the end of the month. Which is always what I’m hoping for!

Here’s hoping that the June jam challenge will appeal to a larger swath of folks and that our participation numbers will be back up in the next month!

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Veg

Fruit

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Mastery Challenge January Round-up: Marmalade

Well friends, I think we can safely say that the first month of the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge was a resounding success. Currently, there are just over 1,500 of you signed up via our email list and nearly 600 of you submitted a project for the final tally and round-up.

You turned blueberries, bergamot, cherries, clementines, cranberries, figs, ginger, grapefruit, key limes, kiwis, kumquats, lemons, limes (Persian, Bearss, and Makrut varieties all abound), mangoes, Meyer lemon (the most popular single fruit variety in the challenge), onions, oranges (including blood, Cara Cara, honeybell, mandarin, Minneola, navel, satsuma, and Seville), pears, pineapple, pomelo, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, tangelo, yuzu, and zucchini.

There were also a few unexpected ingredients, including champagne, rice wine vinegar, and a grudging willingness to participate (I saw that, Janet).

For 61% of you, this was the first time you ever attempted to make marmalade. The remaining 39% of you who had done it before. And while I’m not a statistician, I do believe that the charts above tell us that most of you are feel more warmly towards marmalade than you did at the beginning of January.

Now, on to the marmalades. Because of the high number of participants, I’m not able to include everyone in the round-up. But I am going to do my best to ensure that a goodly number of you are represented here.

Blood Orange Marmalades

Slivers of blood oranges on their way to becoming marmalade – Kitchen Commentary

Cara Cara Oranges

Cooking down the lemons – My Bit of Earth

Oranges

Grapefruit

Lemon (Meyer and Other)

Lemon and mango marmalade – Sidewalk Shoes

Other Assorted Sweet Marmalades

Savory Marmalades

A huge thank you to all of you who participated in this challenge! So sorry that I wasn’t able to include everyone in the round-up, but if I didn’t get to you this month, I’ll do my best to include you next time!

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