April 2019 Mastery Challenge Round-up

April 30, 2019

Friends! April is over and thus wraps up the fourth month of the Mastery Challenge. This time, we focused on using and transforming the preserves in our pantries.

This time around, we had nearly 90 people report that they made nearly 200 dishes. There were three frozen treats, four batches of compound butter, five batches of cocktails, 7 marinades, 10 loaves of bread, 11 cheese plates, 12 vinaigrettes, 14 pies or tarts, 24 batches of cookies, 27 savory sides, and 41 savory mains.

There were also 34 projects that didn’t fall into the categories I offered. All told, that’s a lot of preserves in action!

As is so often the case, attitudes at the start of the month were mixed. A healthy portion of you felt good about the topic, but the rest were all over the board.

Happily, by the end of the month, the majority of you who participated felt really good about cooking with preserves. I’m kind of delighted with how positive the results were this time around.

For the visually inclined among you, here’s a pie chart of the dish breakdown.

The photo above from @genaboehme includes a Victoria Sandwich with strawberry-rhubarb jam, a cheese plate with marmalade glazed nuts, French onion soup with turkey stock from last Thanksgiving’s bird, and quinoa salad with preserved lemon, pickled onions, and other odds and ends.

From @nadia_c_hassani, a Raspberry Almond Vacherin featuring her homemade red currant jelly.

Finally, from @oregoncolette, a batch of asian ginger soy-sauce chicken (sounds delicious!). Now, some comments from this month!

Thanks for pushing me to work through the crazy amount of pesto in our freezer! Still going strong…

Maia from Berkeley, CA

While I always cook from my larder, I tend to use my canned items first, and let my freezer items languish. As we enter berry season, freezer space is desperately needed, so I chose to use this months challenge to work down my freezer preserves! It worked out wonderfully, though this challenge might carry over into the next month as freezer space is still a bit tight 😉

Beth from Oregon

One of the main reasons I do preserving projects is so I can produce unique dishes… so I enjoyed seeing all the ways other people were using things up. I’m still rationing some preserves until their ingredients are in season, though!

Maxine from Vermont

To see more of what your fellow Mastery Challenge participants made this month, make sure to check out the #fijchallenge feed on Instagram and join the Food in Jars Community group on Facebook!

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