Ever since June rolled into town, I’ve been finding myself thinking about last year’s Mastery Challenge. I really loved the feeling of canning along with so many of you throughout 2017 and have been missing that feeling of so many of being part of a canning collective. I’ve also felt sort of sad that I never rounded up that project in a comprehensive way (I was so deep in the book writing process by the end of 2017 that I just couldn’t manage).
And so, I’ve decided to bring it back, albeit in a slightly scaled down format. Here’s the plan. Once a month, we’ll focus on a different category of produce (except in September, where we’re switching to a category of preserve). I will try to do my best to make the topics open enough that they work for everyone, regardless of location (though those of you in the Southern Hemisphere might need to think creatively or use frozen fruit).
I won’t do a comprehensive monthly round-up. Instead, use the tag #cantogether on social media and I’ll do my best to retweet and share. I will occasionally do a post on the site featuring some of the preserves you all have made, but knowing the way I function, I can’t promise it will be precisely at the end of each month.
Here’s what I’m thinking for topics. These might shift and change a little as people give me feedback about what works for them.
June – Berries
July – Stonefruit
August – Tomatoes
September – Pickles, Chow Chow, and Relish (produce selection is maker’s choice)
October – Apples and pears (I recommend chutney!)
November – Cranberries
December – Citrus
Since we’re already so far into this month, I’m not going to give you too much guidance beyond the suggestion that you make something with berries. High sugar, low sugar, naturally sweetened, jam, butter, sauce or whole fruit preserve. The selection is up to you. The goal is to have fun and make the world feel a little smaller by canning together.
The lineup looks good for me. I’m in Michigan so the seasonal fruit comes in a little later than Philadelphia. I’m macerating fruit for strawberry-rhubarb jam that I’ll cook up tomorrow morning.
I love this idea. I made a plan to can once a month this year. I’ve been waiting for rhubarb to be available and now plan to make either strawberry rhubarb or bluebarb jam in the coming week. I am not on social media. But would love to know what other people are canning.
What is bluebarb jam? Sound delicious! I love rhubarb but not strawberries, so I’m always looking for a way to use it differently.
Typically, bluebarb refers to a jam made out of a combination of blueberries and rhubarb!
Thanks Marisa, that sounds delicious!
As Marisa said, Bluebarb is a blueberry rhubarb jam. It is very tasty. And can be made with frozen fruit. That’s a good thing because sometimes it’s hard to find fresh blueberries and rhubarb at the same time. AND one of my very best friends loves it and her name is Barb. She feels as if the jam is made just for her!
does anyone have a recipe to share for the bluebarb! I want it!! sounds yummy!!
jill in california
Oh yes! I would love a recipe too!
Loving this idea! Gives me an excuse to go crazy at the Farmer’s Market…not that I really need one!
Is it cheating if I do my recipes for the freezer rather than canning? (ie: freezer jam). I have an upright freezer, and I do not have air conditioning. ?
Freezer jam is welcome!
Great. Now I have to make a plan! Strawberries just came into season here in Rochester, NY!
Sigh! They’re done here in central North Carolina! I just bought a last quart of beautiful little ones.
Yes! Just started my jam season planning- this will help me focus. Really like the idea of one jam task per month!
I love this! I post pictures all the time so now a designated # Awesome!
Oh, that is wonderful, I have really missed the challenge from last year. It helps keep me motivated to can.
I have a mountain of blueberries after a very “fruitful” visit to our local U-pick. I was about to try a batch of jam using your recipe sweetened with juice concentrate, but alas, after visiting 4 grocery stores I cannot find white grape juice concentrate. Would apple juice concentrate be a suitable sub? ….similar acid level?
Apple juice isn’t quite as sweet. With blueberries, purple grape juice concentrate is just as effective.
Love the idea. Do we just get started – do we submit our plan?
No need to submit anything! Just make something, share it to the internet (instagram, facebook, twitter, or a blog) and tag it #cantogether.
Thanks for doing this again. I had sooo much fun last year (though I got too busy EOY too)! Can’t wait to start!