Two years ago, I organized a year long preserving project called the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge (heavily inspired by 2010’s Tigress Can Jam). For each month the year, we tackled a different food preservation skill.
After a year away, I’ve decided that it’s we’re going to do it again! This incarnation of the challenge is going to be a little different (and hopefully streamlined a little to make it easier for me!), but I think it will still bring a lot of value, community building, and fun to everyone who participates.
This time, we’re going to mix up the challenges. Some months, we’ll dig into a preserving skill, while other months will be centered around a category of produce. As was the case last time, the intention is that we all end 2019 with a greater levels of food preservation comfort and fluency.
At the beginning of each month, I’ll publish a blog post introducing that month’s topic and then will ask you to make a preserve that fits into that category.
It doesn’t have to be a water bath processed recipe to qualify for the challenge. Preserves, condiments, pickles and other recipes that are designed for the fridge or freezer are welcome, as are things that are dried or fermented.
We’ll be talking in greater depth about each challenge in the Food in Jars Community on Facebook and I’ll be popping in regularly to answer questions.
Around the 15th of the month I’ll publish a post that will include a Google form that you can use to report your experience with the month’s challenge. Finished projects are due by the 25th of the month so that I have time to pull together the end of month blog post.
I will try to close out each month with a few data points from the reporting, and some of the best projects shared, but I’m not going to be doing an extensive monthly round-up (that part killed me last time). Everyone should report their results using the Google form.
If you want to share images of your finished projects, I’m asking that you share them on Instagram using the hashtag #fijchallenge. You don’t have to be an Instagram user to participate, but it’s the only way I can manage to collect pictures of your finished projects.
Here’s the list of challenges for 2019. They’re not all going to be perfectly seasonal for all who are participating, but I’ve done my best. I’ve also slotted a wild card in for October, so hopefully people will feel free to make that month a perfectly customized challenge for their region.
Calendar of Preserving Skills
January – Citrus
February – Fermentation
March – Herbs
April – Use Up Last Year’s Preserves
May – Berries
June – Jam
July – Stonefruit
August – Tomatoes
September – Pickles, Relishes, Chow Chows, and Piccalili
October – Wild Card
November – Apples, Pears, Quince, and Persimmon
December – Foods in Jars for Holiday Giving
You can use the form below to indicate that you’re participating in the challenge. To stay up-to-date with all the challenges, make sure to join the Food in Jars Community on Facebook and subscribe to my newsletter using the widget at the bottom of the page.