The Food in Jars Mastery Challenge

Join the Food in Jars community for a year-long food preservation mastery challenge. Each month brings a different skill on which to focus and explore!

Happy New Year, friends! And welcome to the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge!

Back in 2010, the blogger we all knew as Tigress hosted a year-long canning challenge known as the Can Jam. Each month, she’d announce a new category of ingredients and we’d all head out and make a preserve featuring that particular food. It was fun to be pushed to try new things and I so loved the sense of community that the Can Jam created.

There have been other challenges in more recent years (Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Charcutepalooza is one such memorable project) and after much pondering, I’ve decided to host one in 2017.

This challenge will be skill-based. Each month, we’ll all focus on a different pickling or preserving skill, with the intention that we end this calendar year with a greater level of expertise and comfort with a wide range of food preservation techniques than when we started.

At the beginning of each month, I’ll publish a blog post sharing tips on how to be successful with that skill and then will ask you to go forth and try it out. 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.

If you have a blog or an Instagram account, I invite you to post the results of your project by the 25th of the month so that I can include it in a round-up (I’ll provide a monthly Google Forms link that you can use to submit your name and URL). However, you don’t have to have any kind of blog or social presence to participate. This challenge is about learning and sharing above all else.

Calendar of Preserving Skills
January – Marmalade
February – Salt Preserving
March – Jelly OR Shrubs
April – Quick Pickles
May – Cold Pack Preserving
June – Jam
July – Hot Pack Preserving
August – Low Temperature Pasteurization OR Steam Canning
September – Fruit Butter
October – Drying and Dehydration OR Pressure Canning
November – Fermentation
December – Fruit Pastes

If you’d like to join the challenge, please use the form below to sign up for the email list. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll try to be quick with my replies. Oh, and if you post to Instagram or tweet about the challenge, please use the hashtag #fijchallenge

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165 responses to “The Food in Jars Mastery Challenge”

  1. Please sign me up for the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge if I am not too late. I am very excited to learn some new skills and try new recipes.

  2. I just picked 18 beautiful Meyer Lemons off of my indoor/outdoor dwarf tree in Kansas and was trying to figure out what to do with some of them. The strawberry/Meyer lemon marmalade sounds delicious. Please sign me up for the challenge, I’d like to broaden my knowledge and canning skills.

  3. I would love to join your challenge.. I’m a little late to the party but.. better late than never.. right? I have my own garden and belong to a CSA plus I try to practice clean cooking and baking, I’ always looking for new info and recipes. Thank you!!

  4. Just finished my preserved lemons for the February challenge. Giving that jar a shake a couple,times a day as I pass it on the counter. Eager to eventually use it in recipes!

  5. […] addition to recipes from the cookbook, I got an early start on my contribution to the Food In Jars Mastery Challenge this month. March focuses on Jellies and Shrubs. I’m not sure that I’ll attempt a jelly this […]

  6. I’ve never made jelly, so tried the Apple Lemon Lavender jelly. It didn’t set as much as I thought it would, even after set test, but taste was great. Will try the Raspberry Meyer Lemon Shrub next.

  7. I’ve been looking for something like this and hoping someone would host a revival of the Can Jam or Mastery Challenge. Any chance we’ll see a 2019 round? If not, I’ll have to rally some local pals, but it’d be great to have the whole experience.

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