i like vinegar, acidity, spices, and salt. and i love submerging various produce in any combination of the aforementioned items. thus, i was psyched to find out about the tigress’s can jam. what the heck is it? well, the tigress in a jam is hosting a veritable celebration of all things canned, preserved, pickled, and/or saved from the time of their bounty to the time when their bounty is missed. i was late in the game, but thanks to a heads up from my pal meg, and the tigress’s gracious acceptance of my last minute pleas to enter, i’m in the can jam game!
the challenge is to can one fruit/vegetable, chosen by tigress or another blogger participating in the jam, per month for all of 2010. at the end of each month’s challenge, all of the participant’s recipes will be posted on the tigress’s blog and fun will be had by all. 12 months, 12 canned beauties in my pantry.
for january, the challenge is citrus. yes, citrus in all it’s glorious forms. c’mere you…lemon. oh, you little kumquat, get your useful rind over here. grapefruit, how many more times do i have to tell you to stop lauding your health benefits over the lime, he’s half your size and the 1970s called…it want’s it’s health fad back. and so on. i want to can something savory, because not only am i in the midst of a sweets (and beer!) (sad face) free january, sweet things in cans just don’t get eaten as much here at the homestead. because of the jam, i’m learning more about citrus. why yes, this does excite me, thanks. also, in my recipe search and pre-jam general reading (right now, this, which is fairly meh. but it does tell you that people in the pre-1940s US really gorged on pickles. along with raccoons and opossum, but i digress) i’m seeing even more of all the various ways that people everywhere have pretty much pickled everything that doesn’t move for ages now.
me, i’m choosing lemons and/or kumquats. mainly because of the potential i see in them to become some pretty exciting savory condiment for me to slather on rice and various meats and lentils. i’ve learned that the flesh of the kumquat is described as salty. this is intriguing. i also love love love mango pickle (if youre in seattle, try it from the souk at the market), but have never loved the lemon pickle i’ve found in jars thus far. so i’m hoping to come up with something that will: (1) contain lemons or kumquats, and (2) capture the awesomeness of mango pickle, and (3) have the potential but not the pledge like taste of commercial lemon pickle, but (4) be smoother and more chutney like than pickle i’ve tasted in the past, while (5) have the capacity to be canned in a water bath, rather than simply fermented on my counter. though i will be doing some fermenting of my lemons, best believe! prolly this and something along the lines of this.
the icing on the (non sweet) cake of this challenge for me is that i will procure said lemons and kumquats in southern california, where i’ll be this weekend, gorging on food and celebrity culture. so my citrus will be local (to where i will be at the time, which counts!) and handed to me by a friendly los angeles area farmer at one of the myriad LA area farmers markets. now, i just have to come up with a recipe by january 22. yes, i can.