January Can Jam Post Mortem

25 Jan

So the January Challenge of the Tigress’s Can Jam is in the history books and, phew! What a challenge! O.K., it wasn’t that big of a deal, but I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. Hi, I am stuck in the 80s. Anyway, I learned a lot. I found some great new recipes and blogs, courtesy of the rockin’ participants in the can jam. I’m excited to try some of the citrus recipes that other bloggers posted for the challenge. Here’s some of my faves, in case you’re interested too…

What Briggsy Liked:

There were some tasty recipes posted! Surprising recipes. Recipes I wished I would have been able to find or come up with because they suit my tastes more than what I actually made (not that I don’t love like them). I wanted to do a list of the 5 jam recipes/canning genres I’m most excited about. So I will. In no particular order.

1. Lemonade concentrates rocked my world.

I kinda had no idea that you could can lemonade concentrate and I am tickled pink to learn this fact. One of my favorites was “Lemon Squash,” posted by wellpreserved. Wow. Gorgeous blog, It’s A Shame About Ray references, and a simple recipe that I’m excited to try. And try without changing even! We drink lots of seltzer mixed with juice at the homestead. We call them jeltzers. They’re awesome and thirst quenching. But I’m psyched to find new drink ideas. Non alcoholic drink ideas. I’ve got a folder full of alcoholic drink ideas I’ve yet to try. What wellpreseved did here was can lemonade concentrate–which he tells us is called lemon squash by the English. Oh Snap! What a great idea! He made 4 batches, one with maple sugar (Canadians!) so that they can enjoy Jack Daniels maple sugar lemonade all summer. I am going to be making this recipe! Another great idea in the lemonade concentrate genre posted by Kathleen at justtherightsize. Strawberry lemonade concentrate. The can jammers are knocking my socks off! Now I can do something with the entire shelf of frozen berries in my freezer that we still have from last summer. Double S is a berry lover from way back, and can’t pass a berry patch in the summer without jumping out of the car, bucket in hand. So we may soon be enjoying raspberry lemonade and blackberry lemonade, if I can find a good deal on some more lemons and limes. Oh, to be back in sunny Socal one more time to get more lemons…

2. Holy crap…Pickled citrus fruit!

File this under Why Didn’t I Think of That. I’ve never had pickled fruit. But I’ve loved every vegetable I’ve had pickled, and pretty much anything slopped in with some vinegar and salt. So, I am intrigued and inspired by the fruit pickling I read about from the can jammers. The Tigress herself (in a pickle) made sweet and sour canned lemon pickle. This was sorta the recipe I was looking for all along, before I made the disastrous chutney that shall not be named, a canned version of lemon pickle. Thanks, tigress! I’ll be trying this out. After I make a naturally fermented one first. By the heating vents in my house, as I don’t think Seattle ever has the sun/heat to make this outside. Or maybe I’m just bitter after a January with 21 of 24 days being rainy. Seasonalmenus, also trying to make fewer very sweet preserves, made pickled clementine quarters. I think these could be good in salads and mixed with dressings. We eat a lot of big salads here at the homestead. Cafelibby made fennel pickled oranges, and included lots of ideas of what to do with them–which are appreciated! Wow, Libby looks like a pickling fool after my own heart! I’m excited to see what else she comes up with. Backardfarmsto made spiced lemon pickles. Another Canadian! Another great pickled recipe! Finally, cookingislikescience made a meat marinade that I would use a lot more here at casa de briggsy than another jam or jelly. I know it’s not a pickle, but it best fit this category. I like the use of sesame oil and other things that I’d use to make a quick marinade for noodles, tofu or beef, but canned!. Man, the can jammers are creative and practical!

3. Curd curd curd, curd is the word. Now in lemon or lime!

I’m not sure what I’d actually do with citrus curd. But I want! There were two curd recipes that piqued my interest. Comparing the two furthered my uncertainty abut the need to completely follow recipes for canned items. OhYesICan made curd and stressed the importance of using botled lemon juice. Mockpaperscissors, who has a striking, comic inspired blog, made his with fresh lemon juice. Both turned out. Sweet curdly goodness!

4. Hiccup…boozy citrus canning.

He just ate too much boozy canned citrus! He thinks he's people!

My first foray into boozy fruit was when my dad wowed guests (and me…in the 80s!) at dinner parties with his cherries jubilee. Now he wows with saganaki. Boozy fruit making is in me somewhere, dying to come out. Orangebloss made a not too sweet oranges in Cointreau. Leenaeats made blood orange port marmalade. Besides having great pictures and Shaft references, she manages to make marmalade and port (two items on my “I’m not sure I like them but I want to” list) shine!

5. Anything I Can Can They Can Can Better

Finally, there were some straight up jams that jammed the way I wish I coulda jammed, knowwhudimean? Stephen made a Lemon Honey Prune Butter…with honey (obvs) instead of sugar. Two things: 1) Prunes are underrated–they’re just plums, people, and 2) Any attempts to cut sugar or use non white sugar are learning experiences for me. Forbetterrorworsted, like me, made a citrus jam with peppers. They used a lot of dried chilis, cooked them 30minutes, then drained them. I have a feeling I’m going to be integrating peppers again, so I’m psyched to learn another technique. Finally, there’s my chum growandresist, who made the best smelling grapefruit vanilla marmalade I ever did sniffl. No other blogs had smellovision! Meg’s blog will make you think, make you misty eyed (go, kale picking Babylady! I’m not crying…I have something in my eye!), and make you laugh.

And that was the January canjam that was.

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3 Responses to “January Can Jam Post Mortem”

  1. Joel January 26, 2010 at 3:25 AM #

    You are far too sweet – thanks for the shout out and let us know how your squash goes! When I first read the name of the recipe I thought it was for canning gourds….laugh…

    Love your roundup and agree there was so much learning – tis a great thing!

    • ohbriggsy January 29, 2010 at 2:16 PM #

      will do! i’m hoping to make it this weekend!

  2. meg January 26, 2010 at 9:10 AM #

    smellovision….woot!

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