Monday, September 18, 2017

The "Food in Jars Mastery Challenge" - August: I Missed It!

Well, as many of you have been seeing, I have been participating in the 2017 "Food in Jars" Mastery Challenge.  For each month in 2017, cookbook author Marisa McClellan selected a category for participants and provides tips, podcasts, recipes and more about that category to the participants for that month.

So far this year, I had participated in every single month, sometimes on the last day but I got it done!  But, when we got to August, I just kind of missed it.  The category for August was low-temperature pasteurization.  From what I read about this, the short version seems to be that it allows you to can things (mostly pickled) at a lower temperature for a longer period of time and results in a crispier pickle.  It uses equipment like a steam canner and/or immersion cooker, neither of which I own nor wanted to purchase at this time.  I have been wanting to make some homemade yogurt, and at some point asked on our Facebook group if this qualified for the low-temperature pasteurization category and the consensus seemed to be no.  Anyway - I skipped the August challenge.  I am kind of disappointed that I did, but ... life goes on!

What I DID do in August was:

1) I made a double batch of Zesty Peach BBQ Sauce. I followed the Fresh Preserving website's recipe except I used 2 jalapenos for the heat instead of red pepper flakes (safety gurus don't worry, I used that much less sweet pepper so it's all good.)  The peaches I bought came in a 15-pound box and I only used 6 pounds for my sauce, so my husband started a batch of peach raspberry wine with the rest!  (Raspberries from our freezer from our patch.)



2) I made a batch of garden zucchini relish and a batch of dill pickles.



3) I entered 9 jars of "Food in Jars" in the Murray County Fair and brought home 8 ribbons!  My goal for this year was a blue one, so I was excited by the outcome!  Left to right: confetti pepper jelly, zesty peach BBQ sauce, dill pickles, spicy dilly beans, garden/zucchini relish, ketchup, orange marmalade, and raspberry jam.  Not pictured is my entry for low-sugar strawberry jam, which didn't get a ribbon because it has "poor eye appeal" because my "fruit is floating." Gives me something to do better next time, I suppose.


So, here's to next year's fair and packing the pickles tighter, making the fruit not float, and aiming for one of those coveted fancy purple ribbons. And to next month's (which is actually this month already) September challenge for fruit butter.  Onward and upward, my friends!

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