The stone fruit January Mastery Challenge is underway! So why do I have pictures of citrus? Welllll….. the stone fruit preserves are still happening however, the produce I have is not quite ripe yet. I wanted to get some links out to you anyway though in case you’re eager to start! Has anyone started and/or finished yet? If not, I hope the links below help inspire you. I will be back in a week or so to update the post with my peach and mango pics too.
Now, if you’re not quite sure what I’m talking about here, I recently wrote about signing up to the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge for 2019. I slightly amended the original schedule to suit those of us in the Southern Hemisphere so I recommend having a read of that post first. You can then pop back here and see what we’re all up to this month.
Joining this challenge from Food in Jars for me was as necessary as it was voluntary. Why? Learning old food preservation techniques almost feels like a mini protest in our very busy world. Don’t you think? We have lost touch with so many of our traditional ways that if we don’t take time to learn these skills they may eventually be lost. This is the reason I’m an ardent supporter of anything that gets people excited about getting back into their kitchens.
In my mind, learning these skills is important because we have outsourced more and more of our cooking. We now buy the simplest of products from the store without giving it a second thought. Things generations before us used to make at home we just grab off the shelf. Want tomato passata, jams, pickles, chutneys or relishes, no problem just go buy it. Trouble is they contain much more than the simple ingredients we’re likely to make them with. I don’t doubt for a second this is also why gut issues and food intolerances are on the rise!
Getting started for January
There are just a few things I want to highlight about this month’s challenge:
1. I’ve listed a stack of recipes below from the Food in Jars website that you might like to consider. Also take a look at Marisa’s post for January because she has some extra info in there regarding participation in the challenge. Above all, lets have some fun!
2. Several stone fruits are high on the EWG dirty dozen list. This means, they tend to contain a higher pesticide residue than other produce. With this in mind, it’s worth considering buying organic stone fruit if you can. I have bought all my produce for this month’s challenge in bulk from Rita’s Farm Produce. There were great bargains to be had. If organic just isn’t an option, do make sure you give your produce a very good wash.
3. If you’re brand new to all of this like I was, you will need a few tools to get you started. Please be sure to check in on the Food in Jars FB community to ask questions on this! If you don’t have a monster pot (I didn’t) to use at home as your water bath I can recommend the kit that I bought. It was $129 from Big W and includes absolutely everything you need. I did end up buying some smaller jars though – and will be replacing the plastic funnel with a metal one.
4. Finally – The original schedule has citrus listed in January. Citrus is still in abundance in the Southern Hemisphere so if you would prefer to do something citrus go right ahead! Many of our delicious stone fruit will disappear this month though so I do think it’s worth bottling them up. That way, you can enjoy them year round.