Accepted: The Food in Jars Mastery Challenge

Here is how the insanity started.

Brian, my then husband, was going through chemotherapy and I was the sole income for the family of us and the cats.  Living in a cabin in the almost woods of Scotts Valley, in Santa Cruz County, California.  I work at the University of California, Santa Cruz, which has a wonderful program: Center FOR AGROECOLOGY & SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS

This program offers up a Community Share Agriculture (CSA) program for the locals here. Since I was once a vegetarian I am proponent of having good produce in the house.  So, to support my husband's immune system, and my own, from the chemo and stress of dealing with the situation I signed up for more produce than I can prepare.

I ended up being the one introducing my office to Kale Chips and other food fads. Even with salads, zucchini bread, chocolate beet bread, kohlrabi fries, and introducing friends and my office to Kale Chips, among other cutting edge food fads, I still had more produce than I could manage and use, I am the granddaughter of a canner and survivor of the Great Depression of the 1930's. My Grammy would be so disappointed if I let one more piece of food go to waste.  What to do? My answer: learn to can.

My friend Joan, who has a homestead, is a canner and taught me the basics and broke my fear of doing it wrong, or worse, dying from my own mistakes.  I became a canner.

Next thing was research: recipes, methods, tools, styles, and attitude.

While searching my library for books I ran across Marisa McClellan book: Food in Jars. Then I found her blog: Food in Jars. Small batch canning is the answer to finding my own style and methods.  It's good to know that I don't have to can for days on end, nor even for the entire day.

I still follow Marisa's blog Food in Jars.

In January 2017, Marisa posted a challenge for her followers, and fellow canner: Food in Jars Mastery Challenge.  In the post she laid out a great challenge to help one hone their skills and stretch out to learn new ones.  Sounded intriguing and I accepted.

Now I am working 2 jobs and canning in my "spare time".  This means most of the recipes I use will be quick, easy, and minimalistic in tools, supplies, and space.

Stayed tuned for more adventures in canning and learning new food preservation methods.