The October CanJam focused on peppers. Though I thought about doing jars and jars of pickled peppers (and in fact put up one basic jar Monday night, following Marisa’s instructions over at Food in Jars), I wanted something more interesting. More creative. More original.
That plan backfired. Instead, I grabbed a jar of hot corn relish from the basement (canned a couple of weeks ago), gussied it up for its close-up, and called it a day. The recipe is the same one I made last year, which is basically a marginally modified version of the Ball Blue Book’s recipe.
I’ve been struggling with the CanJam for a couple of months, but haven’t really been able to put my finger on what was bothering me until now. This was about more than a lack of ideas for peppers. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fairly utilitarian canner—I put up what we’ll eat and what I’d like to give away. While there’s some room in my cupboard for goodies like lavender lemon fig jam, what I really want is a wall full of canned tomatoes, a shelf of dried peaches, and a freezer full of kale. Food preservation takes a certain amount of time and effort, and I want the things that I preserve to be reliable, predictable, and flexible in their use. Canning carrots for the sake of learning how to carrots (I know, I know, I was the one who announced that train wreck) doesn’t really hold my interest.
Hence my recent somewhat uninspired entries in the CanJam. I like and trust my salsa verde and hot corn relish; therefore, I make them again and again, year after year. I love reading about all the creative and novel things that other people are doing for their entries for the CanJam, but by this time of year all I want to do is to get my canning done. Next year, I’ll go through the various round-ups and pick a few new things to experiment with, and hopefully I’ll find some new favorites.
Don’t mistake me—I’m thrilled that the CanJam has brought together such a fantastic community of online canners, and I’m absolutely loving all the new blogs that the Tigress’s monthly wrap-ups have turned me on to. But I’m very glad there are only two months left. And I don’t want to end up with green ketchup.
So what about you? Still making up new stuff, or back to the tried-and-true?