It`s time for the Tigress Can Jam June Ingredient Reveal

We were thrilled to hear from Tigress that June was our pick for the Tigress Can Jam.  More than 100 bloggers started the 12-month challenge in January who are also joined by many non-bloggers and many more since.  It`s been an exciting week with a lot of options discussed with Dana, myself and our lovely Hostess.

We’re lucky to choose and announce the ingredient below – and are hoping to sweeten the pot with 3 extra incentives this month (more on those further down).  Ler’s get to the ingredient first!

One of the most fascinating things about the recent 6-8 weeks in the canjam is the speed and diversity that each of us has encountered different ingredients.  It seemed like everyone had onions in January (the  wonders of cellars) but I saw asparagus in New York 5 weeks before it opened in Ontario and reading about the bounty in Southern US farmers markets has me drooling.  Many of Toronto`s dozens of summer farmer`s markets opened last weekend (or this one coming) and some farmer`s are there to greet old customers and friends with nothing from the field..yet…  And that`s no mentioning the UK and other places in the Can Jam.

The timing of our local seasons is actually becoming more diverse as the sun shifts her focus North.

We considered a few options and tried to avoid the über obvious while still being practical to provide some options that people could experiment with and have fun with.  We considered cabbage, mushrooms and even thought about bending the rules a little).

Shaeffer (our pup) even suggested that we preserve tennis balls for June.  He lost (but we`ll make sure he`s looked after).

It is with humble excitement we are pleased to announce that the ingredient for June is (or is it ARE) __________berries.  That could be a straw, a goose, a blue or even a cherry (we decided it was a berry).  Basically, it is all things that end in ERRIES (just not scaRRIES).

ED.  To clarify, any type of berry will do (even if it does not end in ____erry).  Sorry for any confusion.  It`s time for the Tigress Can Jam June Ingredient Reveal

There are so many options this month – both for your main flavor and the rest of the jar (your flavor saver, so to speak).  Pickled, drunk, infused, jammed, preserved whole; as long as it`s in a water bath.

All of the bloggers in our cosy (but not so little) posse have to post their articles between Sunday June, 20th to Friday June 25th with Friday at midnight being the deadline.

We`re going to sweeten the deal….

Deal Sweetener Number 1

We are honoured that so many are effectively letting us choose an ingredient this month that we are going to pick our favourite recipe.  If there’s a tie, which is more than likely, we will have a draw of the finalists.

We will donate $50 in honour of our winner to a food business of their choice (if they can’t choose, we’ll pick one).  KIVA is a micro-financing charity which helps connect entrepreneurs in developing areas find financing with others who can afford to help them start their small businesses through small loans.

This will likely be announced after the roundup Tigress does so that we’ll have a chance to see all the contendah’s!

We are not trying to turn this in to a competition – we all win with jars on our shelves.  We just thought it was an excuse to give back and was really a way to represent all can jammers and say thanks.

Deal sweetener Number 2

To get you started, we`re launching 7 DAYS OF BERRIES.  We blog daily here and will update the site for the next 7 days (it`s generally around 7AM, a bit later on weekends) with ideas and tricks for berries.  We`ll also be sharing some non-can jam berry ideas (such as dehydrating) and welcome any questions (though many in the can jam could teach us tonnes).

Deal sweetener Number 3

A quick guide to some of last years berry faves:

What have I got against pectin?
I used to use a lot of pectin in our jam.  I now avoid it when possible; sometimes I even make jam that’s so runny I have to eat it over the sink.  If you’re on autopilot with pectin, consider flying solo (taste pectin by itself to find out why – the article explains more).  Besides, it’s fun to eat over the sink.

Angel on one shoulder, devil on t’other
We canned about 700 jars last year and made more than 50 different types of waterbath preserves.  A trick to extending your efforts is to alter a few ingredients and turn a single batch into different things at the same time.  We did two different types of cherries last year (one in simple syrup and another in alcohol) and eat them separate or mix them together for a third different taste.  Mixing and matching is a lot of fun when you work with fruit.

“Berried” Alive – in Strawberry Jam and preserves and rhubarb and…
Jam isn’t the only option.  We love having whole strawberries (and other fruit) in simple syrup.  Awesomest on ice cream, cocktails or mash it to your own spreadable mess on toast.  We also do separate rhubarb so we can make our own mix and match flavor combos later (and each person can alter how sweet or how tart they want it by making thier own custom jam on their toast).

Leftover strawberry syrup innovation
Oh.  My.  Good.  This was the best idea with something I may have foolishly thrown away previously.  If you are preserving fruit, in simple syrup (sugar-water) you simply must consider this.

What to do with all that jam…host a tasting party!
I love pairings.  Almost all of your berry dishes will work for breakfast.  I don’t eat a lot of breakfast and I make a lot of jam.

What cheese would be best with your confection?  Our raspberry-jalapeno jam is breathtaking with brie and our wild blueberry and maple syrup preserve  is all about goat cheese (you’ll have to visit that link to find out what matches up with our blowtorch).

Now it’s time to cross our fingers and wait for the sun to heat the fields even more!

A giant thanks to Tigress for the privledge of choosing this month – hope everyone’s excited!

@BusterRhinosBBQ @MaryLuzonfood


  1. Yay! I was hoping it would be berries and not just strawberries, as we finished strawberries here last month but are now in blackberry season. I’ve already made four kinds of berry jams this season and I’m looking forward to making more :)

  2. Oh joy! My prediction was strawberries, but …erries are even better. After my ‘brown’ encounter last canjam I am already bubbling with hyperactive over the top-nesss in anticipation of a vibrant and colorful June tigresscanjam.

  3. Erries is great choice and what a lovely idea to give a gift to I don’t envy you the task of choosing the best recipe however – this is going to be a wild month!

  4. I love erries!

    This morning I was laying in bed wondering what the next Cam Jam ingredient would be. (I know you have done the same thing.) So nice to wake up to alll the possiblilies that erries hold.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    So conflicted excited about Erries, here in the Eastern Oregon it has been SUPER rainy and we don’t see berries till July. I usually make freezer jam at the end of June with a dear friend. However the amount of pectin and Karo syrup makes my hair stand on end. I am a little at a loss of what to do. Looking forward to your 7 days of Erries. Thank you!

  6. I am errie happy about this pick for June! I am strawberried out, but we’re busting with cherries here. Yay.

  7. Does this have have to be something that ends in “erries” in English only? Because in German, there are some fruit that end in “beeren” (“berries”) that have different names in English, like red currants, black currants, white currants. Also, sea-buckthorn is botanically a berry… So, do you mean botanical berries or just things that end in “berries”??????????

  8. I’ve done strawberries twice this year, but still super exited to get some blackberries, or raspberries to work with! I love berries!!

  9. BERRIES!!! I am so excited – I just sent Woodman a note today about a place near us that has strawberries, you pick – were planning to call and see if they are available this weekend. If not a mulberry tree down the road is almost ready for picking for jams (just not for eating) I’m excited, thanks for picking another item I love!

  10. Hmmm…. strawberries were done here, last month, and my baby mulberries in the yard pretty much just finished. Our farmers markets shut down in March/April, so the “local” part is going to be interesting… Time to hit the books!

  11. I was hoping for strawberries as well, but berries is definitely better. Great choice! I’m looking forward to this one. I already have my recipe picked out. Time to do some canning!

  12. Megan – amazing; you guys are done with strawberries, we are weeks away and some are longer yet for strawberries. Reading about people already having had their share is actually getting me a whole lot more excited about the upcoming season – and it’s super cool to see the different places of tthe can jam having gone through their own seasons..

    Gloria too funny – brown preserves… Dana would tell you that Marmite is an excellent product – one could argue it is a brown preserve… Besides, you could always mix some sweet bright berry preserve into that brown and make a purplish one :)

    Thanks local – it’s gonna be a fun month!

    Terri, glad you like – an you are right. Laid in bed wondering, drove to work wondering, drank coffee wondering – even (and especially) this month when we had to choose :)

    Elizabeth, erg… We will have berries mid- late june so it will be close but sounds tougher down there. There are substitution rules our host has accomodated for in the original post that may help or you may be able to make a tiny batch of something if you come into any semblance of berries before your freezer jam friend session. We do make some very small batches from time-to-time; of course if you can’t find berries at all then very small is just as tough. We’ll gladly help out with any ideas :)

    Shae – ok my excitement over the seasonality of everyone is turning to jellousy. Elizabeth won’t have berries for more than a month and you’re berried out. It is so neat to see that within a small community of people here. Very neat stuff.

    ap269; any berries at all sorry for scary erry berry post :)

    Elle Ross – another berry plundered like Shae! I am getting even more pumped for the tasts of summer :) Raspberries; my fave! I really want to try a raspberry jelly this year. I adore the jam and especially adore the seedy texture and really curious how it carries without the seeds.

    Daisy Driver – How nie to have mulberries down the road… We have a few parks but mostly a lot of concrete :)

    RJ Flamingo – where is here? Excited to see what you come up with – Maybe Elizabeth (also in this comment chain) nad you can share some ideas :)

    Cathy – thanks so much; excited for the month too!

  13. aastricker says:

    There were a lot of protests from southern canners against strawberries after the revelation of last month’s ingredients so I was scared that strawberries wouldn’t be an option this month. I am so excited about your choice; thank you! We are just starting to see local strawberries here, so I hope I can wrangle up enough to make a decent batch of preserves.

  14. Way to go, Joel and Dana! So excited for this month’s jam (as always though, to be very honest). So much good information, too, I am always learning something over here. Let the deliciousness begin!

  15. I’m in! I am excited to start participating in the Can Jam with this month’s ingredients :-) The cherries are just starting to come in here as well as the berries, and the possibilities seem so endless.

  16. Here’s how I make strawberry jam…using the natural pectin found in apples and lemons:

    and I am going to celebrate can jam this month by demonstrating making it at my local farmer’s market!

  17. Still no local erries. I am going to have to use some from CA. But no pectin, I am going pectin free with this batch.


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