July Can Jam FAIL.


Look at that surly jar up there. It’s LAUGHING at me. It’s CHUCKLING, and saying “Hey Dumbass. Nice try trying to be different… but YOU FAILED.”


July’s Can Jam ingredient was cucurbits. Those across the pond know what I’m talking about, but here in America, they’re known as cucumbers, squash, and melons.

Last year, right about this time in July, I made summer squash and zucchini pickles. While the pickles were mind-bogglingly amazing, making pickles again one year after the fact seemed a wee bit… repetitive. After all, surely a lot of other people would be trying all sorts of different methods of pickling squash and cucumbers. Sooooo, I picked through my growing collection of canning cookbooks had to offer, and Mr. Kitchenette and I settled on trying a zucchini butter. It will be unique and awesome! I told myself. Get excited!

Let’s just say, I’m glad I halved the recipe.

I mean, it smelled really good in the pan, but what I came out with in the the pot when canning tasted much different than what I imagined. (Let’s not talk about how the recipe was CLEARLY giving me the sneak attack there.) Even though I’m currently noting this cucurbit experiment as PREVIOUSLY-UNACHIEVED EPIC LEVEL OF FAIL in my recipe notebook, I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt and wait a few weeks to give the flavors time to meld. Maybe I’ll be happily surprised?

Here’s the recipe, just to play along… but don’t say I didn’t warn you.



Zucchini-Apple Butter

Adapted from The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest

Makes 3 half-pints


2 pounds peeled and chopped zucchini
3 tablespoons salt
1 pound peeled, cored, and chopped tart green apples (like Granny Smith)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 1/2 cup cider vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
1 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 one-inch piece peeled ginger root
1 tablespoon pickling spice

Layer the zucchini and salt in a large ceramic bowl. Cover at let stand at least 12 hours or overnight.

Rise and drain the zucchini and place in a large saucepan. Add the apples, onion, vinegar, and sugar. Tie the ginger and spices together in cheesecloth and add to the pan. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered over low heat for one to 1 1/2 hours. Stir frequently to ensure mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

Ladle into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude).



Now Playing: Because we really need a pick me up after that fail.


Radio Dept / Heaven’s on Fire



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6 thoughts on “July Can Jam FAIL.

  1. Like you I am very experimental and would have been so keen on trying such a recipe. But then would have been gutted with the result, but hey here’s hoping that the flavours will come together and as you said good job you halved the recipe, but could it be that is where it may have just gone wrong. Some recipes work when halved, others not. Anyway, I am still hoping for you that it works out well. Kind wishes from across the pond.

    • You’re completely right, MG. I did halve the recipe, and I also switched the vinegar from white distilled to cider vinegar so it could have been that. Hopefully in a couple of weeks the flavors will be a little less intense as far as the vinegar goes! Even if it doesn’t get better with time… 1 out of 7 ain’t bad for failure! =)

  2. Pingback: NFMW 2010 Day Three: Swiss Chard Breakfast Strata «

  3. Oh no! Did you give this awhile to sit and it was still terrible? I was in the midst of making this, and wondering (as the vinegar smell filled my house) “what am I going to make with this stuff?”. So, I did a google search and here is your epic fail blog post about the exact same recipe. I’ll let it finish simmering and give it a taste. But, if it’s terrible, I guess I’ll mourn the loss of my organic brown sugar and not take the time to can this stuff. I guess I was due for a fail recipe too.

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