Sunday, August 22, 2010


Today, the twins and I did as much pepper work as we intend to do at all. Dan roasted peppers on the grill. He and Sam peeled roasted peppers, and chopped them. We placed the chopped roasted peppers into small mounds on waxed paper and froze them... then placed the frozen mounds into Ziploc freezer bags. This will keep us from having to thaw and use a whole quart at a time of roasted hot peppers. Dan has been diligently stringing Chile and cayenne peppers to dry, and we have about a pound or more of fresh peppers. We have a gallon Ziploc of chopped bell peppers.

Yesterday I made my first ever batch of jalapeno jelly. It made six jars and a bit left over to sample. It jelled (a bit hard) but was sooooo good. It was flavorful, with a good bite.... even though I didn't use the cayenne pepper it called for to spice it up... or near as much bell pepper as the recipe required. Today, I made my second batch... and totally misread the recipe. You know the old adage: measure twice, cut once? Well, RE-READ the recipe with every ingredient. I added equal amounts of vinegar and sugar... and was supposed to have added 3X the sugar in proportion to the vinegar. So I tripled the vinegar... and when it wasn't jelling, I was blaming the pectin. I added more pectin... then discovered my mistake. The recipe cautioned, DO NOT DOUBLE.

And I had tripled it.

Then I couldn't find the "extra" pectin I had purchased yesterday. We looked and looked. I was panicking. I added the 2X more sugar, and 1X more pectin. I finally found a box of "sugar free" pectin. I used it and let the stuff boil like the dickens. (I added more roasted jalapenos as well.) Finally, I decided, for better or worse, to can the jelly. Or syrup.

It jelled! Hooray! The "leftover" amount I saved to see if it would jell, was perfect. I tried it. Holy Guacamole! This is Waaaay hotter than yesterday's batch! But so tasty!

Today's count was 17 jars of jalapeno jelly. We did 10 jars of "dill" pepper rings. 2 quarts of frozen roasted peppers. Totals of 23 jars of jelly, 16 jars of pepper rings, 2 quarts of whole pickled peppers, a gallon of chopped bell peppers, 2 quarts of fire roasted peppers, and several strings of drying Chile peppers. Plus enough left over fresh to burn the mouths and stomachs of brave ingesters for weeks to come.

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