Red Pepper Jelly

Just about (but not quite) as much as I love desserts and sweets, I love appetizers or “pickies” as our family always refered to them as, something to have around, just to pick at.   If it all wasn’t so bad for me I could seriously live off of pickies and dessert.  I can make a meal out of a few pickies.  Dip’s and spreads, cheese and crackers, cold or warm, they are all wonderful.

Quite a few years ago my friend Lisa (the same Lisa, who makes those amazing butter tarts) brought homemade red pepper jelly to work, for break time.  I’d had red pepper jelly in the past and thought, ‘meh’ not a huge fan.  So, when Lisa brought it to work I really only tried it because it was homemade.  Well….am I glad I did, it was amazing!  I am fairly certain I had way more than my fair share that day.  It was like no other pepper jelly I had ever had, sweet and spicy but neither were overpowering.  It was perfect.  I have tried many more since then (which I enjoy) but none have compared, so you can imagine how happy I was when she recently shared her recipe with me.

Lisa’s Red Pepper Jelly

1/4 cup hot peppers

3 cups red peppers

6 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup vinegar

1 pouch liquid Pectin

Directions:

1. Prepare your jars and lids.  If you have a dishwasher start the dishwasher on the sanitizing cycle.  Try to time it so your jars will be finished when your jelly is finished, all dishwashers are different, you know yours.  If you don’t have a dishwasher you will need to sterilize in boiling water

2. Washer peppers well and dice

3. Dice hot pepper **UPDATE NOTE** PLEASE  wear gloves while chopping the peppers! This batch was fine, I did not wear gloves.  We made 2 other batches the next week.  I guess I did not wash my hands quickly enough and 3 hours later my hands were a burning inferno.  3pm – 10:30, when I finally fell asleep it felt like my hands were on fire, nothing took the pain away.  Wear gloves!!!

4. In a large pot combine, peppers, hot peppers, sugar and vinegar, bring to a boil.  Boil 5 minutes

5. Add Pectin, Boil 5 more minutes

6.  Let stand 5 minutes

7. Remove sterile jars from dishwasher. spoon into jars

8.  Secure lids tightly and allow to cool, upside down

9. Once cool turn jars back over and allow to set over night

My favourite way to have red pepper jelly is to spread it atop, cream cheese on Toppable Crackers

Delicious!!! We were very happy with the results.  So much so that we plan to make another 2 batches next week while the peppers are fresh and cheap.   I can’t believe how easy it was to make.  Mom and I thought we had gotten ourselves into a whole day event.  Total time, including dishwasher, and clean up was maximum 2 hours.

For those that were scared away by the 6 cups of sugar….I know it seems like a lot! (and it is!) but this is not something that you eat a lot of or all the time.  It is nice to put out for company or take to a friends, you wouldn’t sit and eat the whole jar (well I could…but I wouldn’t…)

Thank you Lisa, for such a great recipe!

Pickled Carrots and Beans

DSCN3873For a couple of years now I have wanted to try canning.  Not sure why.  I had never done it before, but I really like the idea of making what I am eating.  It just seems a little more rewarding.

I looked all over for recipes, there are so many to choose from.  I wanted to try a salsa or something, but I figured I should start with something simple since I had never done this before.  I settled with a recipe for Pickling carrots and beans.  I have had then before and loved them.  Seemed simple enough.

Pickled Carrots and Beans

4 pounds carrots and beans

8 garlic cloves

1/2 cup canning or pickling salt

4 cups white vinegar (5%)

4 cups water

Fresh dill

Wash and trim beans and carrots to fit jars, about for inches.

In each sterile jar (boil for 10 mintues).

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Place 1-2 dill sprigs and garlic.

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Place beans and carrots up right in jars, squeeze in as many as possible.  leaving half inch head space.

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Boil for 5 min water, vinegar and salt.  Pour boiling liquid into jars, making sure to cover the veggies and leave a little room (1/ inch) at the top.  Place lids on and secure tightly.

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Return jars to the water bath and boil for 10 minutes.  Remove from water and let cool on counter.  You will hear the jar lids pop as they seal.  If they dont seal put in fridge and eat in a timely manner.

And now we wait…..