Sunday, June 28, 2009

A great many things

Hello there! Today's post is brought to you by summery goodness! There are some new garden pictures, more pickles and jalapeno jelly! 

First off, my adorable baby watermelons! Not only are they very cute, they're also yellow inside! Or at least they're supposed to be, they're still a few weeks away from harvest.

Here's a picture of the garden taken two or so weeks ago: yellow squash, tomatoes, lots of jalapenos, banana peppers, okra, and watermelon.

Sweet (but not too sweet) Refrigerator Pickles
6ish cups of cucumbers (speared, sliced, however you like them!)
1 cup vinegar
1.5 cups sugar
.5 cup water
1 cup sliced onions
1 cup sliced bell pepper
1 tbs salt
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp dill
Combine vinegar, sugar, water and spices in a pan and bring to a boil.  Boil long enough for sugar to dissolve.  Pour mixture over cucumbers, onions and bell peppers in sterilized canning jars. Keep in the fridge and enjoy! Note- some recipes use much more sugar than this, if you like your pickles extra sugary you may want to adjust the sugar content.  

Jalapeno Jelly (from the Ball Blue Book of Canning)
12 oz jalapenos (about 12 jalapenos, depending on size)
6 cups sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar 
1 box Ball liquid pectin (two packets come in each box, you need both)
Green food coloring (if desired) 

Stem and seed the jalapenos, wearing gloves (trust me, you want to use gloves).  Process until finely chopped in food processor.  Add 1 cup vinegar to help blend.  At this point you can strain the mixture with cheese cloth for a clear jelly, or not.  I did not strain mine.  Bring the remaining vinegar and sugar to a boil, add pepper vinegar mixture and food coloring (if desired).  Stir frequently.  Boil approximately 10 minutes.  Sugar should be fully dissolved.  Add two pouches liquid pectin.  STIR STIR STIR.  Keep at a hard boil for one minute .  Note, I boiled mine for slightly longer about two minutes because it hadn't quite jelled enough.  Ladle the mixture into sterilized jars and seal in a hot water bath.  See my earlier posts on pickled peppers if you want more info on how to properly seal your jars.  The jelly is especially good on crackers with cream cheese, yum!    

Note- For something a little different try adding 1.5 tsp raspberry extract. Raspberry Jalapeno Jelly in no time! 

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