Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mint Jelly

Mint Jelly

I made a double batch, the yield was 13, 8 oz. containers.
When looking up recipes there are MANY to choose from.
I went with Fresh Eggs Daily's that used water & less sugar. Recipe HERE
From start to finish picking the mint, washing, drying, cooking and canning it = 6 hours.

If however, you are using older mint.
Mint you bought from the store, a neighbor gave you or you purchased a farmers market
I'd advise using THIS recipe.
It uses apple juice instead of water.
Fresh picked I didn't need any extra sweetness or flavor, the taste was amazing and strong!
Older mint - still soft and live, but not fresh picked might need a boost.

Again I don't add dyes to food.
This is dye free mint jelly and TRUST me its amazing!
Next year I think I'll buy more of these tiny jars and make up a few extra batches in the spring when my mint patch really takes off!
These will be perfect for presents & for using with all sorts of dishes.
I can't wait to try it with roasted rabbit!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Canning Cucumbers

 HOT DAMN Pickles!
Mondo's Hot & Spicy

My modifications to the recipe were due to me being terrified of how hot these are going to be.
I omitted the peppercorns since I was using 2-3 birds eye chili peppers per jar.
For those that don't know Birds Eye Chili's rate on average 70,000 on the heat scale.
Standard Jalapeno's are between 10,000-15,000.
Due to changing up the heat ratio I also changed the name of mine to Hot Damn Pickles!

These were seriously the prettiest pickles I've canned!
I used fresh picked cucumbers & my home grown garlic & dill for the recipe!
Using Dill seeds instead of dill weed since most of my dill had already died off. Next year I will harvest my dill and cucumbers together using the first batch of ready cucumbers instead of the last batch for this recipe!
In one day I managed 15 quarts and 1 pint of Garlic Dill pickles!
The one pint was ONE entire cucumber!
It was too pretty to split up and quite a challenge to fit into the jar but I made it!

Next time I make these I'm going to cut the onions in half!
Seriously that's a LOT of onions per jar & per pickle ratio!

Sweet Pickles

THESE are the BEST pickles EVER!!!
They take 7 days.
Not kidding 7 days of water treatments to do them correctly.
This is what sold me on canning pickles forever!!!
I can't share my recipe as I got it from a very old, "The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook".
Pretty sure you can find a copy at most any used book store for a few dollars.
I did cut the sugar amount down from 8 cups to 5 cups.
Two years ago they were amazing but too sweet.
I've already tried some and even with the lower sugar amount they are divine!
I have one more batch soaking now (day 4) when they are done so are my pickle days for this year!

This link takes you first to my blog on pickle relish which has a link to the recipe.

Now on my previous post about pickle relish I mentioned that a massive ton of my pickles were turning yellow and orange.
I looked it up - anything from watering, not enough fertilizer, to them being on the vine too long can cause the color to change.
The sites were really ridiculous about how once the color changed they were worthless and bitter.

We tasted ours and they were still perfectly amazing.
Sweet, crunchy and crisp.
No weirdness just yellow.
Also they smelled amazing when cut!

My advice to you - check your product before you toss.
If it looks good, smells good and tastes good - its good.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Jalapeno Peppers!

This recipe said it would make 6 8oz jars. 
It made 9 1/2 jars for me.
The few drops I tasted having me drooling for Thanksgiving when I plan to serve this.
If you want the store bought deep green you can add food coloring to the recipe,
I have ISSUES with America's fad for brightly colored food and avoid all dyes like the plague.

What started me on Jalapeno Peppers during Cucumber season?
My amazing next door neighbors brought over full box of their produce leftovers!
Jalapenos, onions, green peppers and tomatoes!
Most of which will go into my pickles, however, the Jalapeno's were just to pretty not to can!

Now this recipe made 1 pint so I had to triple it for my three pints.
See the space at the bottom?
That's after pushing them down and pushing them down and pushing them down some more!
 I'm not a huge pepper person but this year I keep getting them!
I love these on my favorite food of all time, nachos!
Side note: For the first recipe I used gloves while cutting up the jalapenos.
For the second recipe I forgot.
Jalapeno burns are a @$$$#% to get over but thankfully they don't do much damage to the skin.
No boils or skin damage save some redness,
the pain however,
lets just say when I forgot I'd boiled some water for my canning jars and reached in, I didn't notice a difference to my fingers.