Jalapeno Jelly

I had a special request for some Jalapeno Jelly this week.  It’s so easy to make and so good that I wanted to share it with anyone else who might want to give it a go.  Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 Jalapeno peppers
Half of a green bell pepper
Half of a sweet red pepper
1  1/2 cups of vinegar (apple cider or white works well)
5 cups of sugar
1 pouch of liquid pectin, 6 oz  (Powder will not work)

1. Half Jalapeno peppers and remove the seeds of two of the peppers (for hotter jelly leave seeds from two or all three of the peppers).
2. Cut the green and red peppers into small pieces.
3. Place all the peppers into a blender and chop.
4. Place pepper mixture, vinegar and sugar into a 5 quart pan and bring to a boil.
5. Boil rapidly for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Then remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
6. Add pectin and stir until it is well mixed, then allow to cool for 2 minutes.
7. Stir well again for about a minute to ensure that the pectin is well mixed.  Then pour into prepared jars and into the water bath for 10 minutes.
This recipe makes about 5 half pint jars.

 

It is so easy and so good.
One of my favorite ways to eat it is with a little bit of cream cheese on wheat crackers.
My brother loves it on a turkey sandwich.

Try lots of different things and see what you love it with.

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Kids

Not everyone likes to take pictures of kids.  I am not a fan of the awkward family photo type of portraits (I am sure because I have enough of those in my own past) but I do love to take pictures of kids doing what they do best.  They are always on the move.  You never know what they are going to do.  And they make some of the most photographic faces without even knowing it.  And they do grow up so fast.  Here are some of my favorite little people.

Wild Texas Plum Jelly

I can’t begin to say how good this jelly is.  I love plum jelly but I REALLY loved this one.  I was lucky enough to have two plum trees that were ripe and full of plums. I could have all I wanted to come and pick.  And I am very grateful.

 

Wild Texas Plum Jelly

 

Igredients:

5 pds plums
4 cups of water
1 packet of Pectin (1.75 oz)
7 cups of sugar

1. Place plums and water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling reduce heat to simmer.
3. Allow to simmer for 30 mins.
4. Line a strainer with 4 layers of cheesecloth.
5. Place plum mixture in strainer for 30 mins or until there is 5 1/2 cups of liquid.
6. Return liquid to pan.
7. Add pectin to liquid and bring to a boil.
8. Add sugar and bring to a rolling boil.
9. Boil for 1 minute stirring constantly.
10. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
11. Process as you would any jams or jellies.

Yields about 8 half-pints

 

Hope you enjoy!

A trip back home

Here are a few pictures from my trip back to Kansas.  Lots of good memories, friends and family.  It was good to go back home.  I found some peace that I was looking for.  Lots of good reminders of who I am and where I came from.  And a deeper feeling that everything is going to be ok.

Back to my roots

I’m setting out on the road again in the morning.  This time I am heading north.  Back to visit places and people from the past.  Sometimes the best place to go is back to the place where you grew up.   I believe that where you grow up will always play a part in the person you are.  I don’t consider myself a Kansan.   I left when I was 18 and never really looked back.  Texas was “home” from then on.  It’s been years since I’ve been back to the flatness, the wheat fields, the trains rumbling at night and the simplicity of life that never seems to change in a town of 2,000.

The flatness can be unnerving at times.  The miles and miles of nothingness daunting.  But as you look into the miles and miles that stretch in front of you and the sun begins to set, colors I have never seen anywhere else in the world fill the sky and Kansas makes up for all it’s faults.  Those sunsets are what I pray my heaven will look like.

I’m looking for a little peace and tomorrow driving north on Interstate 35  I think I will find it.  Austin in my rear view, then Dallas, the Red River, Oklahoma City and then I’ll be back on the dirt roads of my youth.  I hope they are as ready to see me as I am to see them.

Pears,Pears and more Pears!

It’s pear season! A friend down the road has a pear tree with an abundant supply and I have gone pear crazy.

I decided to start with Pear Butter.  If it works with apples why not pears.  I found some recipes and adapted them into a Red Wine Pear Butter that is delicious.  If you like pears poached in red wine you will love this.

Ingredients

5 lbs of pears
(cut into 2 in pieces, if using a food mill it is not necessary to core them,
if not using a food mill I suggest coring)
1 cup red wine
2 cups water

4 slices of orange
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean split
1/2 Tsp cardemon
1 & 1/2 cup of sugar
Dash of salt

 

1. Place cut pears, wine and water into a large pot and bring to a boil.

2.  Once boiling reduce heat to medium/low and let cook until pears are soft
(the average for me was about 1 hour.  The softer the pears the easier to put through the mill or sieve)

3.  Once pears are cooked press through the food mill or push through a sieve.
Discard any hard parts left from the pears

4.  Return pear puree to large pot and add remaining ingredients.

5.  Bring to a boil.

6.  Once boiling reduce heat to low/simmer for 1 to 2 hours depending on batch.

7.  You can test your mixture to see if it is done by placing a small amount on a chilled plate.
There should me not liquid on around the edges.

8.  If canning place finished mixture into sterilized jars and place in a water bath.
Leave in water bath 10 mins then remove and let cool completely before storing.

Hope you enjoy!

Pictures from the kitchen below.