08 September 2013
Pickling, saucing, jellying
The scope of my preserving has been broader this year than ever before.
The backyard jalapenos have done amazingly well. Who knew that if they actually got sun they'd be super happy? Everyone? Yeah. So I stripped all the ripe jalapenos off our single plant, sliced them up, and proceeded to pickle them for future consumption.
I used the basic jalapeno pickle recipe from Food in Jars. It's really easy: sterilize jars, make brine, slice jalapenos, pack jars, process. I did not use gloves, but you probably should, since capsaicin burns are no joke.
Look at all those slices! A huge pile of seeds settled to the bottom of the pile as well. I didn't add quite all the seeds to the jars, but there are certainly enough to pack a punch.
We are now the proud owners of 5 half-pints of pickled sliced jalapenos grown in our backyard. These guys are going to be amazing on all the tacos and burritos we eat all winter.
The plant is still producing, too, so we aren't hurting for fresh jalapenos while the pickled ones cure. Hooray!
Then there are our tomatoes.
These guys--caspian pinks and boxcar willies from the backyard--got skinned, cored, and processed into sauce, along with some grocery store romas, using this tomato sauce canning method. Hooray for 5 more quarts of tomato sauce!
Right now I have about this many garden tomatoes ready and waiting for another batch, so that should happen fairly soon.
And then, at the weirdest possible time of year, my next-door neighbor showed up on our doorstep with a gigantic shopping bag of tangerines from her backyard tree. So I juiced about fifty of them, chucked out ten times as many seeds, and made the resulting 4 cups of juice into mimosa jelly from the Food in Jars cookbook.
Every single picture I took looks like this: clouds of steam and big bubbles frothing everywhere.
The recipe is pretty similar to this earlier recipe for orange jelly, but with the addition of champagne. I actually went out and bought one of those little cubes of Coppola Sofia champagne, so I wouldn't have to use up an entire bottle of champagne, only to find that the single-serve cans hold only 7/8 of a cup. I guess I could've just used that, but I'd never made jelly before, so I went ahead and opened a second one to make up the full cup. And then I had to drink the remaining champagne. How terrible for me.
I overboiled the batch a little bit, so the resulting jelly is quite firm, but overall: success!
Next on the docket: 4 pounds of nectarines.
What are you guys preserving this week?