September 2007 archive

Food for Today

Breakfast – coffee & locally baked pastries
Lunch – Greek Salad (tomato, peppers, cukes, garlic, olives, Bulgarian feta cheese & Greek Salad dressing mix from Penzeys) and pita chips
Snack – Annie’s Salsa and chips
Dinner – Upset tummy so some pan-fried chicken (nonlocal)

The Greek Salad was divine.  We tried a piece of chicken fried with panko bread crumbs – I think this would make amazing chicken parmesean.  The salsa was good but it’s hard to judge it now when we can have fresh salsa.  I think it would be better with more garlic, more cilantro and less sugar and tomato sauce and/or paste.

More canning

So far today, we’ve made:
Curry Pickle Slices – 3 half-pint jars
Gazpacho Salsa – 2 pint jars
Jalapeno & Tomato Salsa – 6 half-pint jars

I hope to make some Madras Pickled Eggplant and put some tomatoes in to marinate before the night is over.

Farmer’s Market – Lots of cukes!

We headed to the market this morning.  We got five pounds of zucchini and squash to freeze and five pounds of cucumbers to pickle!  Jerry has some of the yummiest sweet potatoes – they’re dead ringers for white potatoes with a sweet aftertaste.  They make some of the best home fries I’ve ever had.  We also picked up a couple of butternut squash.  Dave from River Ridge farms was there so we got a couple dozen eggs, a steak and a pound of ground pork.  Dancing with the Stars is on this Monday and we’re making a Cuban feast so the pork will be used in some picadillo.  I asked Charlotte (the market manager) to call me if there was anyone at the end of the market that had tomatoes left so we scored 24 pounds of tomatoes for $20.  VGs Bakery was closing up as well and Dave gave us a couple of jalapeno cornbreads and some blueberry cream cheese rolls and cinnamon rolls!

Quick catch up!

Things have been a bit crazy with my job so no updates lately but I’ll try to be better.

The Habanero Gold is AMAZING!  Our jelly is a little too ‘jelled’ but the flavor is amazing so we’ll definitely be making more.  Since the red bell peppers are getting a little scarce, I think I’ll make it with some of the red Aji Dulce peppers and use a combo of the Lemon Drop peppers with the Habaneros.  We used some in some mango salsa we made and it worked great.  The mangos weren’t the greatest and not juicy at all so I mixed in some of the HG and it worked really well.  And it’s heaven on toast with cream cheese!

Last night we roasted a couple of pans of red bell peppers, peeled them and stuck them in small bags for the freezer.  I’ve got some cucumbers sitting in some salt tonight so we can make Curry Pickle Slices tomorrow.  And today we sorted through our garlic to see how much we’d have to plant and culled out the smallest bulbs to make pickled garlic with.  We put up 4 half cup jars today.

I’ve got several quart bags of hot peppers in the fridge so I’ll need to put some of them up tomorrow.  Plus I’ve got more cukes to pickle and some zucchini to blanch!  Thank god there’s no football game!  :-P

Habanero Gold

Hot ‘N Sweet Confetti Jelly

1 cup minced dried apricots (1/8" dice)
1 1/4 total cups minced red sweet pepper & minced red onion (1/8" dice), approximately half-and-half.
1/4 cup Habanero peppers
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 3-oz. pouch liquid pectin

Prep apricots, peppers and onion. Place in a large, stainless or other non-reactive pot. Add sugar and vinegar. Bring to the boil and cook 5 minutes. Pull off the burner; allow to cool, cover and let sit overnight(or at least 4-6 hours). Stir occasionally if convenient.

Next day, bring the mixture back to the boil. Stir in liquid pectin. Boil hard 1 minute. Pull off the heat. If necessary, skim foam. Let cool 2 minutes, stirring to distribute solids. Pour into jars. Stir to distribute and remove air bubbles. Do the usual with the jars and lids, BWB 10 minutes.  When jars are sealed, "agitate" to distribute solids throughout the jelly.
Yield: 6 8-oz. jars.

ReadingLady from GardenWeb came up with the recipe which is the same recipe as Habanero Gold in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  It just makes a larger batch and uses the liquid pectin more efficiently because it’s kind of pricey.  It’s been soaking for a bit and I’ll finish it up tonight or tomorrow.  It tastes fantastic though!  Habaneros really have an amazing flavor.  Of course that’s followed by intense pain but they do taste wonderfully fruity before you die!  I tasted it and it’s hot but not any hotter than other hot pepper jellies I’ve tried.  I think this is a lot more complex tasting too.  It’s gorgeous!  Most of my jars are quilted so the effect won’t be as pretty as completely clear jar but this is something you could give as a gift and be very proud of.  From what I’ve read, liquid pectin can be a bit finicky so I’ll let you know how it sets up.

I got some sweet potatoes from Jerry along with another 10 pound winter squash.  We also bought two dozen eggs from him.  When it comes to eggs, I am spoiled rotten.  Farm fresh eggs have such an amazing flavor.  It’s not overpowering – it just tastes more like an egg.  I had some regular eggs up at me parents a few weeks ago and they tasted so watery in comparison, with an almost metallic-like after taste.  I forgot what he said it was but I’ll ask him later because I want to know in case it’s crazy delicious.  Gary had yellow zucchini and he said it would probably be his last.  We also picked up a free range chicken and some Italian sausage from Dave of River Ridge Farms.

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