Thursday, July 30, 2015

Day 229 Canning before vacay 1

This week will be NUTS as I continue to process and preserve the produce in the house,  My number 2 son and girlfriend are staying in the house and caring for the pets and they will use NO vegetables!  So.... I need to put them up so they won't die before I get back.

I ran out of sugar which limits my choices and eliminates JAM altogether.... so I will focus first upon the million carrots and jalapenos in the fridge

I had reserved the brine from last year's cowboy candy ...  seriously - I ran out of jalapenos at the end of the season last year and had a couple of cups of the sweet brine leftover so I went ahead and canned THAT!    So now I will open them up, heat the brine.. add more jalapenos (2 cups sliced and unseeded)  and get a few half-pints put together.  I like them but they are too hot for me.... but I WAS thinking.... they might be good as a chopped relish in egg salad or something.

The rest of the jalapenos & carrots went into second batches of dill carrots

 and Mexican pickled carrots.  Those are big hits already and I anticipate running out of them this year.

Once I ran errands and got more sugar, I used up the last of the prepared plums.  I had enough for a batch of Cherry-Plum Jam (using a bag of frozen cherries from the store)

AND I made Jalapeno jelly with the rest of the peppers - a big FAIL!  Well maybe not.....  It didn't gel... so it is jalapeno SYRUP.  I'm not sure what I will be able to do with it.  I mean - you use the jelly over cream cheese as an appetizer with crackers anyway - so I guess syrup will work the same as jam but not be near as attractive.   Maybe I can stir in a little clear gelatin when I open the jar to make it a better consistency.  Or maybe one of my readers has a suggestion?  I have 6 beautiful half-pint jars of jalapeno syrup that no longer qualify as potential Christmas gifts unless I figure out something to do with it!

AND THEN....... I got my CSA box with more carrots - quite a few beets... lots of cucumbers and tomatoes, jalapenos and onions.  And another eggplant that I need to give away FAST!

And on the same day, a friend asked me to come pick tomatoes from HIS garden.  I did promise him last year I'd help... so on I go bearing a few jars of pickles in trade.

In case you are wondering, I usually do 2-3 things per session.... depending on when I am home.  So I  sorted out the produce and pulled a few recipes for salsa and pickles that I wanted to try so that I would be ready the next day I was at home.

And on THAT day....

Prepping cucumbers for hamburger slices and hot dog relish was on my list..... both needed to sit overnight in the fridge so once I did all the chopping and slicing for those......

I moved on to  Blender Salsa!  I based it on this recipe: Canned Salsa (Medium Hot) and tweaked it enough that I should write my own recipe!

Everything goes in the blender so I don't need to do much chopping and NO skinning of the tomatoes..  I was very liberal in my interpretation of what to use.  I skipped the tomato sauce and added a tablespoon of chili powder.  The canned tomato paste I use basically as a thickener.  While I am sure about the quantity of peppers and onions I used... I am not at all sure what types I used.. I basically used what I had.  The peppers are a mix of jalapeno, sweet bell, and banana peppers of unknown heat :-)

They do look pretty :-)  There are no safe "rules" for processing quarts of salsa so while the seals are good, I am putting them in the extra fridge to use first.

And there is still more but I'll post it tomorrow!

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