Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pepper jelly..... that's not, well jelly, and why I don't like to process jelly. Oh, give me a time with no usda recommendations.

Years and years ago I made pepper jelly, I think the first time I made it it was called pepper relish on the sure gel package.  I was happily surprised to find the recipe because I love everything pepper.  My mom thought that salsa, when she first heard of it, should be equal parts jalapeno pepper and ketchup.  It was a whole different time for a northerner in the south west, 1970.  I was raised on this as my salsa, as an adult I and my mother, found real salsa.  The hotter the better is my motto.  I was very happy to make Pepper jelly (relish) for the first time.  I made it as close to the recipe as I could, it did not set up.  Two weeks later still not set up.  I had failed.  I decided to open it, and love it, I use it on all my oriental dishes, a hot sweet sauce.  I had accidental discovered something we all love, well except Poppie, all my kids love it.  I have never since actually tired to make it set up like jelly, I have also since learned peppers don't like to set  up well and need the exact or more pectin to do so.  I shared my pepper sauce with Lady and she loved it and has since made her own. 

Yesterday I decided to make a batch and since I still have a bunch of habaneros in the freezer I wanted it hotter than I normally make it but not to over power anyone.  I chopped up jalapenos, some hatches and one habanero, (recipe in the sure jel or certo instruction when you buy the pectin) I used 4 cups for a double recipe (package calls for like 2 cups) mixed the vinegar in and the sugar as per the instructions, and floated a habanero on the top for a little more kick, once it boiled 10 minutes I added the pectin in and boiled one minute. 
Seeds and habanero floating, I said I like it hot.
boiling way for the 10 minutes.

I got the jars ready and started filling them up

jars in the water bath ready to process

fresh out of the water bath waiting to seal and be put up.
I happily ended up with pepper sauce and not jelly, I actually have only just begun processing my jelly I was taught as a child to do wax and then graduated to flipping the jar over for 5 minutes and then setting up right, which has always sealed the jelly for me.  Since I have begun using Tattlers and 4ever recaps, I have had to process my jelly, never tried the flip method with them.  I am not sure I like processed jelly because it always changes the texture of the jelly.  I have had people say I am crazy but I am not, the strawberries are more cooked in my strawberry jelly and so on.  Yesterday was not exception.  The processed jellies are all really runny I am thinking they should set up a little, the jar I did not process is not only a sauce it is half way between sauce and jelly so you can't tell me that the processing doe not change the texture or thickness of the jelly.  I can literally tip the lids less jar over and it does not come out, sort of like good meringue, but the processed jars are only a little thicker than water at the this point, it remains to be seen if they will thicken any more.  Oh, to be in a world where the USDA doesn't have to recommend and make us feel guilty if we make it like grandma did.  I do still sometime make it just like grandma did, well on stuff we eat here, if I give it away I don't usually give the ones I make like grandma did....
I pray that you are in God's love and more importantly in God's grace, for God loves all of his creation which you are one of but he gives Salvation and Grace to those who believe on Jesus and believe God when he tells us he gave his only begotten some and whosoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life with God.... tomorrow.   

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