August 23, 2009

Kitchen Canning Chaos

It's definitely been chaotic in the kitchen around here, with canning jars, lids, rings, sticky blobs on the floor, and a huge steaming pot of water making a giant mess in the kitchen, but the results are fantastic! This picture shows off the beautiful hot pepper jelly we made over the weekend. I love the warm color and the suspended bits of pepper. They just beg for this appetizer to be made...

Cream cheese and hot pepper jelly on crackers is probably not the classiest appetizer to ever hit a Midwestern table, but it's definitely one of my favorite decadent treats! I've intended to make my own pepper jelly for the longest time, and finally decided that since I had all the trappings of canning laying around the kitchen anyway, this was the weekend to get it done! And I love the gorgeous little jalapenos we grew this year. Should be a wonderful addition to our Mexican dishes this winter. They freeze very well and very easily, just like the method I used for the green peppers.

The reason that the canning equipment was out in the first place, was so that we could turn this pretty rhubarb and these crushed, deep red strawberries, into...

...luscious, tart, strawberry-rhubarb jam! Yummy, yummy. My rhubarb has two harvest times, one in the spring and one in the late summer. I used some of what I harvested to make a rhubarb crisp for the freezer. That will go to our next church luncheon - fast food can be a good thing! The organic strawberries (frozen), were purchased from our food buying club and came in a large quantity, so making jam was a great use for some of them. I canned some of this jam in jars for Christmas gifts by using the holiday lids and rings, so that puts me a little ahead of that game as well. I sometimes question whether or not people really want this stuff at Christmas, but I always love receiving it from other people, so I go by that measure. There's that old saying about gift giving, "give something you'd like to receive yourself", which of course could be taken to an extreme, but it works pretty well!

Next chaotic activity in the kitchen - slicing and freezing cabbage. Another first!

1 comment :

  1. Please, please update on the cabbage freezing! I have a cabbage in the fridge waiting for something to be done with it, that doesn't involve feeding it all at once to my skeptical family!