Saturday, June 20, 2009

On Things Domestic

Dear Industrious Reader,

Shortly before the wedding, I purchased a beautiful book called "Ball - Complete Book of Home Preserving." It has inspired me to new heights of domestic wifedom. Just looking at the cover makes me wish it were 4AM and dark out, so I could energetically rise from my rest and, in the vigorous spirit of the exemplar Proverbs 31 woman, tirelessly care for my family. Would that such emotions were so strong when my alarm actually goes off in the morning!

But I digress.

Today I experimented with my first recipe from this hallowed new book (my only other home-preserving book is a pen-marked, tattered canning guide from the mid-60's, a loan from my grandma). I made Red Pepper and Garlic Jelly; ultimately, the process went very well. I am still struggling with getting the pepper and garlic floaties to suspend themselves appropriately, mid-jelly. I keep continually going back to the jars and twisting them, trying to shake the solids down into the bottom.

As you can see, they have a deliciously golden color. To my joy, when Mr. H came into the kitchen he declared that something smelled delicious, and upon learning the nature of said delicious smell's source, asked if he could use it to spice meats at barbeques. Of course, that is the idea, so I agreed.

The recipe is very simple and is included below; garnish meat, crackers and cheese, or chips with this tasty topping.

Just the other day I made a loaf of bread - haven't eaten it yet - just because it felt like something a wife would do. Perhaps tomorrow I will slice it and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some of the everlasting jam I made last summer...


Mrs H
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Red Pepper and Garlic Jelly
Makes about three 8-ounce jars

1 c. finely chopped seeded red bell pepper
3 large cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
3/4 c. cider vinegar
3 c. granulated sugar
1 pouch (3 oz) liquid pectin

1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids

2. In large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine red pepper, garlic, and vinegar. Stir in sugar. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.

3. Quickly pour hot jelly into hot hars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove jars, cool (rotating occasionally to suspend solids) and store.

5. Feed to an appreciative husband.

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