We be jammin' or jellin' or relishin', whatever you want to call it, my inaugural foray into canning was a huge success; thanks in large part to my father, who brought the biggest ass kettle I have ever seen in my life and his knowledge of canning. He showed me step by step how to sterilize the bottles, tops, tongs, funnel, etc. He watched over everything with the careful eye of the engineer he is. He told me exactly how much jelly and relish to put into each jar, how to put the full jars in the boiling water, how to cool them, and then how to test them to make sure they were sealed.
I am so glad to have this garden. All the mornings of going out to the backyard, shaking my first at the plants begging them to "give me something" have paid off. I'm all friggin' Martha Stewart and shit with my fruitful vines and fruit heavy tomato plants. I love love love the idea that in the grips of the cold, long New England winter I will be able to go down into the cellar and pull out a jar of something that I grew when the summer sun was hot and the days were long. I'll be able to open a jar and remember the heat and the smell of the summer, this more than anything brings a smile to my face, and you can bet your ass I'll say the following phrase every time I open a new jar, "I Made This Shit!"
So what did I make you ask. I took all the ready jalapenos from my garden and combined them with sweet dried apricots and and made a beautiful red/orange hued apricot jalapeno jelly, a jelly that upon first taste my dad exclaimed "that's damn good" - ahh the true test of a dish's merit in my kitchen, the official Damn Good rating.
The second thing we made used up about 6 of my zucchinis - we turned the zucchinis into a wonderfully sweet zucchini relish that I first had at the aforementioned "Maine Cookout". It is the most amazingly sweet and savory relish and we have already eaten a whole jar of it in the week since I made it. I've actually eaten it like peanut butter, just sticking my spoon in the jar and eating it.
Bottom line, I cannot wait to try new canning recipes. I have a date with my dad to make more jelly and pickles next month.
I'll post the recipes for these two canning items in separate posts with their own titles so that people searching for recipes can easily find them.
Recipes coming soon.
This is what the jelly looked like in the pot as we were putting it into the jars.
Rating - Damn Good Time