By no means am I as skilled as early pioneers or depression era housewives, but I do love to do a little bit of harvest time canning and freezing (yes..sometimes I freeze because I’m a chicken).
I try to be somewhat old-fashioned in my approach, hit the grocery to restock on wide mouth lids and buy ridiculous amounts of vinegar & sugar. Hand chop all the fresh from the garden ingredients and basically pick the hottest day on earth to bring a huge pot of steamy water to boil.
We always have a good old sweaty time and it is so pleasing to hear lids pinging and see all the beautiful glass jars in the pantry & fridge. I will admit we keep it mostly to the foods we love, from sour to sweet ..fermented foods (allsorts), jams, jellies and sauces (we always freeze the rhubarb).
but I lower my homemaker high brow just a bit & calmly admit I make a sincerely yummy cinnamon apple jelly from bottled apple cider, a blueberry spoon sweet Preserve that uses jello (hugs to my husbands granny). I have been known to tint my pepper jam and supplement my homegrown green beans with bought ones …the dilly beaners don’t mind! I also don’t reserve my canning to certain seasons, If we are hungry for a marmalade in mid February ..lets do it! Fresh is always best, but frozen can be just as good and sometimes what you find on your grocers shelf is pretty tasty too!
PEPPER JAM …makes 7 (½-pints)
1½ Cups finely chopped bell pepper (you can mix & match pepper varieties)
1½ Cups white vinegar (you can use apple cider vinegar if you prefer)
6½ Cups white Sugar
4 oz Sure-Jell Certo Fruit Pectin (liquid)
2-3 drops green food coloring (optional)
Finely mince peppers in a food processor, put pepper mixture in a saucepan along with the vinegar & sugar. Be sure to stir it pretty often while bringing it to a rolling boil, once there, let it cook for 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat, stir in the pectin and food coloring. Ladle into sterilized jars (leave ½” head space) and seal. (I processed mine for 5 min).
* you can spoon off the pepper scum prior to ladling into the jars if you’d like :)
PLEASE FOLLOW USDA GUIDELINES FOR PROPER STERILIZATION AND CANNING PROCEDURES!
* I make no clams or guarantees :) ..except this is AMAZING with cream cheese on a cracker!