Jalapeno Jelly and Distrations

 

It’s a beautiful fall day at home. The breeze is cool, the sun is shining low in the sky and there are great big puffy clouds filling the sky with just enough moisture to flatten fresh curled hair.

I’ve decided today is the perfect day to gather jalapenos from the green house and make Jalapeno Jelly.

I’ve not made it for a few years, I’m certainly far from an expert, but one of those things that makes me happy is when I can preserve food in a way my whole family enjoys.

So… I venture out…

The green house is brimming with giant pumpkin leaves, overspilling tomato plants, and in the distance a few Jalapeno plants stand tall. The green house is weathered and wet. I’m a bit afraid of spiders, and like the pumpkins, the bugs grow big in our green house, so I proceed with caution.

Through knee high giant leaves I tread, trying to stay on the wooden path.

Once I arrive at the Pepper plants, I’m greeted by a family of baby and adult lady bugs. What a treat. They are so weird looking when they are babies, which I try to show in my foggy picture above, but I don’t think you can quite get how strange they look.

Ahhh, the prize! I am able to pick about 6 cups of fresh jalapenos. There are more, but I only want to take what I can do in one afternoon. We’ve tried these peppers already, as I pickled some, and they are HOT. Too hot to eat fresh.

Of course there are a few distractions along the way…

Our chickens are always a good diversion from our to do list. Dominik stops in to offer a treat of chicken scratch to the group.

In my Jelly making adventure, I am reminded of a few things; wear gloves, wash your hands a lot, keep water near by, and … a reminder I don’t get until the next morning every time I do this…. take out your contacts before you start and put on glasses. The oils from the peppers will evaporate and coat your contacts, to grace your tender morning eyeballs with a sharp sting – no matter how hard you wash them, it doesn’t come out. You have throw them away and use a new pair.

 

Even with the loss of a pair of contacts, and a few days of stinging fingers, I’m pleased with my accomplishments of 6 jars of mostly set jelly (I need to fiddle with the pectin) that my family and friends will enjoy!

I love challenging myself to new things in the kitchen, I’ve had many successes and … many failures, but I always feel like I’m filling some deep purpose when I provide something real from my garden for my family.

 

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