|Chili Chopping - yes, I used frozen chilis - which would make you laugh if you know the current state of our outrageously abundant pepper crop. Seriously, if you are local and need peppers, just call!|
I found a semi-slow moment and went to work finding a recipe. Here is the goofy part. We live in the fertile Great Central Valley of California. The valley is roughly the size of the state of Isreal. (ok, taking teacher hat off) We are used to FRESH fruit. Dried fruit is ok, but fresh? Well, no doubt that fresh is best best Best! So, every recipe I found for Apricot Pepper Jelly in my books and online....yes EVERY one called for dried apricots. Bother! So I decided to take a swing at improvising jelly, and going off of hints from a friend as well as advice on some gardening email loop somewhere I just made apricot jelly and added a cup of chopped peppers to the final product.
Apricots make my yellow sink look pretty ;)
Simmering the apricots
Straining the juice. It is definately time for me to get a bigger strainer!
Added the pepper and skimmed the foam off. Sadly, I did "catch" a few pepper bits amongst the foam. Foam isn't bad, it just makes the jam less sparkly clear. I usually add a bit of butter to each recipe to make reduce foaming. This just had a bit extra.
Ohhh is it good!
It would pair fabulously with cream cheese for a cracker spread.
It would elevate
a lunch box pb&j
to the gourmet.
I read that sugar reduces the heat. I would agree. This jam will not burn your socks off. =)
Fast forward a few weeks, and my little tree bore fruit. I made a couple of frozen pie fillings with those. For those of you with the Seasoned with Love cookbook, I use the Apricot Pie Filling under the Misc. category. It is simplicity itself. If you don't have that cookbook and are wishing for one, contact my talented friend Carolyn over at Gift of Simplicity - wonderful food blog. Always feel free to ask me for specific recipes, I'm really not secretive about them. I just am not a recipe blogger. Strange, but true.
Drumrolll.......and change of subject. The picture above is my segue.
I was out weeding in the zinnias with these helpers. I think Stephen was getting fussy, actually, I know, he was put out because he couldn't be out with David. Sweet Sarah went and got him a chair to sit in.
Now the pretty shots....I'm so thankful for these delightful zinnias. Maybe in a few years I'll tell you why. How's that for cryptic =)
They make a fabulous set of bouquets for a Birthday girl, my daughter, our kitchen table, jam backdrops....
Foodie question for you canners.
What is the one thing you will never not can (if you can help it)
What is something you dream of concocting to can?
What is the best thing you've canned so far?
Please answer any/all that apply!!!! =) Thank you for visiting. I will say that it has been a few comments about enjoying this that keeps me at it. It's quite tempting to quit and everytime I think I'm going to, something gets said. So Gracias! Have a wonderful week. And yes, there is more to come, always more. When I squeeze it in. Off to the laundry room...cherrio!