Hey Paula - This is for you.

soonergrandmomOctober 17, 2011

I remember what you did when Dawn DIDN'T tell you about pea pod jelly until you threw your first pea pods away, so I don't want to be guilty of not telling you about this jelly. LOL

I can't imagine it myself, but wanted to make sure you knew.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corn Cob Jelly

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Carol - you are just TOO GOOD to me! I have heard and tasted corn-cob jelly. It really does taste like honey! But last year was the first year I actually grew corn and we froze the few viable cobbs that weren't gobbled up (my g-kids LOVE corn-on-cobb!). This year....pppttthhhh! Didn't even try to grow any.

But I've NEVER seen the recipe. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I needed the reminder. Guess I probably owe you another batch of cinammon candy, huh? LOL! Seriously, thanks. I'm "clipping" and printing. When I get around to making it, I'll reserve a small jar for you to taste.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 7:37PM
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It's amazing how long you can make cinnamon candy last when you can actual find one you can eat. LOL Cinnamon candy without red dye was not an option until I met you. Thanks, I loved it.

I have been making pepper jelly today, since I know I can't depend on Dawn to supply me EVERY year. LOL My first batch was good, but not as good as hers. I made the second batch with red jalapenos. I just did the first cooking step so I don't have it in the jars yet but it looks like it is going to be very pretty. I had some orange peppers that were like fire that I should have added, but didn't. Guess I have to make a couple more batches. I have lots of green bells and green jalapenos so I may try one like that also. I have bought the green jelly before but it isn't as good as the red one to me. This is the first thing I have canned this year.

I only have 3-4 small fresh onions left and I used the first of my 99 packages of frozen ones today. I haven't bought an onion since early Spring. I have already been looking at the Dixondale site trying to figure out how many I want to plant next year.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 8:17PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Carol, you made me laugh.

In my own defense, how was I supposed to KNOW that Paula did not already make purple hull pink eye pea pod jelly? : )

I haven't made any jelly or jam this year, but now that (hopefully) the recent rainfall is giving us a little bit of a break from fires, I hope to make some Annie's Salsa, Habanero Gold, Plum Jelly (I have enough extracted, frozen juice from last year's plums to make about 12 to 15 batches), Blueberry-Lime Jam,Candied Jalapenos and Apple Pie Jam. All those empty jars sitting there in the jelly closet are making me crazy, and I have wanted to can something all summer, but my time hasn't been my own. I'm thinking that between now and the first freeze, the green-up we've had will make a difference and I'll have more free time for a few weeks.

Corn is one of my favorite crops to grow, but even though I knew about corn cob jelly, I've never made any. I guess it is because I usually am busy processing tree fruit and jalapenos during the time the mid- and late-season corn are ready to pick. In the good years when early corn is ready to harvest for Memorial Day, I probably could make some if I remember to do it.

My aunts used to make a lot of unusual jams, jellies and preserves. I'll try to think of what some of them were and list them....after I get enough caffeine in me that my brain wakes up. I do remember one aunt canning watermelon rind. Some of my older neighbors here who used to can a lot have told me about making jelly from quince, and I like jelly made from the fruit of prickly pear cactus.

I have a ton of onions in the freezer too, but I didn't count the packages because I chopped or sliced them over a period of a week or two. They completely fill the freezer compartment of the extra refrigerator out in the garage, and there's more in the big deep freeze inside. Also, I still have about three bushels of fresh, raw onions that I need to finish using up. I cured them for an extra long period of time back in the summer and I do think it has helped them hold their quality really well. A few are sprouting, and I'll probably plant them outside in an area where we have daffodils so they can bloom next spring.

I cannot let myself look at Dixondale's website until December or I get onion-planting fever. I planted too many last year though, so think I'll likely plant only about half as many this year. I wish everything else had grown and produced half as well as the onions and potatoes did this year. This is the first time I've ever harvested so many potatoes that I felt like I planted too many. We are still eating them, not that I am complaining, but it just seemed like I dug and dug and dug potatoes for days and days in very hot temps and in soil baked hard by the drought and heat. I keep hoping they'll develop potatoes that will push themselves up out of the ground when they're ready to harvest. (Well, some of them kinda do that a bit anyway.)

A lot of my friends are getting antsy because no jars of goodies are flowing from my kitchen into their hands. Some of them, lately, have been bringing me boxes of empty jelly jars, saying "I've been meaning to get these jars back to you..." and this is the first time I haven't had anything canned to give them in return. I need to get busy in the kitchen, I guess.

I have been joking with my friends and family members and telling them I am going to give them jars of what the garden did produce this year....grasshoppers, withered and browned foliage and lots of dust.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 11:06AM
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I hate to reveal my stupidity, but I have a bunch of peppers that need to be harvested. My wife is not wild about making jelly. I have been kicking around the idea of buying some jelly, picking and gutting my peppers, blanching for a few minutes and mixing into the jelly and placing in the refrigerator. Is this a brew that will kill me or make me wish I was dead?? I still have onions in storage and fresh winter onions in the garden, can they be for something other than cooking?

I know very little about growing food, and much less about cooking it.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 1:12PM
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Dawn, I love watermelon rind preserves, but I don't make it. My husband just gives me funny looks when I talk about it.

I don't have nearly as many onions as you do, but I think they will take me through the winter for cooking and I will just buy fresh ones as needed.

I didn't plant potatoes this year and don't have a cool place to store them long term anyway. Someone must be having a good crop this year because I have been buying potatoes in Joplin in 15 pound bags for under $3. I just couldn't resist the bargain, so we have been eating a lot of potatoes. I love them just about any way you can cook them, so I'm good with having them frequently.

Of course, at those prices they weren't graded and sized so I took out the largest ones and washed them all at one time and put them in a basket ready to grab quickly and bake. Then I pulled all of the really thin ones and washed them also.

And my favorite way to fix those skinny ones... I bake then in the microwave while I am heating the oven. When they are done I Split them down the long way and brush them with olive oil to which I have added garlic, a little onion powder, salt and pepper and whatever herb I am into that day. I brush top and skins of this half potato and place them skin side UP in a hot oven for seven minutes. Then I take them out and turn them over and give the open side another brush of oil. After a few minutes in the oven, I add shredded cheese and real bacon bits, and leave them in the oven until the cheese melts and the bacon crisp up even more. Not like twice baked potatoes because they aren't starchy tasting, but a little more potato than you would get with 'potato skins' and oh so good. I buy those ends and pieces of Wrights bacon and just cut it up and cook the entire package then freeze the bacon bits so I can take out whatever I need. It saves so much time and adds flavor to lots of dishes.

We either ate or froze our garden produce this year. My tomato crop gave us lots to eat, but I really didn't have enough to can or even freeze. I gave a few away and we ate lots. I don't normally can tomatoes anyway, just make a ton of salsa when I have a lot of tomatoes. Since I had a huge tomato crop last year, I still have plenty of salsa left. Al likes okra and tomatoes but usually I don't have an abundance of tomatoes and okra at the same time. If it ever happens that I do, then I would probably can that. Last year I did a few jars of squash and tomatoes and it was quite good. BUT, last year I was looking for ways to use tomatoes, so I tried to keep up with the production all summer until my mother became very ill. After that I knew that I would be gone a lot so I just stopped trying to keep up with them, but I had canned a lot of salsa by that time.

I told Al this week, that it doesn't seem like we are eating a lot of home canned things until I look at the accumulation of empty jars, then I can see just how much we have actually eaten that we didn't have to buy.

But this year, all I have canned are the 12 jars of pepper jelly that I made yesterday. I will probably do a couple more batches. I have a large pepper plant that is covered in small blooms and small peppers so we looked it over yesterday and decided we would probably try to cover it and the two pepper plants closest to it and see if we can take them through this cold spell. The rest we will let go because I really don't have a way to protect them. This is a couple of weeks earlier than I expected it, but that's OK. I need to start cleaning up my garden anyway.

Oh, I do have a couple of tubs of salad greens that I will give a little protection to also.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 1:56PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I'll preface my comments by saying I am not at all a canning expert, and I am careful to use and follow safe, tested, approved canning recipes. I never "wing it" and just throw stuff together nor do I use old canning recipes that no longer meet current safety standards.

I do not think that the idea of mixing peppers into purchased jelly would be advisable other than if you do it in very small batches that you keep refrigerated and eat within a few days.

When we make a pepper jelly from scratch, the canning process makes the jelly safe to eat in several ways. When you are mixining peppers into a purchased jelly, while the jelly itself was safely canned, the peppers were not. Thus, the pathogens that cause potentially deadly diseases like botulism or listeria could grow in your pepper jelly after a few days in the refrigerator. You wouldn't see any visable signs, either, that potentially deadly diseases were lurking in your engineered pepper jelly because they are invisible. What you might see would be the growth of mold in the peppers, just as you would, for example, see mold grow in a jar of homemade jelly that failed to seal properly during the canning process.

With the canning process we use when making jellies, one way that the food is preserved safely is that the high heat forces oxygen out of the jars and then the two-piece canning lids form a vacuum seal until opened, which keeps oxygen out. That provides the conditions that help prevent dangerous microorganisms from growing in the jars. In particular, with Habanero Gold jelly, the peppers and onions are first placed in a vinegar mixture which keeps them at a certain pH. That is important because the dangerous microorganisms cannot grow at that pH level. Maintaining exactly the right pH level when canning is very important and, if you added peppers to a previously canned commercial jelly, you don't have that vinegar there serving as the agent to maintain the proper pH. Maintaining the proper pH in the Habanero Gold jelly recipe is one factor that makes it safe. We have to have a specific amount of peppers/onions with a specific amount of vinegar. You cannot put in, for example, twice the hot peppers to make the jelly hotter unless you decrease the amount of sweet peppers in the recipe by the exact amount you increased the hot peppers. That way your total amount of peppers doesn't change so the pepper/onion to vinegar ratio remains as tested and approved.

I also wonder this: even if it were safe to mix in chopped peppers into purchased jelly, would you get the same effect? When the pepper jelly ingredients are cooked together, it gives all the flavors a change to merge and blend together. I'm not sure you'd get the same effect from stirring in hot peppers into purchased jelly. By the time the two might have been mixed together long enough for the flavor to blend, then the two likely would be more than a few days old and no longer safe to eat.

If you want to hear answers from the expert canners, I'd recommend you go visit the Harvest Forum here at Garden Web and get their answers to your question. The expert canners over there could explain it much more clearly and in much better detail than I did.

Carol, I need to make some jelly! The more we talk about it, the more I want to make some. I hope the rainfall and cooler temps quiet things down around here for a while so I can spend more time at home in the kitchen. It rained again last night, almost an inch for us. Too bad it will freeze before the recent rainfall can help the garden produce anything else to can.

I have babied about 120 lima bean plants throughout this long hot summer and am just a few days away from harvesting a monster crop. I hope covering up the lima bean plants on the two nights we'll be around 40 degrees will keep the beans maturing on schedule. I'm going to be really cranky if the beans don't get the chance to mature after all the water I poured into their giant container all summer, and after they hung on thru all those hot days and managed to survive until cooler weather arrived.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 2:29PM
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Thanks, Dawn. I will call my neighbor and see if they need them. I think I have given them all they can use, but they volunteer at a church on Wed. where food is given away, maybe someone there can use them.

I have two walmart bags full and just hate to throw them away. I could have picked more, but maybe the cold weather wont get them for a while.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 2:45PM
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Larry, I am just ready to walk out the door but thought I had better answer. NO, NO, NO! It is pretty simple to make pepper jelly and we can talk about it tonight.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 5:22PM
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I came back to find my msg still on my computer and not submitted, so I just hit submit. When I opened the thread I could see that Dawn had already given you a good answer so you can ignore mine.

I'm not a big canner but I love, love, love pepper jelly. I can't believe that I didn't even try it until a few years ago. I started buying it at the Amish and Mennonite stores, then at Atwoods, then Dawn gave me the homemade stuff and I was really hooked. I think it is worth making jelly for peppers, sour cherries, and Apple Pie Jam. My husband likes the Blueberry-lime one so I sometimes make that one. He rarely eats jelly, but when he does, the blueberry Lime one is his favorite. I am not a huge blueberry fan of raw blueberries because I think blueberries are too sweet. I loved them in Alaska but they were huge and tart. Most people made a blueberry pie with something like a cheese cake base and just a layer of blueberry filling on top and I loved that because the taste was both sweet and tart.

Anyway, for the little jelly we use, I might not bother making it if it was hard to do, but it isn't. Most of the time is spent just cutting the ingredients into tiny pieces. If you try Habanero Gold just once, you will be hooked.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 6:02PM
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I have only had pepper jelly 2 or 3 times. I like it but have never known anyone who makes it. If it is easy I would like to try to make it. Maybe I can grow the stuff I need next year.

I think I will go make me peanut butter and jelly sandwich with sliced pepper on it. That will be a new one for me.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 8:16PM
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Just to add to the topic something that hasn't been brought up...Pepper Jelly isn't just for straight eating on biscuits, cornbread or crackers! It's a WONDERFUL glaze for chicken & pork!!! So see, Larry? There are more reasons to try your hand at pepper jelly!

Dawn - hope we all laugh for many years about my reaction to the Purple Hull Jelly! I'd thrown away about 6 gallon bags of hulls at that time. You told me if I'd have asked, you'd have told me! This year, I only got 1 gallon bag full. I will never again be afraid to ask what might seem like a silly question!


    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 8:49PM
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Larry, you are adventurous aren't you? I don't eat pepper on peanut butter but I love it with bacon or ham. I grew a pepper this year called Yellow Monster which is about a 6-7 inch sweet cowhorn type pepper. Many times this summer my lunch was Yellow Monster peppers stuffed with cream cheese.

The hab jelly recipe that I used has a cup of dried apricots in it and everything gets cooked together, then you just let it cool and cover it for 4 hours or as long as overnight. You get your jars and lids ready, bring the mixture back to a good boil, add liquid pectin, and cook one more minute.

It suggests you wait a couple of minutes before pouring it up but I didn't find that to be much of an advantage since I was going to put it into a 10 minute water bath and it would get hot again. I still had to invert the jars now and then as they cooled to keep the solid ingredients from floating to the top.

Seedmama uses those flat type half pint jars for hers then she doesn't have to worry about the solids floating. I had a dozens of those (from seedmama) in my kitchen but didn't use them for jelly because I like them for puddings and jello. I fill them with pudding, then add a plastic lid, and they are quick to grab for a snack. My husband laughed at me for not using them so today he bought eight more when we went to WM. LOL They are even better for the refrigerator because I can put four puddings in the box they came in and keep them stacked in the refrigerator. Snack pudding done MY way. LOL

My first batch was made with white habs, white onion, and yellow and orange sweet peppers. It is a beautiful light orange. Then I made the next one with red jalapenos, purple onion, and yellow and red sweet peppers. It is a darker orange, almost red, but is still pretty. I bought some more liquid pectin today and I'm thinking about trying really hot batch that will be mostly green. I had lots of peppers to choose from.

My husband cooks his own breakfast (sort of), will cook on the grill (if I insist), but when I start to can, he is always right there to help. I think he just likes the idea of having that food in the house.

You at least need to make yourself a dozen half pints for winter. You will love it.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 8:50PM
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Carol, I am going to have to try to make the jelly. My kitchen talent is stretched when I boil an egg.

I did not try the pepper on my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The pepper is still on the cabinet. When I came in from picking it and opened the frig. I found a jar of pepper jelly. I had told DW a few weeks ago about wanting US to make some. I guess she thought that if she did not buy some that I would have the kitchen so nasty it would never come clean.

I do like to try new things. In the summer when I am able to stay out and work I often eat out of the garden. Madge tells me I graze like a goat.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 10:10PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Larry, My favorite pepper jellies are those that contain fruit and peppers, like Habanero Gold or Cherry Explosion. The blend of sweet and hot is just superb. We like pepper jellies best on crackers with a smear of cream cheese topped with the hot pepper jelly. Some of our friends add them to grilled jalapeno poppers that are stuffed with cream cheese, topped with Habanero Gold jelly and wrapped in bacon. They then grill them on the BBQ grill while grilling burgers or chickens. They also eat Habanero Gold and other pepper jellies with tortilla chips.

You can make jelly if you can boil water. Jams, jellies and preserves only require being canned in a boiling water bath, so you don't even have to deal with a pressure canner.

Paula, I do remember that you'd thrown away all those hulls and am sure we'll laugh about it for years and years. I didn't get a lot of southern peas either this year, partly because I didn't plant many of them until I'd already harvested cool season crops and then put the southern peas in their spot. By the time they were flowering and making peas, the heat was just so brutal and the grasshoppers were hungry. Next year just has to be better!

We need to make a list of other "odd" things that can be made into jelly, like rose hips, for example. (I hope you didn't just throw away a gallon bag of rose hips! lol)

Carol, I've noticed some wide variations in the color of my Habanero Gold too, depending on which color habs and sweet peppers I use.

I have a dozen of the flat type half pint jars, also a gift from Seed Mama, and they are so pretty that I intend to buy and use more of them next year. They are pretty hard to find in the stores here, so I'll need to keep my eyes open.

I graze in the garden too, Larry. It is one of the pleasures of being a gardener--being able to eat handfuls of strawberries, cherry tomatoes, edible podded peas, etc. while working outside. Tim always seems surprised when I'm not hungry for dinner after spending a late spring or early summer day working outside in the garden. If he were out there with me and saw how much I graze (yes, just like a goat!) my way through the garden, he'd know why I'm not hungry in the evening. He assumes I'm not hungry because of the heat, but usually it is because I've been pigging out on tiny tomatoes and green beans all day long.

To me, one of the huge benefits of being a gardener is that I can cut and carry armloads of flowers indoors for bouquets, snip fresh herbs to use in cooking or to add flavor to iced tea, and with all the fresh things to nibble in the garden, who needs Gatorade? I just eat handfuls of small tomatoes or fresh fruit straight from the tree instead.

My absolute favorite day of summer is the first day I get to stand in the orchard, pick a ripe plum or peach, and eat that fresh fruit, still warm from the sunlight with the juice dripping down my chin, while standing there in the yard, watching the birds, butterflies, bees, moths, etc. working their way through the landscape, visiting the flowers, etc. There isn't any moment in the yard all year long that beats that perfect day.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 12:23PM
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