Thursday, December 16, 2010

So Many Jalapenos

I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do with all the jalapenos I harvested right before our first frost. I've made two batches of jalapeno jelly and one batch of pickled jalapenos and still have a couple of pounds left. I made my second batch of jelly with only red jalapenos, and I think it turned out prettier than the green jelly. This is the batch I'll use for gifts. I'm becoming more interested in savory jellies. I just found a recipe for garlic jelly and may make a batch of that too. I still have plenty of garlic to use up, and I've heard garlic jelly is good on steak. I also just made hamburgers for dinner last night and put some of my tomato jam on it that I made with my yellow pear tomatoes. Tomato jam is like ketchup in jam form (and much easier to make that true ketchup).
For the pickled jalapenos I cut three pounds into slices and soaked them in Pickle Crunch overnight, then canned them in a pretty simple brine of vinegar, water, and salt. The recipe called for a few spices too, but I left them out because I wanted just plain jalapeno flavor.
As usual, I ended up with more jars than the recipe stated, cramming nine pints full. I had to can them in two batches since my canner fits seven pints at most. They turned out pretty with a mix of red and green slices, like Christmas jalapenos.
I still have over two pounds of jalapenos left, and only a couple of canning jars left. They need to be used up soon. They're already starting to look a little less than fresh. I could freeze them, or I could go ahead and break down and buy another dozen canning jars and can another half-batch of jalapenos, then freeze what's left over.

Strangely enough, my jalapeno plants are still alive after several freezes. They don't look well, but they're hanging on. I guess so far the freezes have been light. I haven't done anything to help them, either. I haven't even been watering them, and we haven't had significant rainfall since September. If I was actually taking care of them, I wonder if they'd survive the winter.

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