Saturday, August 24, 2013

Procrastination Recipe: Hot Pepper Jelly

Today I learned a valuable lesson. Never cut an unknown pepper without gloves on.

Last year I made berry jam and hot pepper jelly as gifts for family and friends. Apparently I did okay with it because I've had requests for more. So I decided with a few hours free today that I'd make more hot pepper jelly. I should preface that hot pepper jelly is more sweet than spicy. I love it served over a cracker and a little smear of cream cheese. It's a delicious nibble for while you're cooking or entertaining. But it's not spicy. Jalepeno peppers, when the seeds are removed and cooked, isn't spicy. So after last year's batch I thought how silly I'd been to wear rubber gloves while dicing the peppers and I decided this time to man up and go bare-handed. It would have been fine except I bought some small red peppers that may or may not have been serrano peppers. That was my mistake - to purchase something without being sure what they were. But seriously Shaws, how could you not lable your merchandise! Or at least have a heat index next to them. Jeez Louise.

Two large green bell peppers
Two large red bell peppers
Three jalapeno peppers
Three unknown small red peppers
Half of a small white onion
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups white sugar
3 Tablespoon pectin (optional, but it makes it more jelly like)

Remove seeds and dice all peppers and onion together. In large sautee pan (on medium heat) combine peppers, onion, sugar and vinegar. (As an aside, my hand feels like it's on fire as I type this.) When (I just took ten minutes to run olive oil over my hands and wash them repeatedly at my mother's advice... still on fire, truly it feels like there are flames shooting out of my skin) it comes to a slow boil add pectin (if desired, it helps to thicken the jelly). Turn off heat and let sit for five minutes before canning. As for canning instructions, I recommend googling it.

I'm about to scream from the internal heat on my hand right now so I need to stop typing. Suffice it to say it started off feeling like lemon juice on a few paper cuts and after I washed it with soap it spread across my hand to all the fingers, the palm and the back of my hand as well as two fingers on my left hand. I've tried aloe, veg oil, olive oil, soap, ice, I'm still on fire and on the verge of tears. So... maybe I need to stop procrastinating and just get to editing. I mean, this has to be a sign, right?

Happy Reading!


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