it's pepper jelly day!

10:35 AM

11903851_10156089052440389_3832552206132694049_n When my father in law (whom I also work with) comes into the office last week with a bag full of peppers, I knew it was his way of saying: "Can you make me some jelly?"

You see, I am one of those hosts who sets out a plate of crackers, cheeses, homemade sweets and jams every time someone stops by...even if it is for only a short time. I'm like a mini Martha Stewart in my own way, only a lot less pretentious and covered in tattoos. And despite the usual hesitance people have when I offer "jalapeno jelly" on crackers with cream cheese, it quickly turns into them begging for a jar to take home themselves.

I originally found the recipe on the Ball Jar website and have seen many adaptations across the internet. In the end it depends on a.) what you have on hand, b.) how sweet you like your jelly, and c.) how colorful you would like it to be. Some variations use only particular hot peppers, some a more sweet variety, some leave the seeds, some eliminate them, some with extra pectin, some with extra sugar, some with food coloring, and some without...Again, it is entirely up to you, as long as your preservation methods follow the guidelines.

Yesterday's jelly began with the bag of Serrano peppers from my in-law's garden, to which I added some jalapenos from my own. Some 30 peppers were prepared for the jelly (they were quite small) - seeds and veins removed and a very careful me to not touch my face for the rest of the day (it is best to wear gloves for this process, however, hubby used mine for a project the night before). As I was only preparing three jars, I used one packet of liquid pectin and 1 cup of cider vinegar. You really should not "play" with the amount of pectin needed, but I knew from prior experience this would be ok. I have posted the recipe I generally use below. You can find it and all of my other favorite recipes on my Pinterest page. Enjoy!

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