Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Time for Jellies & Jams

Every years as the fall season approaches in September, I start making jelly and apple butter.  I know many people are making jelly starting in the spring and going through the fall.  They make many different kinds of jelly throughout that time frame.  One of my mother's favorite jellies to make is Cherry-Rhubarb and it is outstanding. Of course she has a large rhubarb patch and has over 50 (my educated guess) different rhubarb recipes.

One of the nice things about jelly recipes is they really aren't the difficult to make.  If you have not tried it before, you might want to try a recipe or two.  You don't need a lot of equipment.  A sauce pan with some ingredients is about it.  You'll need jars and some wax to seal them.  But not a heavy investment at all.  My "Apple Butter" recipe can be made by first timers with no problems.

I basically stick to two recipes with an option on one of the recipes to make it have a little more heat.  I make apple butter for one.  I usually buy seconds on apples at an apple stand/farm.  They are less expensive and work great in my recipe.

This year for many areas of the Midwest in the USA, the apple crop has been hurt by the drought.  Apple prices are up as quantity is down.  In these times and in the off season for apples, I'll use unsweetened apple sauce in place of fresh apples.  It is almost as good as the real thing and it is less expensive to make a batch.

I think that I make some pretty good apple butter.  Many people that I have shared a jar with believe so too.  So this Friday's recipe on my blog will be for my apple butter.

The other recipe I like to make is "Pepper Jelly" which carries some heat.  But you can control the amount.  I actually make two different pepper jellies, one is "Green Pepper Jelly" and the other "Red Pepper Jelly."  The green one is made with green bell peppers and Jalapeno peppers for a mild heat.  The red jelly uses red bell peppers and Ho Chi Minh (yellow) peppers.  The Ho Chi Minh peppers carry the same Scoville heat rating as an Orange Habanero pepper.  So I do green for mild and red for hot.  Not using the seeds and veins of the Jalapeno and Ho Chi Minh peppers gives you a milder version of the jelly.  For those who like it hotter, leave them in the recipe.  This is Thursday's recipe.  Have fun with it.

Some blog followers have asked how I use the pepper jellies.  They are great with or on about anything, in my opinion.  However, many people like to use the pepper jellies with a block of cream cheese.  Just put the jelly (cold) on top of a chunk of cream cheese (room temperature) and serve with your favorite crackers.  I use it on pancakes, toast and it's great with a grilled pork chop.  I learned that one from my 101 year old aunt a couple of years ago.  Her and my 94 year old mother will have to be a story someday on my blog.  Most of us would love to be able to keep up with them.

Before I go let me just say "Thanks" to all my "Russian" friends that are following my food blog.  I hope I'm being helpful and wish you would let me know if there is an area you would like covered.  Thanks again and please continue to spread the word of my food blog to your friends.

Enjoy trying these recipes and tomorrow I have to talk about my new blog assistant (my 16 week old granddaughter).  Grandpas have to brag and especially on the first grandchild.  Have a great week.

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