A coworker of mine brought in two big bags of peppers from his garden. I'm guessing one family of five can't eat two big bags of peppers all by themselves? Crazy talk :) Since this was the second time he brought them in, I decided this go-round that I would take them home and make jalapeno jelly. What a GREAT IDEA, right? I mean, yes, it ended up being a great idea; however, there's also this tiny part where my hand turned into a ball of flaming fumes and fire. But I get ahead of myself.
I'm into this thing lately where I want to know exactly where my food comes from. I think maybe I've just hopped onto the locavore game because it seems like I'm not the only one who's back into canning and making things from scratch. Either way, I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn how to make jelly. A few years ago, I made orange marmalade (and then orange butter) from the tree in my backyard and it was really satisfying...and yummy! Talk about from cradle to grave with that one! And since I love jalapeno jelly, canning, and homemade stuff, I figured this would be a match made in heaven!
I followed this recipe pretty closely. And even though my coworker warned me that I should wear a glove, did I wear a glove while cutting these spicy beasts? No, of course not. Because I actually thought to myself, oh I don't need that. I'm tough. I don't need gloves. Well, perhaps I am tough, but I'm also an idiot because the day before I had picked steamed crabs. And if you're not familiar with picking crabs, that means that the day before I had scratched up my hands and created little crevices for the jalapeno oil to penetrate into my skin. Oh so smart. After slicing and dicing one big bag of peppers, my hand was on fire. FIRE, I tell you. As in, it woke me up in the middle of the night FIRE. As in, I had to sleep with my hand on a ice pack FIRE. As in, hot water from a shower or doing the dishes or just washing my damn hand after going to the bathroom set my fingers on fire FIRE. Please learn from my mistake and wear gloves if you're going to make this jalapeno jelly!
Anyway, my jalapeno jelly adventure worked! Not only am I am now the proud owner of six jars of jelly, but it also effectively distracted me from NOT getting a text or phone call from a stupid boy. Whatever. I have jelly and he doesn't. (I don't think you're ready for this jelly!) I'm super excited. I tried some at home last night to make sure it didn't taste like crap and it was delish! A bit runnier than the stuff I've bought at the store in the past, but still tasty. I'm assuming the honey-like consistency is because I used powdered instead of liquid pectin. I also used plain vinegar, since my convenience store didn't have apple cider. I'm pretty sure you're allowed to trade things in and out unless you're baking...which is basically chemistry...which I nearly failed. So there's always that. Anyway, I'm serving it up with some Ritz crackers and cream cheese to my coworkers today to see what non-biased people thing. But I think that this is a winner :)