On Jarring.

September 26, 2010

My new found hermitage has afforded me with long warm Saturdays in the kitchen.            (Except yesterday, which I spent getting the season’s last sunburn on the most epic of injun summer beach days.)

And so with my sunny Saturdays, I move between kitchen and porch, stirring and sitting, simmering and reading, and being generally satisfied in my domestic cloister.

Last weekend was the perfect time for experiments in jarring. I am into jarring for a myriad of reasons. I like it because it’s like a science experiment, all the vinegar pectin, all the careful measuring. I like it because I like slow cooking fruit into a taste concentrated tizzy. I like it for its simply reductive quality; in this case it turned super cheap nectarines, and garden surplus hot peppers that might have been wasted into something that could be in the pantry all fall (if neighbors/friends hadn’t caught on to the process and started requestings jars). See, I even like the communal quality of jarring. Beautiful jars of hot pepper jelly just look like gifts, they are meant for giving. (And when you give out hot pepper jelly, you get more hot peppers in response, and are nudged back into the kitchen for second and third batches.) And I like it for the dialing back, for creating the feeling of being part of an old food tradition. 

Here are my recipes for Hot Peppa Jelly and Ginger Nectarine Buttah.

Ginger Nectarine Buttah

8 lbs. peeled, cored, and diced Nectarines

2 inches grated fresh ginger

1 heaping tablespoon of ginger

1 cup honey

1/2 packet of fruit pectin (i eyeballed it, just to add a little stability)

This is the easiest thing ever. Have you ever used a crock pot? Because I never have until I made this recipe. Just dice up all the nectarines, throw them in a crockpot with the honey and spices, and let that mother cook overnight. Give it a good twelve hours. Give it an hour with the lid off to get rid of some of that extra liquid. Puree it in the blender (I just got an immersion blender just in time for soup season, and i’m psyched.) Ladle into freshly boiled mason jars, and process in boiling water for a good ten minutes.                                              This makes about 6 little darling eight-ounce jars.

Encourage those you gift it to to try it in their oatmeal. (That’ right!)


Hot Peppa Jelly

2 1/2 cups diced sweet peppers

1/3 cup diced medium hot to hot peppers, sans seeds

1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

4 cups raw sugar

1 1/2 1.79 ounce packets of powdered fruit pectin

Literally nothing in the world could be easier than this. Dice your peppers, and bring the vinegar to a boil. Add the peppers and boil for 2 minutes. Pour in the sugar while constantly stirring, and then add the pectin. Let it boil for 2 minutes. Ladle into freshly boiled jars and boil for a good ten minutes.

It’s baller on crostini with goat cheese.

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