Selfie in a gazing ball, the round bumps in the glass turn me into an abstract.
This week’s challenge is about fleeting things. Cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden, a taste available only during a short time each summer. And then there’s that little caterpillar at the bottom that probably didn’t make it to whatever it was supposed to metamorphose into.
This one is a two-fer. I finally got the garden planted today, with three heirloom tomato plants including Cherokee Purple, Sunfire, a yellow pear one and a red cherry tomato. There is one jalapeño, one poblano, and two Big Jim New Mexico peppers. There’s also a pattypan squash and two rows of Italian beans. And there’s Italian and Thai basils, dill and epazote. All these will enhance dinner for the rest of the summer. Not to mention the garlic chives which have taken over one end of the garden and the red onions that are sending up flower shoots instead of making bulbs.
It’s the end of October, so it’s time to do a final roundup in the garden and see what’s left from the summer. I usually have a bumper crop of jalapeños by this time and was musing on what I could do with them last year. I threw it out on Facebook and the Preacher sent me a link to this recipe. This is found at http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2010/05/23/candied-jalapenos/
I made them and they were gifts to a few people who like hot stuff and they were quite a hit. I think it’s about time to do it again. I think I will add more garlic this time. A note of warning: when you boil the vinegar and sugar, make sure the room is well ventilated or the fumes will make you cough and cry.
Yield: About 9 half-pint jars of Candied Jalapenos plus additional jalapeno syrup.
3 pounds fresh, firm, jalapeno peppers, washed
2 cups cider vinegar
6 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
3 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem. Discard the stems.
Slice the peppers into uniform 1/8-1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.
In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within 1/4 inch of the upper rim of the jar. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.
Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.
*If you have leftover syrup, and it is likely that you will, you may can it in half-pint or pint jars, too. It’s wonderful brushed on meat on the grill or added to potato salad or, or, or… In short, don’t toss it out!
Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints. When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.