Do you ever just hit that point with your garden where you are ready for it to be done for the year? I hit that point this past weekend. I knew it was time to do one last big harvest, picking anything that was still growing , canning it or freezing it and then put my garden to bed for the winter. We had a very nice haul on our last harvest from our pepper plants. Normally my pepper plants are a big fail but this year I had an epic crop. All of this came from just five little pepper plants.
Fajita Bell Peppers- Basically a spicy bell pepper that can be eaten at any stage or color. These guys definitely have a kick to them but they also have the sweetness of a bell pepper. The plant didn’t have huge yields but I like these cute little peppers and would definitely grow them again for the flavor.
Most of our peppers were Santa Fe Grande Peppers. They are similar in spice to a jalepeno and ripen from yellow to orange to red. These plants had huge yields and are a staple in my garden each year as they are great for fresh eating, salsas, and pickling. They can be used while they are any color but are spiciest when they are red in color.
For this last bumper crop I called in reinforcements to help me preserve these peppers. My best friend Danielle came over to help and also supplied the recipe we used to create this awesome jam. The recipe comes from her Grandma Marge who tasted something similar to this years ago in the southwest and decided she could try and recreate the recipe and did! This pepper jelly is wholly addictive when dumped over a can of cream cheese and served with your favorite cracker. Try it once and I can guarantee this recipe will become a staple in your pantry.
- 4 pounds Jalepenos chopped into thin slices (used a combination of the peppers above to make the jelly)
- 2 pounds thinly sliced onions (about 8 small onions)
- 1/2 cup canning salt
- 3 cups vinegar
- 5 cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp mustard seed
- 2 tsp tumeric
- 2 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp peppercorns
Directions: Combine pepper and onion slices in large bowl. Place remaining ingredients in large sauce pot and bring to a boil. Add peppers and onions and return to a boil. Pack hot pepper mix into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Yield: About 7 pints. If you have never canned before check out this basic tutorial on canning. It is not a hard process and is so rewarding to eat food from your garden in the middle of winter.
Do you have a favorite canning recipe? I’d love to know your favorite canning recipes, drop me a note if you feel like sharing.