Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Last Gasp Of Summer

Tonight is the night. My innocent summer garden survivors, the ones who have overcame summer heat and chewing petulant insects, the ones who have done nothing but give, only to watch neighboring plants being rooted up one by one as they withered in the summer sun; the ones who provided baskets and barrels full of earthy goodness, tonight is the night they will be slaughtered. Yes, the first winter frost is on the move and tonight it will be hitting my summer weaklings until they are frozen to the core. I feel kind of dirty as I fill up my grocery sack full of green tomatoes, the poor plants can't even see it coming; stealing their little babies one by one, raping and pillaging...I'm a pirate now, and my garden is the unsuspecting, innocent village.

Well...a little dramatic I suppose; but since gardening isn't the edgiest thing in the world sometimes you have to use your imagination. Might as well make the most of it! I'm a pirate after all, now I must enjoy the bounty of my pillage :)

Recipes for Green tomatoes:
Green Tomato Salsa Verde
Green Tomato Pickles
Fried Green Tomatoes
My Dad's favorite: Chow-Chow

Scarlet Pepper Jelly 

1 lb peppers (mix of red and green peppers, whatever kind you got, depending on desired hotness) I use a ratio of 1:1 half sweet/mild peppers, then half a mix of Jalapeno and Serrano
3 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
6 1/2 cups sugar
1 pouch powdered pectin

Yields 6  1/2pints

Wash peppers and cut off tops. Core mild peppers only, leave hot peppers intact, seeds, membrane, and all. If you want to "sissify" your jelly, You could de-membrane and seed everything though. Puree peppers on the "chop" setting on your food processor. Transfer mixture to a large pot and add the vinegar. Heat to boil and boil for 10 minutes, stir constantly occasionally. Add pectin and stir until dissolved. Add sugar to your mixture, and bring to boil. Boil for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Ladle immediately into hot, sterile jars and process in your water-bath canner according to USDA processing times (in Bakersfield, I process my hot-packed jars for 10 min) . Remove and let cool for 24 hours on a towel.

 Use for poultry glaze, add more vinegar to make a spicy poultry or fish marinade, or enjoy with some cream cheese on a cracker. Delicioso!

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