Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pickled Peppers!

The recent wonderful, marvelous, luscious, rain we have received has really boosted my garden production! If a frost holds off, we'll have a wonderful fall harvest! Today I gathered a basket full of mixed peppers to add to the ones I have already stored in the refrigerator!

I looked up a recipe online for pickled peppers. The one I found had measurements for a single jar at a time instead of a huge amount. I measured to see how many jars I would need by placing the raw peppers inside of the jars.

I then sterilized the jars while I gathered my ingredients: coriander, peppercorns, garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey and salt. (For the exact amounts, see the recipe below). I did a little math and adjusted for the amount of peppers I gathered. I put the pan of ingredients on the stove to prepare and drained the jars on a kitchen towel. The house filled with the aroma of peppers, vinegar and honey!

After the ingredients simmered for 5 minutes, I used tongs to arrange the peppers in the sterilized jars and then filled the jars with the liquid, spooning out the peppercorns, coriander and garlic evenly into each of the three jars.

I processed the pickled peppers in a water bath for 10 minutes then set them out on a towel to cool. I won't be eating these pickled pepper as I am a wimp! My husband is eagerly waiting a week for the flavors to meld before opening a jar. I look forward to his culinary review!

Pickled Jalapenos
By Anna Monette Roberts, YumSugar
5 whole jalapenos, stabbed 2-3 times with sharp paring knife 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup filtered water 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorn 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander 1 bay leaf 1 clove of garlic, pounded once 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon honey
To sterilize mason jar: In a very large pot, bring water to a boil. Submerge glass mason jar and lids and continue boiling for at least 12 minutes to sterilize. Use tongs to remove jar and lids, and place on a clean kitchen towel to dry. Keep large pot on the stove to process jar later. To make brine: In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. To jar jalapenos: Using tongs, remove jalapenos from saucepan and place them into a clean, sterilized mason jar. Pour brine on top, leaving about 1/2 inch of space on top. Apply lid and screw metal band on firmly. To process jar: In the large pot of boiling water, lower jarred jalapenos, submerging jar in at least 2 inches of water. Process for 10 minutes. Use canning tongs to carefully remove hot jar, then set it in a cool, dark place. As jar cools, listen for lid to snap, signaling a proper seal. Wait four to five days before opening jar. (If jar does not seal correctly, then refrigerate once it cools to room temperature and use within two weeks.) Refrigerate upon opening. Discard opened jar of jalapenos after two weeks.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tiny Timothy

Nearly all of our pets have just appeared! Timothy was no exception. As I pulled into our drive, I cranked up the radio so I could continue to listen to the talk show as I crossed the street to check our mailbox. I kept hearing a mewing sound that wasn't part of the radio jargon. I looked in the weeds near the road and there was a little gray kitten, yowling away! I reached for him and he backed away slightly before his curiosity overcame him and he came to me. As we drove down the driveway together there was lots of mewing and purring going on!

I knew Timothy was probably covered in fleas, so I asked Mark to bring the cat carrier to the car. We transported him to the bathroom and the bathing, meowing and scratching began! I managed to comb off at least 25 fleas before they subsided. We dried him and put a flea collar on. I treated our other two cats, Holly and Tad, just in case a few fleas were missed or had jumped ship on the way to the bathroom. We set up a "Timothy" area in the guest bathroom, complete with kitten food, water, a cat box, and a little basket with a blanket.

The vet gave Timothy various shots and a clean bill of health. He told us that Timothy is about 3 months old. We are happy about our newest family addition. Now if only Holly and Tad will share in our enthusiasm!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pajamas...not a garden story!

I wanted to write a story about pajamas. It is rather a random thought and since I can't devote an entire blog to random thoughts, I decided I'd just stick it here!

I'd been lusting after a particular pair of pajamas for quite some time. I was first beckoned by their cute colors, a quiet green and dark grey. Upon closer inspection I had noticed the exquisite softness and gentle drape. I LOVED these pajamas! I looked at the tags (they were priced separately, like you'd only want a top or bottom!) The top was $36 and the bottom $38... that's $74 before tax!! Who pays over $74 for pajamas? I moped away to shop more practically!

I returned to this store a couple of weeks later and made a beeline to visit my pajamas. I once again touched their softness, held them next to me and lauded their qualities: they even had a cap sleeve that would not cut into my shoulder and would keep my shoulder warm if by chance it happened to slip out from under the blanket! Plus, this time they were on sale: 20% off! I took out my calculator and subtracted 20% from $74....hmm that's $59! Who pays over $59 for pajamas? One last touch and loving glance and I sulked off.

About 3 weeks later I again entered the store armed with a $10 store coupon plus a coupon for 30% off. Would they still be on sale? Would my size still be available? I hurried to the Intimates Section to face my fate. They were still on sale..this time 40% off!!!! I fumbled with my calculator and made the calculations...40% off $74 is $44... minus $10 is $34... minus 30% is $23!!!!! I CAN pay $23 plus tax for my beautiful, perfect pajamas!!!! And I did!



My perfect pajamas!!