Friday, June 22, 2012

In the Kitchen...

Sweet and Spicy Pickles:

We're anxiously awaiting the 2 week mark so we can crack these open and see how they turned out!  Also, I had a bunch of banana peppers so I sliced them and canned them in some of the extra brine.

  • 3 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 10 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
  • 24 dried cayenne peppers


Place cucumbers, onions, pickling salt, and water in a large, glass or plastic bowl. Cover and allow cucumbers to soak for 2 hours. Drain the water from the onions and cucumbers through a colander and rinse well for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Combine the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, turmeric, cloves, garlic, and peppers in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add the cucumbers and onions. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat.

Fill each of the hot sterilized pint-size jars with the pickle mixture, dividing them evenly, and enough of the liquid to come within 1/2-inch of the top.  Process the jars in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before removing jars from canner.  Let the pickles age for at least 2 weeks before using.

Jalapeno Jelly:

This jelly is seriously delicious!!!  Sweet with just the right amount of heat, it's really good on a peanut butter and jelly sandwch.  For a great appetizer whip cream cheese with a hand mixer, pile onto the middle of a plate and pour jelly over the top.  Serve with crackers.

  • 12 jalapeno peppers steamed and seeded
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 2 pouches of liquid pectin
    • ( The jelly turned out a bit thick so I'll be trying 1 1/2 pouches next time)
  • green food coloring
Pour 1 cup of the vinegar in a blender, add peppers and puree.  Mix puree and remaining vinegar and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a rapid foaming boil for 10 minutes stirring constantly. Add pectin and continue to boil for 1 more minute. Add 2-3 drops of green food coloring to mixture. This will make your jelly a really pretty emerald green. Place mixture into clean and sterile jars. Process jars in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes.


Apple Pie Moonshine:

Freakin delicious but it sneaks up on you! 

  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 gallon apple juice
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1cup brown sugar
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 liter bottle of 190 proof moonshine or pure grain

In a large stock pot, combine the cider, juice, sugars, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Bring it to a boil, then remove from heat and allow it to cool. Add the liter of high proof liquor.

Strain through cheesecloth or a jelly bag. Pour into mason jars and add 1 cinnamon stick to each*.  Screw lids on tightly.  You can drink this right away but it gets better after a couple weeks. Remember to shake jar before you pour a drink.
*Remove cinnamon sticks after 3 days.

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