Making pepper jelly…
Before Christmas I was determined to finally make pepper jelly out of my chile crop from the summer. All chile peppers had been frozen, and I had enough serranos for the recipe I planned to follow. The recipe was simple, so the process should be simple too–right?
Hah! Me plus the kitchen…never simple.
First I had to devein/deseed all the hot peppers. No problem, except this started the problems for the rest of the process and beyond. Why? Because no matter how many times I washed my hands that STUFF was still on them, ready to burn my eyes if I touched them. I tried really hard not to touch them.
So everything goes into a food processor to puree. Easy. Then goes into “heavy bottomed sauce pan” to bring to a boil. I don’t have that many heavy bottomed sauce pans to choose from, ie. one. But it looked big enough. A rolling boil should be manageable, slow, stately big bubbles, not foam cresting at the top of the pan threatening to overflow, right?
You guessed it–I got overflowing foam, so I scooped as fast as I could to get the excess into an adjacent saucepan. Then that pan threatened to overflow. I couldn’t win! More importantly, have you ever sucked in the steam created by a cup of serrano peppers?
Ouch! All my soft tissue membranes were screaming.
Somehow I managed to finish the boiling, add in the gelatin, and pour into the cans. I didn’t worry how much jelly went all over the floor, the table, and the chairs–because hubby’s in charge of the mess AFTER I cook. Needless to say, the kitchen was completely coated.
Success: the jelly actually tasted like pepper jelly I’d had in the past and it had set up properly. I now had several jars of Christmas presents. Problem: one half of my right eye was BRIGHT RED. What? Was I going to go blind? Did I need to see an opthalmologist right away? Luckily I was able to speak to my mom’s eye doctor, who said the red would eventually go away. I just had to live through most of Christmas with people avoiding looking me in the eye.