Satisfaction in the summer for me comes from spending hours in the kitchen, preserving stuff from my own garden or from local farms. Does that sound weird? I guess I get it from my mother, although I never heard her say how satisfied she was after spending her mornings harvesting and her afternoons and evenings blanching, freezing, canning and so on.
At the end of the day she would come into the living room, settle into the couch, pick up the newspaper, and listen for the 'pop' of her lids sealing on her jars. That was satisfying for her. I get that same satisfaction when I hear them pop, and think about her often as they do. Today I stemmed, seeded and chopped a couple of pounds of red jalapeno peppers I got from a greenhouse grower, and made them into a hot pepper jelly. (recipe at the bottom of this post) One jar will be cracked open this Saturday as part of a barbecue dinner I'm putting on with Bill Jones at his Deerholme Farm. (only 3 spaces left!) The jelly makes a great pairing with goat cheese, almost any kind of cheese, actually.
While I was making the jelly, a few more pounds of peppers were sitting pretty on my Traeger pellet smoker. Smoking jalapenos turns them into chipotle peppers. They spent almost 12 hours on there today…some are completely dried out and I will store them in plastic bags or containers. Those that are still a little moist will be canned in abobo sauce…tomorrow.
I also harvested my garlic today, I actually planted it last fall, probably a little too close together in not-so-great soil. Almost every clove I planted grew into a new head of garlic, however, even if some of them are a little small. 57 heads, now drying under my balcony. I love it when something you planted 9 months ago bears fruit! Gee, just like giving birth, ha ha.
Oh, and yesterday I built a new herb garden around this huge rock we had left over from the excavation we had done recently in our back yard. I have some more herbs to plant, but so far so good!
Time for bed. The lids have popped, the peppers are off the smoker. Jelly recipe will be added tomorrow….