Last week I had the worst week at work: Layoffs and furloughs have left many of us stressed, overworked, and at serious risk for burn out. And to top it off I have had what I thought was a head cold for nearly three weeks running. I've since decided it's allergies, but living with constantly stuffed and achy sinuses has left me feeling pretty under the weather.
Thank goodness I found an activity that addressed both problems: Pepper jelly. I'll explain. I find few things as relaxing as canning. It's sort of like cooking in that it's a creative outlet, but canning really addresses the squirrel in me: Especially during this time of year, I like to stock up tasty things to take me through the winter. And the hot water bath works as a nice sinus steamer, while the pungent odor of the peppers blasts through, giving me a whiff of something for the first time in weeks.
Much credit goes to my blog and real-life friend Trevor for this inspiration. I mailed him some fig jam; he mailed me some of this grandmother's recipe of pepper jelly. Over the weekend, he made fig jam, and I made pepper jelly. He made his as part of a holiday gift-making collective; I'll take some of mine to sell at Sophie's school holiday art fair.
My produce market had a wonderful collection of peppers. Although the recipe calls for red peppers, I couldn't help throw in a few yellows as well.
Seeding the jalepenos keeps this jelly from being too hot. It's just perfect for my white-girl taste buds.
I chopped all peppers coarsely and then ran them through the food processor.
Perhaps what I love most about this recipe is what it does not include: green food coloring. You can go ahead and dump this over a brick of cream cheese if you must, but it does not need a lurid green hue. I prefer Trevor's recommendation of crostini and goat cheese. It's a great addition to any cheese and cracker or bread combination.