Thursday, August 30, 2018

Cooling Off In The Kitchen

I am sitting here at my computer, 
trying to cool off a bit...
afternoon chores are finished.
I can only describe these days as this...
if I closed my eyes, I would swear I was standing under a broiler,
in an oven with a steam function.

To the eye, however, the farm is lovely right now.
There's no August brown as in most years...
no, we've continued with June's green the whole way through the summer.
I'm eager to see what colors autumn brings this year, with the abundant rainfall
that we've had.

I spent a little time, yesterday afternoon, harvesting colorful peppers.
It's been a great year for peppers.

I've made relish and hot pepper jam (which by the way is over-the-top-delicious!)

It's a simple recipe and pairs wonderfully with cream cheese on crackers.

Hot Pepper Jam

4 cups finely chopped hot peppers (seeded)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 (1.75 oz) package of powdered pectin
5 cups of sugar

I use all hot peppers because we like our peppers HOT!!
However, if you like a little less heat, you can substitute as much of the hot peppers
with sweet peppers as you like... but use at least ¼ cup hot peppers for a little kick.
Bring peppers, vinegar and pectin to a boil, stirring constantly.
Add sugar and return to a boil.  Boil for one minute...stirring constantly.
Ladle into hot, sterilized canning jars (8 oz), place lids, and process in a water bath, 
boiling for 5 minutes.

My favorite part, next to eating the jam, is listening for the pop-pop-pop of the lids
sealing as the jars cool.

I've been making our own yogurt twice weekly, and I am hooked on homemade yogurt.
The process is simple...

Warm 1 cup of milk in the microwave to just lukewarm.
Add the culture and whisk thoroughly to dissolve culture.
Add to 4 additional cups of milk and whisk thoroughly.
Pour into yogurt maker and wait... patiently... until the yogurt is solid.
It usually takes anywhere from 9 to 15 hours for my yogurt maker to complete a batch.
(A yogurt maker simply keeps the ingredients at 110-115 degrees.)

I use ultra-pasturized grass milk for yogurt.
You can use any type of milk, but it is suggested that you first heat it to 180 degrees and then
rapidly cool it down to 110 before adding the culture.
I have found that with ultra-pasturized milk I can skip that step.
I have also found that I can shave a little time off the process...
 if I warm all of the milk to lukewarm, first.

A note on the first yogurt photo...
This corner of my kitchen has always held my mixer.
After years of staring at that mixer, I finally decided to stow it in the cabinet,
and dress up that corner a little.
It's only taken me nine years to realize how much nicer the kitchen could look!

I have a passion for antiques and love using them in my home decor.
These old things have stood the test of time.

No plastic was used back in those days!

Can you see a common theme?


Louise Stopford said...

You are such a clever lady - all that jamming and pickling and cooking. I still don't know how you fit it all in to your day. I love your antiques - what lovely possessions you have!!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You have such a beautiful home!

The JR said...

Thank you so much for both recipes. I need to try that pepper relish. My peppers are showing out right now.

Love the wood board against the wall. We love antiques too. Thanks again!

June Mcconkey said...

Thats it! I'm moving my mixer! Well as soon as I get home from vacation!!

daisy gurl said...

I used to make scratch yogurt using a cooler and water jugs. Turned out great! I miss eating yogurt and cheese. They don't do my sinuses any good. But I do save ice cream as a once-a-month treat!
Stay cool out there! Autumn is just around the corner!

Ruthlynn said...

I love your kitchen and the antique tools. Can you tell us what some of them are/used for from time to time? Also, what is your counter made of? Stone or Formica? It is very nice looking.

Missy George said...

Looks like we may get a few days break in this awful weather then back in the 90's again...I feel bad for the animals.Love your new kitchen corner..looks great..All your "antique" decorating is charming...You have just the right amount to pull it off..very clever..xxoo

jaz@octoberfarm said...

my peppers went crazy this year too. i planted lots of shishito and poblanos. i'm roasting the shashito's tomorrow to go with burgers for our labor day dinner. labor day...woohoo!!! now if we can just get some fall weather. i love your antiques!

GeorgiaHoneyBee said...

I need to move my mixer from my counter. I absolutely love to bake, but I struggle with my weight, and my daughter was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. So... I need to stow my mixer out of sight so that baking is less of a temptation. You often write about things that I've been procrastinating about, and seeing you complete the task somehow helps me to get it done. A huge thank you for that!! I love your blog!!

Lynne said...

Love seeing your indoor pics as much as outdoor . . .
Lovely home . . .
Reallynlike your antique pieces . . .
Apple look . . . all shinny on the scale . . . wonderful.

At friends a few evening ago who Winter in South Texas . . .
They served a Guacamole with peppers . . .
They said they learned in Texas/Mexico to always add one Jalapeno Pepper with sweeter peppers!
Delicious and HOT!


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