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?