Sorry - I'm done now, I swear...
I applied to be a host through houseparty.com some time ago. I've applied for a bunch and never got chosen and so forgot about it for a while until someone I knew actually got something. So I went back on and applied for the Ball Taste of Summer Party which included a ton of canning supplies including all the tools, a stainless steel bath, pectin, tons of coupons for people, etc. Seriously, I don't care if they ever pick me for anything again, this was the BEST!
I had talked to a couple friends and my grandmother just before getting this so it must've been kismet.
Fast forward to last Friday and my girlfriend and I canned for 5 hours while our boys played. It was so much easier than I ever thought it would be and the results were pretty amazing. We made a strawberry-hot-pepper jam and a cranberry chutney. Both were delicious. Here is the recipe for the jam. It's delicious poured over a brick of cream cheese and eaten with crackers. I'll post the chutney recipe next:
Strawberry Hot Pepper Jam:
- 4 cups crushed strawberries (we put them through the food processor - I don't know if this is wrong to do or not, but it worked. Although I'm told it's why our fruit floated upwards during the settling - anyone know anything about this?)
- 1 cup minced jalapeno peppers or other hot peppers (we did a mix of mostly jalapeno, a couple serrano and a few habanero. It's still not that spicy - next time I would probably use a few more habanero - or a less-sweet fruit)
- 1/4 fresh squeezed lime juice (you can use lemon too - we thought lime would be a little more fun)
- 1 (2oz) pkg powdered fruit pectin
- 6 cups white sugar
- 8 half-pint canning jars with lids and rings
Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot or canning bath and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and keep at a boil for processing.
Meanwhile, place the strawberries, peppers, lime juice, and pectin into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once simmering, stir in the sugar until dissolved, return to a boil, and cook for 1 minute.