In Search of Perfect Pepper Jelly

Green Pepper JellyJust the other day, I received a question from Alisha about pepper jelly:

I’m looking for a pepper jelly recipe, that utilizes a large variety of hot peppers (jalapeno, habanero, serrano, etc), with the minced pepper fruit suspended in the jelly. Have you come across any? We had a dear friend that used to make it… but she passed, and never shared her recipe. I remember she said it contained 6 different peppers… they were a variety of colors. And it was remarkable.

This raises a few interesting questions:

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Is Your Asparagus Getting Mushy?

Shirley-Camp’s-Pickled-Asparagus-PhotoI had a question come in the other day from Ernest who asked the asparagus question that’s probably on all of our minds:

“We grow asparagus but very little. I would plant more if we could do something other than freezing it. My question is this: will it get mushy after blanching then processing? My wife and I like to can what we grow. I showed what I saw on the Mrs. Wage’s page about you and asparagus and that was her question.”

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More asparagus tips …

paleo-leap-171From one of our Facebook Friends, Carol Buck:

“Need ideas for extra asparagus I’ve hope to grow this season.Tried freezing and not happy with my method. Do you have suggestions? Thanks,Carol”

You can read my response on my Facebook page, but I’ll also leave my answer here:

I’ve have had success with blanching spears or pieces of asparagus, cooling it quickly and removing excess moisture. Then I freeze it on a cookie sheet and package in ziplock bags and freeze. Hope this helps! I love asparagus. You can also do dill pickle asparagus…if you need recipe for this, let me know.

Tomato sauce giving you trouble?

Canned Spaghetti SauceOne of our blog readers – Debbie – sent in a question the end of last week about her  spaghetti sauce:

I made and canned spaghetti sauce with your mix and it is very runny.  When we use it we have tried using cornstarch to thicken it. That hasn’t worked. Do you have any suggestions on how to thicken the sauce?”

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In a pickle over your pickles? Shirley has some answers.

0512 Homepage Photo - Shirley CampOne of the things I love most about this website are the questions I receive from my readers – some of whom are old pros when it comes to canning and some are learning for the very first time.

Recently, I received a couple of questions from my website and from my Facebook page that drove home the importance of going back and touching on the basics from time to time. These are good questions and even though they may have simple answers, leaving those questions unanswered can make people feel uneasy about their next canning or pickling project – and we don’t want that to happen.

(After all, look at all the good things that can happen when people feel inspired to break out the jars and fresh fruits, veggies and meats and spend some time in the kitchen!)

So, here are their questions and my replies: Continue reading