Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things!

One of my favorite appetizers is Pepper Jelly.  My grandmother used to make it every year in the fall and I could hardly wait to open a jar and eat some on a cracker....with some cream cheese.  My grandmother also made mint jelly, which she used with lamb and mincemeat pies.  The smell of these takes me back to a very happy time during my childhood.  I decided to share my grandmother's top secret recipes with you all today.  Fall is here...and it is time to eat these foods.

Mild Pepper Jelly

3 1/2 c Sugar
1 c Apple Cider vinegar

3/4 c Sweet bell pepper slices (seeded and sliced finely)

1/2 c Hot pepper slices (seeded and sliced finely)

1 Packet (1/2 bottle) Certo or liquid pectin
Simmer sugar, vinegar and peppers very slowly for 10 minutes stirring to be sure all sugar is well dissolved. Turn off heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil and add Certo. Boil 1 minute. Cool and stir with non-metal spoon 5 minutes. Check that it comes off the spoon in a ribbon or sheet. If not, cook it a bit more. Pour into jars and seal.  My grandmother used red and yellow peppers for color, or all green. (The all green is my personal favorite)  Mixing red and green isn't pretty... it makes the jelly browner...I know because I have done this....and it was so gross.  When you get ready to serve it....take a brick of cream cheese and put it on a with about half a pint jar of pepper jelly and serve it with is so yummy.
My grandmother made mincemeat tartlets and full pies and they were so good.  I loved the tartlets as a kid...I always thought she made them just for the kids.  She made her own mincemeat....and I would wait until she was not looking and sample.....a lot.  I still love the taste of mincemeat.  Yummmmyyyyy!
2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and quartered

8 ounces golden raisins

6 ounces dark brown sugar

4 ounces dried figs, coarsely chopped

2 ounces dried cherries

2 ounces beef suet, coarsely chopped

1-ounce crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup brandy

1 orange, zested and juiced

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground clove

Place all of the ingredients except the crust into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 8 to 10 times (this is what I do......My grandmother finely chopped the apples, dried fruit and suet by hand.)   Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for at least 3 days before using. Can be stored for up to 6 months. The longer it sits....the better it is.....when you are ready to make your pie put in to a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients.  My grandmother made her pie crusts....I don't. I get one from the refrigerator section of the grocery store and pour the ingredients in.....and top with the other one.  Sometimes I get cute and do designs in my crust....other is just plain.  If I have any mincemeat left I will make biscuits and serve them with warmed mincemeat and whipped cream for dessert. 
The other thing my granny used to make was mint jelly.  She always grew her own mint and it smelled so good out in the yard....then she would make the jelly and cook some lamb and serve lamb with mint jelly....oh wow!

Mint Jelly Ingredients

1 1/2 cups packed fresh mint leaves and stems

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 1/4 cups boiling water

1 drop green food color

3 1/2 cups white sugar

1/2 (6 fluid ounce) container liquid pectin
1.Rinse off the mint leaves, and place them into a large saucepan. Crush with a potato masher or the bottom of a jar or glass. Add water, and bring the mint to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain, and measure out 1 2/3 cups of the mint.
2.Place 1 2/3 cups mint into a saucepan. Stir in the lemon juice and food coloring. Mix in the sugar, and place the pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is boiling, stir in the pectin. Boil the mixture for a full minute while stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and skim foam off the top using a large metal spoon. Transfer the mixture to hot sterile jars, and seal.
3.Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.  I was going through my grandmother's cookbook yesterday and these recipes fell out on the floor.  I sat and looked at her handwriting and so wished that I could have felt her arms around me...loving me.  Instead I sat at my table and smelled the paper with her familiar script on it....closed my eyes....and felt her standing right beside me.  It was a great day!  Happy Monday!


Mary said...

Can you believe I've never had any of those? CH told me that there was no way I was southern! :D

Mimi said...

For me it's canning tomatoes with my mom, aunts & grandmother!

Tomatoes that my grandpa and uncle have grown.

Hugs & love,

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Pepper jelly over cream cheese is one of my favorites too!! So simple and soooooo delish!! Thanks for all the recipes.

Hugs, Sherry

Chambray Blue said...

Wow, didn't even know what pepper jelly was. Thanks for sharing.

Trina said...

I LOVE pepper jelly! I've never had mincemeat. For some reason, I've just never thought I'd like it.