That’s my jam

Angie Brown

 

I made the most delicious jam from my homegrown serrano peppers. We’re blessed with a long growing season here in the coastal south (high of 77F yesterday), so the serrano bush is still pretty heavily-laden—and here it is first of December! This will probably be our last batch though. *sadface*

I discovered rather late that we might’ve been picking them too young. I peeped the peppers at Publix, and theirs were twice the size of ours. Oh. well, damn.

But mmmmm, they did make a mighty fine jam.

As an Intuitive Cooker, I don’t really measure anything (and often stray far from the recipe unless I’m baking, baking is a science). So I just sort of looked up basic jam-making how-tos online, and then went for it. I used 4 or 5 thingies of berries + about the same amount of peppers + 2 or 3 cups of raw sugar. Roasted half of the peppers first, then blended them into a pulp—seeds and all—with the remaining peppers and berries, and cooked it all down with the sugar. Didn’t even add any pectin and it’s jelled just fine, yielded 3 or 4 little jars.

10/10 would do it all again next year. Need cheaper source of berries tho.

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My first garden, yay

garden2016

I successfully grew food this year, and thereby achieved one of my life goals. I’m really rather proud of our results—we lost the squash and taters early on, due mainly to inexperience and beetle larvae—but the eggplant, pepper, and okra were rather prolific… and delicious. I have included in the drawing members of the Organic Defense Team:  two resident lizards, Fred and George (who I never saw again after Hurricane Matthew *sadface*), the toad that visited occasionally, and a representative from the ladybug squad. Oh, and the little orange spots all over the background represent the marigolds.

We even grew a 6′ tall papaya tree; it volunteered from the compost and was 2′ before we identified it. It never bloomed or anything and even if it did, we don’t have a mate for it (papayas have male and female trees, did you know that?)

I learned a lot, had tons o’ fun, and look forward to stepping up my efforts next year, with total self-sufficiency as the end goal. y’know—if the world doesn’t all go up in flames before then.

Sharpie fine points, color pencil, ink/watercolor.