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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cowboy Candy

Year after year I plant a garden with all the best intentions of canning up the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor only to get about half way through the summer and lose momentum.  The weeds take over, I get overwhelmed and that is about the end of it.  Not this year!  Wowzers, my garden did well and I did well too!  Weeds were kept down, watering was kept up and the Lord blessed me with so much bounty I was begging people to come over and pick my garden for their use while I was away on vacation.

Among other crazy growers this year were my jalapeno plants.  Who knew those things would produce SO much?  I cut up and froze  them by the cookie sheet to then be stored in freezer bags.  I canned them in half pieces to be used for stuffed jalapenos.  I even tried something new for Papa Bear since he is such a lover of hot things: Cowboy Candy.  I am NOT a lover of hot things, but I gave it the old college try and took one bite...too hot for me, but Papa Bear absolutely loves them.  I ended up with a total of twelve 1/2 pints of them canned up, and I'm thinking I'm going to have to hide them in the pantry to make them last until next garden.

Cowboy Candy

Recipe says it yields 4 half pints, but I got 6 both times.

*3 pounds firm, fresh jalapeno peppers, washed and sliced into 1/4 slices WEAR GLOVES
*2 C. cider vinegar
*6 C. white granulated sugar
*1/2 tsp. turmeric
*1/2 tsp celery seed
*3 tsp. granulated garlic (I used garlic salt)
*1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (I didn't have any so I used crushed red pepper flakes)

In a large saucepan, bring all ingredients except peppers to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add peppers, careful not to splash, and simmer 4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, ladle peppers into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Turn heat up on syrup and bring to a full, rolling boil.  Boil hard for 6 minutes.  Ladle syrup into jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Remove air bubbles and adjust head space again if necessary.. Wipe rims down, center lids and tighten bands to fingertip resistance.  Place jars canner and process in boiling water bath 10 minutes for 1/2 pints and 15 minutes for pints.

* After processing, remove lid from canner and leave jars in for another 5 minutes.  Slowly remove jars and place on a towel in a draft free area for at least 12 hours. Removing jars immediately after canning can cause hissing and loss of liquid.

You may want to be in a well ventilated room while making this as the smell from the syrup is quite potent.  Both times making this, my sinuses got a good clearing out.  

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