Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pepper Jam

So a month ago my friend Conrad (aka the Chief), his wife Dani, their friend Syd, and my pal Dave (aka Little Davey) came up to Seattle for a concert. They stayed with us and were kind enough to take us to a Mariners game and out to dinner at Anthony’s Bell St. Diner. Dani and Conrad also brought a good deal of produce from their garden--a few squash and zucchini (as dictated but Utah tradition), a couple bell peppers, and ~15 Hungarian hot peppers. That weekend Michelle went to cross country camp and I had to figure out something to do with all those peppers. We've had some pepper jam before that we got at Pike's Place Market, so I decided to try making some. I found a recipe in the pectin package insert (here) for jalapeño jam, so I just used that. It was technically a recipe for canning jam, but I just put it in freezer containers and froze it.

It turned out pretty well. It packs more of a kick than I expected, and it doesn't look great, but it tastes pretty good. It's really good on zucchini bread or with cream cheese and cracker.

SAFETY NOTICE: While you can use a canning jam recipe for freezer jam, you SHOULD NOT use a freezer jam recipe for canning jam. Canning jam recipes are formulate to preserve correctly, while freezer jams aren't.

Lessons Learned:

If/when I make this in the future, I think I may go with yellow food coloring instead of green. It took me a couple tries to get the color somewhat appealing, while not looking to much like a mint jelly.
I also think I'll leave out any red peppers. There was one in the bunch, and I though it would add some cool color to the jam, but I think it makes it look even less like food.
You always need a bigger pot. I thought this one would be big enough to allow for the foam/bubbles/froth, but it wasn't. Runny jam mixture is a real pain to clean up, and I don't think the stove burners liked it very much.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Qualifying Exam

These questions are typical ones for our physics qual, which I'm taking next week.