preserving summer


if you, like myself, have reached that point in your summer where ripening, split tomatoes and bright, spicy chilies are making homes on various shelves and sills and in wooden bowls on countertops you are probably in need of a few recipes.

last year i preserved bit of our summer by buying heirloom varietals at our local market, turning them into salsas and pasta sauces.  this i made a bbq sauce and a jam and the vegetables to do so, minus a few yellow peppers, are from our very first backyard garden.

there is something pretty spectacular about popping open a sealed jar in the dead of winter to take you back to those long summer days.  that is my favorite part of preserving, the nostalgia it ushers forth with the crisp opening of each jar weeks even months down the road, when your spirits are in need of lifting and a reminder of warmth and fireflies and pool days lies around the corner in one’s pantry.


tomato-chili jam


2 pounds of tomatoes
1/2 pound of chili peppers
1 1/4 cup of sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon calcium water
1 teaspoon pectin

to prepare, peel, core and chop the tomatoes. remove the stems and seeds from the chilies and dice them finely. combine the tomatoes, chilies, one cup of sugar, and vinegar in a non-reactive saucepan.  bring to a boil and reduce for twenty minutes.  add the calcium water.  in a small bowl combine the rest of the sugar and pectin, stir this into the jam and return to a boil to dissolve the sugar.  remove from heat and let sit for five minutes.

to preserve, process for ten minutes using boiling water method.  i would eat this with smeared atop cornbread or slathered on grilled toast with ricotta cheese.


charred chili bbq sauce


1 pound of chili peppers
5 pounds of tomatoes
1 pound of yellow onions
2 cups of brown sugar
1 cup of cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder

to prepare, char the chilies in the oven or on the grill.  roughly chop them and then peel, core, and chop the tomatoes.  combine all ingredients in non reactive sauce pan and bring to a boil.  reduce the heat and simmer for two hours.  puree with a stick blender.

to preserve, process for twenty minutes using boiling water method.  i would put this on anything, honestly.

*all recipes are taken and mildly adapted from the book put em’ up!

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