Red Pepper Jam, Farms

So the northwest decided to have a summer after all! A little late is what I say - we were dealing with 90˚ temperatures in May. Sadly, this is going to last through the weekend, when we're planning on going to a renaissance fair (sorry, faire). Not too bad for me, but I can't imagine wearing velvet and armor in 95˚ weather! At least this week will afford us a chance to go swimming nearby. Anyway, with the weather talk out of the way -

Today we made another visit to Sauvie Island...it's so nice there. Just a short drive from Portland, all of a sudden there are fields and really cute farm animals (the pig is lying down but she was the cutest!). It's a really nice "escape", though in my mind there's not much escaping to be done from Portland. Someone reviewing the island said it reminded them of midwestern fields and I wondered if they'd ever been to the midwest and seen the ridiculously huge fields of monocultured corn or soybeans. Probably not, because Sauvie Island is the exact opposite of that. While we were there last week, I got some red bell peppers and jalapenos from the farm and set out to make red pepper jam.

I think I improved my pepper-mincing skills exponentially.

The finished product looks as good as it tastes! Like I mentioned before, this is the only jam I've ever used pectin with. The recipe (from my trusty Linda Ziedrich book) told me to make my own pectin from apples, but I didn't have any apples and I did have a year-old box of pectin, so - voila. It set very well and has an interesting flavor. I thought it might be spicy because of all the jalapenos but it's actually pretty mild and very bell-peppery. I think it would be good on fish or a veggie sandwich! I'm glad that in my second year of jam-making, I'm branching out from basic fruit jams. Did I mention the nectarine chipotle jam? More pictures to come!

jennie

PS. Am very surprised "chipotle" isn't in firefox's dictionary...if not for the actual food, what about the gross quasi-Mexican fast food place?