Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cowgirl Candy!

My hubby took me to the clothesline faire  during labor day weekend. For those of you not in the south craft fairs are BIG here! Clothesline faire is one of the bigger ones in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. People set up booths and sell all sorts of homemade things... So I like going to get ideas (mwahahahaahaha.. hey being crafty has its perks lol)

Well at one booth they had a big sign that said carmel apple jalapenos.. and I thought hmm wonder what that tastes like... Guess what? yep they had samples.. YES!! and ohh my goodness  I was in heaven. It was sweet it was spicy.. it was AMAZING!!! So hubby bought me an $8 bottle of this yummy goodness. (I know $8 is a lot of money for a half pint jar.. but I had to have it!)

So I bought some tortilla chips on the way home, but I wanted to savor this yummy amazingness so I would only put a small amount in a bowl and eat it. Well after 5 times it was gone.. BOOO!

You know what I did? I pintrested it!  Pintrest is my downfall , It taunts and teases me... anywho. I found a couple recipes that were similiar. now I really have no experience canning.. but I did watch my mom do it while I was little.. So I thought Id give it a try.

I followed this recipe from Pinks Posts. So after a hard days work checking out people at walmart.. hey it's a job! & harder than you think lol. I hopped over to the produce department & went over to housewares and got my canning jars. Sadly they only had half pints and quarts so I grabbed some half pints. they worked out pretty good. Now I must admit that I was too lazy to make them that day. so I waited til my next day off.

I started off cutting the tops from all 3 lbs of jalapenos. Then sliced them in slices. (I want to say right now that this can be done two ways. in slices or like relish. I wanted mine like relish but I think Im gonna make another batch with slices later on) I wanted relish this time so I put about 2 cups at a time  in my handy dandy blender , & pulsed them at short bursts.The recipe says that they seeded and gutted out half but I wanted mine hot so I left them all in. Now I also got to thinking and the cowgirl candy relish I had pineapples, so I had hubby get down in the cabinet ( hey theres spiderwebs and i don't wanna encounter a mouse lol) & got me two cans of crushed pineapples. I drained these ( and drank the juice of course) & put these in the blender to pulse to. Then I got out 2 onions . I peeled these and choped them in bigger slices then pulsed these in the blender).

Now I had a hot smelling  mess in a bowl. So I started on the syrupy part.

I combined the ingredients.. then called my mom. Lol the recipe states that if your making slices you boil , then put in the jalapenos, then take them out after 4 minutes, continuing to boil for 6 more minutes... but doesnt say what to do if your making relish. My mom suggested just leaving the jalapeno mix in the whole time.. so thats what I did.

So I boiled my mix, put in the jalapenos then boiled for another 6 minutes. (now when I first started boiling I was having some serious doubts. you could really smell the apple cider vingear and I was scared I did something wrong.. but it turned out  perfect when it was done.) It wasn't the exact thing I got at the clotheline faire.. but Hey I made it myself, and I AM pretty proud of it... and it's super nummy (I've already eaten 2 bottles..eeks).

I ladled my mix into my jars and set them to the side. If you have never canned before (like me) let me just say it's super easy. nothing to be afraid of. I wiped the tops with a wet napkin and put on the flat tops. Then I twisted on the rings to finger tightness. I don't own a water bath pot so I made due with a pot I already had that was tall enough... I did however get one of those clampy things.. and I am so glad I did.. that stuffs HOT! I placed my jars in the pot and started filling with water. the recipe says 1 inch above the cans but my canning jar box says 2 so I did 2 inches. After hard boiling, I boiled for 10 minutes. Took them out and let them cool on my cookie racks.. after a little bt i heard that wondeful pop sound that indicates that the jars are sealing themselves... and voila ... DONE!!! (of course then i had to clean up the mess lol)

So first let me show you the relish I bought...

Now here's mine....

Yes I know there's are red and mines green... I can't figure out what they used to make it red... Trust me I've looked.. if ya have any ideas shoot me an email and let me know!

& here's the original recipe!

Yield: About 9 half-pint jars of Candied Jalapenos plus additional jalapeno syrup.

3 pounds fresh, firm, jalapeno peppers, washed2 cups cider vinegar6 cups white granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon turmeric1/2 teaspoon celery seed3 teaspoons granulated garlic1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1. Slice of the stem ends of all the peppers and then slice each pepper into 1/8-1/4 inch rounds. (You can wear gloves if you like. Personally, I really enjoy forgetting and then later, when I've forgotten that I've been handling hot peppers, rubbing my eyes and then screaming and crying like a baby while my husband just shakes his head...)
2. In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within 1/4 inch of the upper rim of the jar. (Side note, (again), if you're new to canning, like I was this summer, I think there's something to be said along the lines that you can really fit a ton more stuff into jars then you'd think. Pack it in there! It's totally fine!)
3. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil.  Boil hard for 6 minutes. (or maybe longer, like 8 minutes, because I'm sure a kid is screaming about something and you'll get distracted...it's all good)
 4. Use a ladle and funnel to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices to within 1/4-inch of the rim.  Insert a cooking chopstick or air bubble tool thingy to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air.  Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary.  Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.
5. Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches.  Bring the water to a full rolling boil.  When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints.  When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack.  Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours.  When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.
That's it! Have fun making some Cowgirl candy.. YUMMMMYYY!

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