Somehow, in the course of my busy days, I managed to make some strawberry preserves and wild plum jam. I didn't have any pectin on hand, so I made it using a vintage recipe where you basically just cook it in sugar for 20 minutes or so, let it set up and cool, then process it in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. I haven't opened one of them yet. I should though. I really have no idea if it turned out well or not. They just look so pretty on my pantry shelf!
I also put up some Italian giardiniera - a condiment with jalapenos, bell peppers, carrot, celery, onion and other spices and stuff that is mixed with equal parts olive oil and vinegar. I couldn't process these, though, because they have oil in them. Next time, I'll leave the oil out when I can them, and then later just mix in the appropriate amount of oil when I open the jar.
If you like hot stuff, this is yummy. Even if you don't like hot stuff, you could always make it without the jalapenos. It is a perfect way to utilize some produce from the garden, plus it's excellent on sandwiches (especially Italian ones), in salads, in pastas, and even pizzas. Some people just eat it as a side dish. Here's the recipe for you. I got a little over 4 pints of it.
Hot Italian Giardiniera
2 green bell pepeprs, diced2 red bell peppers, diced8 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced1 celery stalk, diced1 medium carrot, diced1 small onion, chopped1/2 c fresh cauliflower florets1/2 c water to cover2 cloves garlic1 T dried oregano1 t red pepper flakes1/2 t black pepper1 five-oz jar of pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped1 c white vinegar1 c olive oil
Place into a bowl the green and red peppers, jalapenos, celery, carrots, onion, and cauliflower. Stir in salt and fill with enough water to cover. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain salty water and rinse vegetables.
In a bowl, mix together garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper and olives. Pour in vinegar and olive oil and mix well. Combine with vegetable mixture. Cover and refrigerate for two days before using.
In other news, Victoria has begun trying to feed herself with utensils. We delayed solids pretty long, so she's a little behind *most* babies when it comes to feeding herself from a spoon. Still, she cracked me up with her cuteness, especially when she's covered in yogurt. :)
I just can't believe she's going to be one in eight days.