Kettle Corn Cob Jelly

 Hello.  My name is Audrey and I am a canning addict.

It's true.

I had made corn relish the other day http://ahawker.blogspot.com/2013/08/corn-relish.html and was then looking at all of the corn cobs.  They were juicy and some still had part of the kernel on them.  They smelled very good, fresh and corny.  Do I just throw them to the chickens?  Why no!  I decided to boil them and make something with the resulting broth/tea/corn infusion.

Why not?

I have a problem.

I really didn't expect to like this jelly.  Just the idea was a little off-putting.  I don't even like regular pop corn (it has to be homemade, preferably caramel corn.)

It was weird.  It was really good!  Who knew?!?

I made some cornbread (here is my favorite sweet cornbread recipe http://ahawker.blogspot.com/2012/08/chili-and-cornbread.html), slathered it with butter and this jelly.  I took a bite.  Angels sang.  Okay, maybe not angels, but at least a really good choir.  I am even going to make some more.

So, my fellow canning addicts, don't just toss those corn cobs to the chickens, do something with them.  Amen.

Kettle Corn Cob Jelly
makes about 6 half pints

4 cups (1 quart) water from boiled corn cobs (I used about 12 corn cobs in a big pot of water)
4 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons low  sugar pectin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Prepare your jars, lids, and water bath canner.

Boil the heck out of your corn cobs.  For a long time.  I didn't time it - sorry.  It simmered a long while because I forgot about it.

When you think it is done, scrape the cobs while in the water, with a spoon to get all of the milk and germ.  I did this the night before I made the jelly, just measuring out 1 quart.  I dumped the rest because i didn't think I would like it. Big mistake.

Now you can throw away the cobs.  The chickens probably don't want them at this point.

Mix, in a small bowl, the pectin and 1/2 cup of your sugar.  Add the pectin mixture to 1 quart of the broth in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  
Add the remaining sugar all at once.  Bring back to a rolling boil and boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

Stir in the salt and pepper.
Ladle the hot jelly into your hot jars.  
Wipe the rims.  Place the hot lids and rings on each jar.  
Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove from the bath and place on a towel draped counter.  Listen for the pings.
I love the pepper flakes floating serenely in the jelly

Try it!!!


Zucchini Relish

This is the harvest from Wednesday.  Kiddo #3 swears that none of it was there on Monday.  If anyone know what kind of apples they are, please tell me.  They are ripe in mid-August and have very white flesh with pink streaks.  Kinda tart-sweet and small.

Zucchini.  In many places I have lived, zucchini season is the only time you lock your car or home doors.  Not that you are afraid of anyone breaking in.  Not at all.  You are afraid of someone leaving zucchini in your car or home.
It might be cool, but is is sure pretty.  This is a marsh very close to my home.

I found out when I visited my favorite farm stand in Woodbury (if you live in the area, you should check it out.  Here is the website http://www.thefarmwoodbury.com)  that farmers all around the east coast are having trouble with zucchini this year.  Not enough bees and too cool temperatures.  Sad.

This is the harvest from Monday.  The cup is a 4 cup measurer.  Yep.
However, I am not having that problem at my house. I planted two hills of zucchini - a total of 6 seeds.  That's all.  I have a lot of zucchini.  On Monday my son brought in "the twins" and other smaller zucchini.  On Wednesday, I brought in even more. One of the twins was 10 cups of diced zucchini.  Yep.  That's right.  10 cups.  My neighbors better start locking up.

We have been eating zucchini fries (it's really good), zucchini and tomatoes (my favorite), broiled zucchini, zucchini chips, and the list goes on.  My 2nd oldest kiddo loves her zucchini relish.  It is very good. By far, the best way to can zucchini.  Not too sweet, not too sour, stays fresh tasting.  Lovely.  Here is my recipe.

Zucchini Relish
makes about 6 pints (I usually double it)

10 cups small diced zucchini
4 cups chopped onion (about 4 medium)
4 cups chopped sweet red pepper (you can mix the colors)
1 quart chopped cabbage (about 1/2 a head)
1/2 cup pickling salt
7 cups sugar
4 cups cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons celery seed
1 Tablespoon mustard seed

Combine zucchini, onion, pepper, and cabbage in a large container. 
 Sprinkle with the salt and cover with cold water.  Let the veggies brine (just let it sit) for 2 hours.

Drain and rinse vegetables.  Press out liquid.

Prepare your jars, lids and boiling water bath.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.
Add the veggies and simmer the whole combination for 10 minutes.

Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Run a chopstick around the inside of the jar to get rid of bubbles. (You will probably have some of the liquid left after filling the jars - that's okay.)

Wipe the rims and place the hot lids on the jars.  Place the rings and tighten to fingertip tight.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove jars to a towel draped counter and listen for the pings.  Yep, the pings of power.


Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

Sometimes you need a quick, easy meal.  This is it.  We like sauerkraut.  We like cabbage.  We like pork chops.  Why not combine them.  

My mom make this all the time while I was growing up.  She made it on top of the stove, though, in a frying pan and didn't add the extra cabbage.  I like it baked in the oven - mostly because I don't have to stand over it as long.  I also add extra fresh cabbage.  The kraut gives the cabbage the "sour" flavor, but it has a crunch and more texture.


Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

pork chops (as many as you need for your family) - I like thick cut with the bone because they stay moist and tender
1 can sauerkraut - large if you have a big family
1/4 - 1/2 head of cabbage - rough chopped
seasoned salt
1 Tablespoon oil (I used olive)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the raw cabbage and sauerkraut (undrained) in the bottom of a baking dish.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat on the stove.  Add oil.

Season (both sides) your pork chops with the seasoned salt.  If you don't have/like seasoned salt, just use salt and pepper or whatever seasoning you want.

Brown the chops in the hot skillet, about 1-2 minutes per side.

Place the browned chops on top of the cabbage and push them down a little.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until the chops are done.

That's it.


Corn Relish

Corn is in season!  It is cheap - if you aren't growing it yourself - and it is so good.  Sweet, tender, lovely.  

My mom made corn relish.  I loved it.  Ate it on salad, tomatoes, sandwiches, you name it.  This recipe is not hers.  Hers was a little sweeter.  Poppa H, however, does not like it as sweet.  Me either (don't tell Mom).  This recipe is more savory.  It does have sugar, but not an excessive amount.  Yummy. The recipe is for canning, but you can just make it without canning or preserving and keep it in the fridge.  Cut the recipe in half, add tomatoes and you have a great summer salad for a crowd.  It really is good.

Corn Relish

12 - 14 ears of fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob - about 9 cups
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (if you are canning, it needs to be at least 5% acidity - same for the white vinegar)
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon non-iodized salt (sea salt, kosher salt, pickling salt - it doesn't matter unless you are canning this.  Iodine in salt discolors the relish)
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

*If you are canning the relish, prepare the jars and your boiling water bath.  This made 9 pint jars, but the corn measured about 10 cups off of the cobs.*

I cut the kernels off the corn using a bundt pan.  I had never done this before. Worked like a charm.

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and spices in a large pan over medium high heat.  Boil.

Add all the veggies to the brine and bring back to a boil, stirring occasionally.  It will look like you don't have enough brine, but the veggies will release some of their liquid.  It will be fine.

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.  Taste and add more salt if you think it needs it.

You can eat it now.  I like it chilled a bit.  If you are going to can it - carry on.

If you are canning, don't chill it, keep it warm.

Ladle hot corn relish into hot pint jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  

Release any air bubbles by running a chopstick (or something like it) around the edges.

Wipe rims clean.  Place hot lids on jars and tighten rings to fingertip tight.

Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (unless you live in UT or somewhere high altitude - then you need to process for 20 to 25 minutes).

Remove to a towel draped counter and wait for the pings of power.