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Red pepper jam

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Garden of Eating

(Read caption) Make a different sort of jam with sweet red peppers from your garden or the grocery store.

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I was introduced to this delicious substance by my husband's Aunt Maggie who gave us a half-pint jar she'd made from her own small stash during our Thanksgiving canned goods swap last fall. It collided with a log of fresh goat cheese and some herb-covered crackers and lasted all of half an hour.

This stuff is seriously delicious. It's amazingly tasty with cream cheese and lox on a bagel, as a spread on a salami sandwich, with goat cheese and crackers, or lots of other ways.

The good news is that it is not very hard to make (whether or not you end up canning it). But you really need to make it now before sweet pepper season ends. You do not have to use red peppers though the color of the jam will be prettier if you do. So go buy a boatload of sweet peppers (or harvest your own if you've got 'em). Then get jamming.

The steps are pretty simple – you blend or cuisinart (yes, I use that as a verb) the peppers, then salt and let drain for a few hours.

Then add sugar and vinegar and simmer down to a thick, jammy consistency.

Then can it (or if you prefer to make a really small batch, just store it in an airtight container once it's cooled down). But I suggest you make enough to can at least a few jars – once you've tasted this stuff, you're going to want them. They also make great gifts.

Red Pepper Jam
Makes roughly 2 pints (or 4 half-pints)

12-15 large, sweet red peppers, rinsed and with the stems, ribs and seeds removed
2 cups apple cider or white vinegar (I used apple cider)
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons salt


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