Monday, September 17, 2012

Breakfast Avocado with Red Pepper Marmalade - updated with recipe

I'm putting red pepper marmalade everywhere these days:  on bagels with cream cheese, on toast with avocado, on our English muffin egg sandwiches with Swiss this morning.

It's delicious.  I'm glad I made another batch this year!

But here's the thing:  I have been having a murderous little tug-of-war with Genevieve over food recently, specifically school lunches and breakfasts. 

Without knowing this, a dear friend casually remarked over the weekend that she's glad she has sons because she would be too overbearing with a daughter.  Oh.  Lightbulb.  And my best friend gently advised me to leave my girl alone. 

This morning, I did not ask anybody what condiment he or she wanted on the egg sandwiches, and my girl gobbled up her sandwich with no remarks from either of us.   It was a good start to a morning where she then almost missed her bus.

I'm working up (see tug-of-war, above) to do some posts about school lunches. 

updated for Hazel:

Hot Pepper Marmalade - from Simply in Season, with some of my tweaks

3-5 chili peppers, 4-5 medium bell peppers (use more or less chili peppers - you have to guess at the heat you are working with and the outcome you want; using all red peppers makes the prettiest marmalade)

Chop the peppers very finely.  I use my food processor. 

Combine in a saucepan:
4 cups very finely minced peppers
1 cup white or apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar

Gradually stir in:
1 package no-sugar-needed pectin (or use regular pectin and read the directions to adjust the sugar in the recipe)

Stir until dissolved.  Bring to a boil, stirring.  Boil and stir one minute. 
Ladle into hot, sterile half-pint jars.  Leave 1/2" headspace.  Add sterilized lids and rings and process jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. (I did not use the water bath because of the sugar and vinegar; this is called open kettle canning and is not recommended by canning authorities.  Now you are warned.)


Polly said...

Oh, yum.

Now that is an insight--the mother-daughter dynamic. I need to keep that in mind for the future. Here's hoping that the tug-of-war fades away!!!

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Nice photo. I love avocado toast, and pepper jelly... must try them together!

School lunches have become more of a challenge for me this year as my younger son has lots of opinions...

Rebecca said...

Oh, and look at that blessed picture of her! There's a vaguely remembered theory from my Waldorf days: when children are being obstreperous they should be dressed in red. I think she should wear that outfit every single day. Claim your power, Chickie!

Lisa said...

She looks so ferocious!
One of my brother's customers gave him so pepper jelly, and we just look at it in the fridge - I guess we should try it in something! :D

J.C. said...

Oh yes, mother-daughter power struggles. I am an expert...!

I haven't blogged in a while, about 9 months or so, you probably don't remember me! I live close to you, about 15 minutes away I think.

I have been reading your blog when I can but haven't commented much due to lack of time! But when I do, I learn so much!

I have two questions for you. Is the beef you are getting all grass fed/pasture raised? We are looking to locate beef that is all grass fed. If so, could you share the name of where you get it? Without revealing your location of course, maybe you can email it to me?

I was thinking of consigning some clothes this year at a place that seems to have the same requirements that you mentioned. Probably the same store!

Take care!
Happy (almost) Fall!

Hazel said...

The red pepper marmalade sounds delicious, but I'm having trouble finding a similar recipe.
Is it something like this?

Incidentally, I don't have any great answers for dealing with daughters and food, but you do have my sympathy!
I've found it's hard to keep a balance as they get older too. My eldest is 13 and so it's quite a weight sensitive age. I am desperately trying not to say I don't want you to eat X because it will make you fat (unhealthy doesn't mean much at 13!) so I'm trying Y will give you lovely hair/skin instead...

Margo said...

Hazel! I'm sorry to send you off searching! I will post any recipe my readers request - I updated the post. Enjoy!

Margo said...

Johanna, I do remember you, yes. I'd be happy to talk local beef with you and give you some leads! Just email me privately:

Hazel said...

Thank you Margo! I thought Red Pepper Marmalade would be simple to google, but they all had lots of tomato or cayenne. Lovely, I'm sure, but I liked the simplicity of your recipe.

And being British, I'll be open kettle canning too.

Margo said...

Hazel, I was over at Marisa's blog earlier (Food in Jars). She had a plum butter recipe from a German blogger that was not water bathed for sealing, just turned upside down ("inversion"). Is this common practice in England and Europe? It used to be in the States, too, but now it's gone underground since the government labeled it as unsafe.

Hazel said...

Margo- inverting the jars seems to be common in continental Europe- it's suggested in an Italian cookbook I have, otherwise I've only seen it as a 'don't do this' on US sites!

In the UK the standard practice for jams, jellies and chutneys is to reuse commercial jars (with 1 piece screw on lids), sterilise them, fill the hot jars with hot preserve, seal and leave (the right way up).

Older jam makers may not even use the lid, but put a specially bought disc of greaseproof paper on the top of the hot jam (or whatever) and cover the jar with a larger disc of dampened cellophane secured with an elastic band. The cellophane becomes taught as it cools and dries. The fashion for jars with gingham patterned lids and Mason-type jars is making this less common, but it's aesthetics rather than safety concerns driving the change.

Nobody worries about lids pinging or anything- it hadn't occurred to me to even check until I read US guidelines after 10 or more years of jam making, and my first 2 preserving books were written by Good Housekeeping magazine and the Women's Institute, both regarded as THE experts in home preserving here. (The WI actually struggles to let the public know they do more than make jam, they're so famous for it!)

And nobody has died (or even been sick) from homemade jams in this country!

Shockingly, if there is mould on top of jam or marmalade (never found any on chutney because of the vinegar, presumably) I scrape it off and eat the rest. This is normal! My friend used to be told by her extremely thrifty mother a bit of mould wouldn't do her any harm and to stir it in. It didn't do her any harm but I would draw the line at that! It does show though, that perhaps US cautiousness in some aspects may be overstated?

Bottling (canning) is different of course.

Sorry, long answer! I read the same post, and I have commented on Marisa's blog before about different practices, but it's hard not to sound critical. I do think US guidelines are over zealous, but I would never try to persuade someone to do something they weren't comfortable with. Equally, however, we Europeans (and some Antipodeans, I think) are not all risking our lives every time we spread our jam on our toast as is sometimes inferred!!

Margo said...

Hazel, I'm fascinated! Thanks for the details and for caring to share.


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