Getting ready to put out the next issue means actually testing out some of the items to go into the magazine.
There are probably 100 crafts, recipes, and ideas to use for the holidays in this issue. We can't do them all, but we attempt a good many.
Two of them are herbal vinegars and hot pepper jelly. I've eaten hot pepper jelly before and really do love it with cream cheese on crackers. Considering that the garden is spewing hot peppers faster than I can string them onto ristras, it seemed like there needed to be other things done with them.
We made a dozen jars of the jelly, and had another larger jar that we'll probably serve this coming Friday night at the weekly family dinner. The Pink vinegar is a lovely opal basil vinegar with a touch of garlic and thyme. It came out beautifully, and I might need to make some more.
The other is "Red Hot Rosemary" vinegar, suggested by Mary Ellen Wilcox. Not finished yet is "Scarborough Faire", with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. It is steeping now, and in a few days I'll bottle it and add the herb garnish.
Here's a delicious recipe using Hot Pepper Vinegar:
2 lbs. Boneless chicken breasts
½ c hot pepper vinegar
2 T vegetable oil
2 T honey
15 (yes…15) cloves of garlic, peeled and split
1 oz. soy sauce
Wash chicken and cut in half.
Brown in vegetable oil in a heavy skillet.
Add garlic and cook a little longer, until browned.
Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until chicken is done and glazed with sauce. Turn chicken several times while cooking.Delicious!
All this fun in the kitchen isn't enough to keep us from our regular chores. The still has been in regular use because frosty weather is breathing down my neck, threatening to destroy all the botanicals that need to be distilled, and Maryanne's soap business is in high gear with all of her wholesale customers starting to place orders for the holiday season. Even so, around about Saturday, I'll be seriously focused on finalizing the magazine. It is going to be the best holiday issue ever... and it will also finish up 5 whole years!