Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Jam makin' session...Margarita Style!

Hey all! I'm back with a whole new adventure in jam and jelly makin'!

Remember last time we were talkin' about zucchini? Well, today we're talkin' cucumbers!

It's still the beginning of the season for us here in Wisconsin...we have a little later start to our canning season than most of you on the east coast or down south. But that's okay...gives me a little more time to play and have fun in the sun...and not cooped up here in my kitchen on a beautiful sunny day! It's the price you pay, when you have a garden I suppose...either way, it's all fun in the kitchen!

So, here we are...in my kitchen...cukes ready for chopping!
Since I knew I was going to have more than enough to make my special dill pickles...I took out the larger ones and chopped em' up for our Margarita Jam that we're getting ready to make here...
Gotta start ya off, gettin' all your ingredients around...You'll need to start off with: 2 limes (that you'll cut up before putting in the blender), along with 1/4 cup of lime juice, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice...blend well!

Then, take your cucumbers and core any big seeds out, while removing the outside rind from your cuke...you'll want to chunk it up...about 4 big cups worth...and then chop it all up fine in your blender with your current lime mixture that you started with.
 I like to use my handy dandy Tupperware Chop n' Prep here before adding it to the blender...just helps in the break down process...but it's not necessary....

Now that you have everything in your blender...all blended up...you can take and pour it into your pan that you have waiting on the stove for you and start to bring it to a boil on medium heat....all the while remember to be prepping for your hot water bath, prepped jars and lids for your future jelly storing...
Plus, you'll need to get the remaining ingredients that we're about to add to your jelly...
As you're starting to heat up your cucumber lime blend...you will add 1/3 cup of pectin to the mix as it is starting to heat up now....stirring all the while...bring it to a boil, and let it boil for 1 minute, then add 1 to 1-1/2 shots of Tequilla Gold...(depends on how strong you want it to be!)
Stir it all in...for another minute now...

then add a pinch of canning salt, and finish adding in 4 cups of sugar, all at once...allow to boil for another 3 minutes,
keep stirring occassionally (it will begin to get a bit sticky now)..and then, remove from heat after your 3 minutes are up.

Now take your pkg of lime jello and add to your mixture til' it's well blended...it will turn a pretty margarita green now!
Whoo-hoo! Aren't you lovin' it?! It's just so festive! Now, pour it into your prepared sterilized jars...I used pints, because it's what I had...but most people would use jelly jars, or 1/2 pints for their jelly storing purposes...they make great little gifts in that size as well! Make sure your lids are sterilized, and you've wiped down your jar rim with some of that hot boiling water from your lid water...then, your jars are ready for the two-lid application...gently place in your hot water bath...putting your lids back on top and processing for another 10 minutes now...then you have these pretty jars of 'Margarita' Jelly!

And remember, I said you could gift them...how bout' a mix of Strawberry Zucchini Jam & Festive Cucumber Margarita Jam together in a basket with a little christmas fabric!

Now...for the tasting! My favorite part! Get a small plate of cream cheese and add your margarita jelly to the top, like so with a few lime tortilla chips...and dig in my friend!
mmmmmm, so refreshing and limilicious!

Remember, this DOES have alcohol in it...so, you might want to serve this up when the kiddos are in bed sleepin'! Then, you can have some fun mixin' up a batch of margaritas to go along with it...or a cerveza or two! Whichever, enjoy the summer flavor, anytime of the year...and make sure to share it with a friend or two...just makes it more fun that way!