Y’all remember about two weeks ago I did a bit of canning.
Pepper Jelly….SCORE! Tomato Jelly….not so much.
I let it sit for a few days with great expectation that it would come together but with no luck. Not having the patience to wait the full two weeks I compromised and waited about 7 days and then re worked the recipe according to the directions included in the pectin package.
Bla ba bla bla, bla bla bla……….yea, not so much AGAIN!
At dinner one evening last week the Hubs asked me what I was going to do with all ther jars of failed tomato jelly sitting on my counter.
Before thinking about it said that I was just going to let it go.
Let it GO!
It’s a great concept.
A great concept in somebody else's kitchen maybe!
The next day I was cleaning up the kitchen and de-cluttering the kitchen island and there was my nemesis lined up very neatly.
Taunting me…… “Nanner Nanner Boo Booo you can’t make Taaaaomaaaaato Jeeeeeeelly!”
Visions of little glass jars filled with sloshing red tomato juice prancing around on my kitchen counter doing the happy dance shaking their little silver lids in my face.
Ya know I think life would be rather pleasant except for my internal dialog….
I popped open one small jar and dumped it down the disposal then it happen……
“Now Robin you worked really hard peeling all those tomatoes, are you really just going to toss them down the disposal?”
“Think of all the starving children all over the world and you are tossing food away, what would Caroline Ingalls think?”
“Think….there has to be something you can do with this……are you really going to just let this one go?????”
OK, OK, OK….so I’m standing at the kitchen sink watching one jar run down the drain and I realize that letting it go is not working for me.
It wasn’t like Apollo 13, there were no stranded astronauts with their life hanging in the balance. All I had was a few tomatoes and an about an hour of my time but as I stood there watching one jar of tomato jelly drain into the disposal I realized that failure was not an option.
Can y’all say prideful, how can I live with myself if I let a little jar of jelly defeat me.
Can y’all say stubborn, how can I NOT figure out how to fix this?
Can y’all say obsessive, I mean seriously it’s only jelly…..LET IT GO GIRL…..MOVE ON……IT’S JUST JELLY!
Well whatever it was, hormones, pride or just my need to be successful I simply cold not let it go.
There had to be something I could salvage.
I pondered for a few minutes and began to formulate a plan for resolution.
#1….how to solve the problem……what do I do when something it not thick enough?
#2…transformation, what can I add to it to help things along a bit
I got out my large skillet, it has a wide flat bottom with lots of surface area. That would facilitate even simmering and reduction.
I popped open all the jars tossed them in my pan and set it on to simmer.
After it had reduced down by about half I gave it a taste.
Regretfully it was a bit bland, in thinking about it the original recipe did not call for any salt. I tossed in a teaspoon and then added a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Then I thought……hmmmmmmmm what else.
Caramelized onions. That was just what it needed.
I let it simmer down and reduced by almost half, a bit of salt, red pepper flakes and about three onions diced and caramelized added to the mix.
My tomato jelly is now Caramelized Onion & Tomato Jam.
I think it will be great as a topper to my next meatloaf!
And y’all this is what I called “set up".
The trick will be to see if I can duplicate the recipe again.