Florida Datil Pepper Jelly

Posted November 11, 2018 By Ruth

I gave in and did a full sugar batch so that I could use liquid pectin.  Should have taken out more of the seeds, its HOT.  But didn’t it turn out pretty?

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*sigh*

Posted November 5, 2018 By Ruth

Saturday night I was loading one last piece of wood into the fireplace before bed, when my hand slipped, and I dropped the, fairly large, piece of wood, resulting in my left pointer fingertip getting caught between the edge of the lip of the fireplace and the piece of firewood.

I said a few words that I’m not supposed to say.  Getting a finger smashed ALWAYS feels like I’ve broken it, but experience has taught me that if I go and put ice on it right away it’ll feel 90% better in an hour or so.  So I put ice on it for 15 minutes, and then went to bed.

Sunday morning I got up…..and the finger still hurt.  Alot.  More than any bruised finger I’ve managed to give myself before.  Plus it was a bit swollen.  Not like a sausage or anything, but enough to notice.  I dug back out the ice pack and iced it off and on all morning.

By 2pm it was pretty obvious that the pain wasn’t going to go away, I take a prescription dose of anti-inflammatories every day, and it still hurt upwards of a 4 or 5 on the pain scale.  Not as much as the broken arm, but more than your normal bruise.  So I gave in and drove myself down to urgent care.

Urgent care says “not broken”, but these are the same folks who missed the hairline fracture in my arm last year, so I’m not holding my breath yet.  They did give me a splint and told me to wear it for 3 days, and if its not better to call my regular doctor.  It does feel better in the splint.

This morning most of the bruising style pain seems to be gone, but its still a bit swollen, and I get stabby pains if I take the splint off and get to energetic about doing things with it.

Yay.

I’m starting to think I ought to have a post category for “Ruth injured herself again”!

Update: almost a week later- a large portion of the pain has gone away, though there’s a fair bit left if I bump it wrong.  Cross your fingers!  I had to stop wearing the splint, the inactivity of the finger was making it swell badly.  But so far not using it seems ok.

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Didn’t mean to disappear, ooops

Posted November 2, 2018 By Ruth

Just got busy.

And sick, cause god forbid I don’t come down with my regular fall respiratory infection.  I managed to avoid it last year by taking large quantities of Airborne (in the gummy chew form, the tablets taste nasty IMO).  I thought it might have been a fluke, but I stopped taking it after surgery, and of course I got sick a couple weeks ago.  Maybe I need to buy stock in Airborne.

Saw the podiatrist this week, he says that he doesn’t see the need to remove part of the toenail, and he couldn’t find a cause for the ingrown toenail problems.  He did trim back the corners of the nails of both big toes, and I have an appointment with him in two months to look things over.

I was hoping to do yellow hot pepper jelly this year with all the yellow hot peppers.  But all the low sugar pectins I can find are powders, and adding them changes the color of the jelly from yellow to golden brown.  Its not ugly, but its not yellow.  So now I need to decide if I want to try a full sugar batch, to be able to use a liquid pectin, or just live with it.

Husband has asked for jars of soup that he can take to work, that he doesn’t have to stick in the fridge, that he can just pop the top on and stick in the microwave.  He normally eats Campbells soups, but that requires a large bowl, and added water, and its not a simple work lunch like he wants.  Plus pre-packaged foods, extra salt, and all that.  My first experiment with a modified bean & bacon soup recipe turned out pretty decent, though it needs some modification for next time.  I’ll hopefully be jarring up a chicken soup this weekend, then he gets to experiment with adding pasta on the fly.

Now I need more pint jars…….

 

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Despite the funky growing season that screwed with every single pepper plant I grew (even the jalapenos that I always grow didn’t do nearly as well as usual), my one surviving Datil produced a huge number of pods, and is by far the largest and healthiest of all of the pepper plants I grew.  Its trunk is as thick as several of my fingers put together, and while its not TALL, its huge in comparison to every other pepper in the garden this year.  The peppers are easily habanero hot, but Husband likes them.

However it is also, by far, the most temperature sensitive pepper I’ve grown.  I had to shade it from the sun!  Admittedly we had a hotter than normal summer, but “hotter than normal” for us barely hits “normal” for Florida.  And yet I lost two plants to the heat before I realized I needed to shade them.  Not one other pepper plant I’ve grown, this summer or previous, has had that problem.  And now that the fall temps are dropping, its wilting in the cold long before any other pepper plant.  We’ve not had a frost yet, though we had one night dip down to 40(F).  Every other pepper plant out there is still going strong.  And the Datil is showing what sure looks like frost damage!  I’ve got it covered in frost cloth in hopes of keeping it going long enough for the rest of the pods to ripen.

I’m debating digging it up and attempting to to over-winter it in a pot so as to give it a headstart for next year.  We’ll have to see how it goes I guess.

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Peter Pepper

Posted October 6, 2018 By Ruth

Pictures below the fold, so that some poor person who’s viewing this at work doesn’t get in trouble…..

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Pictures

Posted September 29, 2018 By Ruth

I just realized that I’ve been neglecting photos this summer.  Other than the garden I’ve not been posting (or to be  honest, taking) much of anything.

So this is going to be a picture heavy post.  I’ll put them below the fold, so the folks on slower connections can decide if they want to bother or not.

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Peppers

Posted September 24, 2018 By Ruth

A bowl full of ripe peppers (thats a fully ripe Corbaci on top):

 

And my first Florida Datils:

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Garden update

Posted September 21, 2018 By Ruth

Now that I’ve had my whine for the day…..

The garden is winding down.

Tomatoes are done, a few green ones left to ripen, but essentially done.  Which is to bad because about half the plants are trying to stage a comeback.  But the chances of the weather holding long enough for the new growth to produce is essentially nil.

The peppers took the hint give them by the cold snap and a fair number of green peppers are starting to show color.  Cross your fingers!

This is a Corbaci pepper.  If I could stretch it out flat it would measure a solid foot long.  They’re a sweet pepper, with only the barest tingle of heat right in the center.  And I say that as someone who doesn’t tolerate hot peppers, I grow them for Husband, not me!  These plants aren’t very big, but they’re all loaded down hard with peppers like this.  Husband and I both liked this one, I expect I’ll grow it next year.  I’ll have to remember to give them some support though.  One of the little locally owned hardware stores had some 2′ tall, fairly narrow, tomato cages for sale when I was in there a couple weeks ago, I might swing through and see if they still have them.  All of the other sweet peppers I planted this year are among the “very late to ripen” group.  So we’ll see if any of them turn out.

The giant cucumbers turned out to make stellar pickles.  That very firm texture translates to a very nice crisp pickle.  Husband is delighted.  So I ransacked the plant for the remaining cucumbers and did up another batch of pickles this afternoon.  Now I’ll have to decide if I actually want to grow them again.  If I do I’ll need to remember that they need a proper trellis.  They produce HUGE vines!

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I get a few days in a row off….

Posted September 20, 2018 By Ruth

I get a few days in a row off work, and figure I can catch up on everything, and life tries to throw me a curve ball again.

But hey, I didn’t break anything this time!

Sunday morning I bumped my left big toe on something, and it hurt way more than it should have.  I mean sure, stubbing your toe hurts like hell, but I hadn’t stubbed it, I’d just bumped the outside edge of it.  Kick off the crocs I wear for slopping around the house and look at my toe, and there’s a big mess of puss and ooze over half of my toenail.  EEWWWWW.

Go clean off my toe, can’t find where it came from, trim back my toenail a bit, and a push on the outside of the toe (right where I bumped it) produces more ooze.  Yuck.  Soak both feet in a hot water and epsom salt bath for ~10 minutes, dry them off, and pack the spot with neosporin.

And try to figure out how the hell I managed this one.  Only other time I’ve seen an infection like this was when I was 16 and I got a badly infected ingrown toenail on the big toe of my other foot.  They ended up having to remove part of that toenail to deal with it.  But this time I don’t have an ingrown toenail.  And it didn’t hurt at all till I bumped it.  And it stopped hurting as long as I wasn’t poking at it.

Went to work as usual Monday, but by the time I got home the toe was sore, a visual check showed that it wasn’t getting any better.  Yay.  Get an appointment to see the doctor Tuesday.  Not my regular doc, but at least it wasn’t urgent care.  I don’t have to work again till Saturday, which sucks paycheck wise, but means that I can mostly keep off my feet.  Doc looks at it, says “hey, ingrown toenail!”  And I say “well that’s what it looks like but its not ingrown!”.  He prescribed me an antibiotic and gives me a referral to a podiatrist.  Yay.

Wasn’t till I was at the pharmacy picking it up that the name of the antibiotic rang a bell.  It’s the same one that made me puke back in January.  But hey, that reaction was probably the result of the surgery…..right?

Yah.  Not so much.  Wednesday morning I was calling the doctor’s office back to inform them that Keflex and I don’t get along and if they want me to continue taking it they’re going to have to give me an anti-nausea med.  Which they did.  Spent Wednesday half nauseous half grumpy about the taste the anti-nausea meds leave in my mouth, and hurting from a sore neck from somehow sleeping wrong.  Grump.

Spent today making bread and still feeling grumpy.  The anti-nausea meds make it possible to keep things down, but my stomach still isn’t thrilled with life.  And the anti-nausea meds still leave a nasty taste in my mouth.  And the podiatrist doesn’t have an opening till the end of Oct.  Depending on what happens after my week on antibiotics I might see if they can find me another podiatrist who can get me in sooner.  Yay.

Dear Life, I guess you didn’t hear me when I told you I was done with this whole doctor thing.  Seriously, I’m DONE with the whole DOCTOR THING!

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Garden update, and notes to self

Posted September 6, 2018 By Ruth

Thats one day’s harvest, over this past week.  Admittedly I’d not managed to get out to the garden in a couple days, but still.

Notes to self

Tomatoes.

I keep trying other varieties of tomatoes.  I need to just stop that and stick to my Black Plums and maybe the Black Icicles.    Nothing wrong with any of the other varieties I’ve tried but we keep going back to the Black Plums.

But if anyone’s looking for a good container tomato, you might try the Black Japanese Trifele Tomatoes.  1: potato leaf, very cool looking 2: they stayed much more compact than any of the other varieties so far 3: they also appear to be less affected by whatever blight or fungus or whatever it is that’s affecting the rest of the tomatoes this year.

The Bill Beans are a nice slicing tomato, but they’re so big, and take so long to ripen, that they tend to end up buggy.

Peppers.

Several of the new varieties I grew this year apparently need support.  Corbaci are falling over hard, as are the Shepherds Ramshorns.  Both paprikas are also falling hard.  The only thing keeping the cayenne’s reasonably upright is that they’re planted in one of the stock tanks.  All just from the weight of the peppers on the plants.  Meanwhile the Sugar Rush are having no issues despite the large number of peppers there.  If I grow any of these varieties next year I’ll need to remember to find a way to help support the plants.

Also, the Shepherds Ramshorns are barely producing, and the plants aren’t very big, that MIGHT be the fact that they’re behind the giant cucumber though.

Bishops Crown isn’t producing at all, though the plants look good otherwise.

Fish Peppers look ok.

Super Nova’s are iffy, plants don’t look bad, but they don’t look great, and there’s only a couple peppers there.

Datils and Peter Peppers both had a harder start, but look awesome now and have a ton of peppers on the plants.

Corbaci plants aren’t huge, but they’re covered in peppers.

The Hungarian Hot Wax peppers came back practically from dead, and now look awesome, now to see if the weather will hold on long enough for them to ripen.

Carrots suck this year, they’re all tiny.