It’s another dark and stormy day on our Queensland farm, and we aren’t complaining one bit.
Normally February is scorching hot, a month we just try to get through until the cooling temperatures of Autumn arrive. But this year it’s been amazing. We’ve had luscious rain, heaps of it, and our farm is thriving.
We’ve been slowly building our farm family and it’s been so much fun.
This week we added two dorper sheep – Hetty and Lucy – from my friend’s farm an hour or so north of us. They’re lovely girls and have settled in beautifully.
We bought them as girlfriends for our lamb, Kebab, but they’re a bit too big for him at the moment. He’s growing like a weed, though, and will catch up with them soon.
I dug another new garden recently as well. It was formerly a duck pen, so the soil has had a good fertilizing, and all the rain has made it soft and gorgeous. I put in berry bushes, rosellas, eggplants, tomatoes, Greek basil, tarragon, rainbow silverbeet, purple beans, a bay tree, pear trees, sweet potatoes, and several potatoes planted in old tires. I’ve left the three middle beds open for Autumn seedlings I have growing in my kitchen garden – red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, celeriac, peas, and other things. I’m excited to see this garden grow.
This summer I’ve had a bumper crop of chilies and capsicum, so I get to use them to make one of my favorite recipes from the two years I lived in Oklahoma: hot pepper jelly.
In Oklahoma, chilies are called peppers, and this recipe uses them in a delicious way, turning the spicy chilies into a sweet hot jelly that is scrumptious spread on hamburgers, poured over sausages, or drizzled over softened cream cheese as a dip with crackers.
I like to use half chilies and half capsicums so it’s not too spicy but still has a good kick. I use a hodge-podge of whatever chilies I have on hand: Hungarian yellow, green jalapeno, and a free range red that planted itself.
Do you have a tried and true recipe for when your chili and capsicum plants go berserk?
Hot Chili Pepper Jelly Recipe
2 cups green chilies
2 cups green capsicums, seeded
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 package pectin
4 cups white sugar
1. Dump chilies and capsicums into food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
2. Scrape into large saucepan and add vinegar, pectin, and sugar.
3. Bring to boil, stirring regularly to ensure sugar dissolves, and boil for one minute.
4. Remove from heat and skim any foam.
5. Pour hot mixture into sterilized jars, seal and turn upside down until cool, or put jars through hot water bath.
6. Refrigerate after opening.