Make spicy habanero jelly, I thought. It'll be fun, I thought...

I woke to another beautiful dawn this morning. As I yawned and stretched, I planned the day ahead.  Make some hot pepper jelly, clean up my fallen wood pile, finish the roof on the wood shed and maybe take a ride.  Perhaps not in that order, but I think I can get everything done today.

So with boy off to school and Laur off to New Minas to pick up a few non-local items, I set about the business of jelly making.  I wanted to make jelly when she's not around as the rest of the family is highly sensitive to spicy foods.  And habaneros being what they are, I didn't want to poison her.

Bell peppers? Check.
Habanero peppers? Check.
Apple cider vinegar? Check.
Pectin and sugar? Checkerooni.
Gloves and bandana? Ignored!

I was all set. Cut and puree peppers, add cider, add pectin, boil, add sugar.  Great! Boil vigorously for exactly one minute.  It was during that exact minute that I realized I had not yet boiled water for the post-jar bath. Quickly I turned to fill the canning pot with hot water.

This was my fatal mistake.

Mere seconds later I turned to see my pot of jelly boiling over. Nooooo!

Cooking with gas? Fire. Boiling sugar? Fire.  Habanero peppers? Fire.  All I could see was sticky, red, boiling-hot, liquid fire filling the bottom of the stove.  I panicked and whipped the pot from the stove.  As I watched, stunned, the sticky inferno continue to boil over the pot. Oh crap.  I stood for a moment, suddenly transported to the 1986 Argyle Elementary School 7th Grade Science Fair. You know, where Jimmy made his volcano exhibit erupt by using dry ice, red food colouring and hot water?

Shaking my head, I then set about the business of cleaning up sticky, liquid fire... before Laura got home.  I had visions of painful hot pepper oils covering the stove, counter top, sink, rags. Remember the recommended gloves? I was no longer scoffing.  I had peppers on my hands, peppers on my lips, peppers in my eyes... Gah!

It all turned out OK, but I did throw away the rag and towel I used, just in case. I know the oil from the peppers tends to coat the inside of the washing machine.  And quite frankly, hot-pepper underpants are the last thing anyone wants.

I hope it turns out.  With the brief pause to avoid nuclear melt-down, I'm sure I messed up the pectin jellification process.  Oh well, all's well that ends well.  My first foray into canning - hot pepper jelly (with Laura's sauerkraut in the background).

Snip, snap, click!

And look who is turning in to the driveway...!


  1. That is too funny. As soon as I saw that you dismissed the gloves I saw it coming. That stuff can seriously burn your skin. Not just if it boils over either. Hope it tastes good.

  2. I think it'll taste perfectly fine, but it hasn't jelled the way I wanted it to. Perhaps a little refrigeration will assist with this.

    Meh, the jelly is just for show anyways, right?