Let’s make Banana Pepper Jelly! Home canning pepper jelly is a new adventure for me — but I’m willing to give it a try. My Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) basket was full of large banana peppers. These peppers are mild, with a distinctive flavor. I don’t often use banana peppers in cooking and hate to throw them away. So making jelly seemed like a good solution. The jelly turned out so well that I made a batch of Hot Jalapeno Pepper Jelly, too.
Summertime is a great time to make homemade ice cream using ripe fresh fruit in season. Peach ice cream is one of my favorite flavors. I grew up in a family with an old-fashioned, hand-cranked ice cream churner and I watched as my mother mixed up many varieties. Here’s one of my favorite recipes for custard ice cream using a small electric ice cream maker and a healthy low-fat variation supplied by a friend.
My favorite vegetable any time of the year is a ripe and juicy tomato. It has to be a home grown and vine ripe tomato; not the grocery store variety which has been picked early and shipped a long distance. Here’s a savory stewed tomato recipe that I’ve made many times and perfected over the past year. I use both fresh Louisiana Creole tomatoes as well as canned tomatoes and added a few other ingredients for a savory flavor.
On a road trip last week from Louisiana to Washington D.C. to upstate New York and back home, every town we stopped at along the way had flags and banners flying for the Fourth of July. It struck me that even though we have differences, we all share the same beginnings of our country. Patriotism was everywhere. In the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, we took a lunch break at a family-style restaurant in a 200-year-old building, “The Thomas House.” It is in a part of our country which was settled around the time of our country’s founding.