Cowboy Candy

 In 2015, Chuckwagon, June

Save $$$ in this easy dip and enjoy the fresh taste without all the added chemicals.

Serve with raw vegetables or Pita Chips.

4 lbs jalapenos
3 sweet onions
6 cloves garlic
3 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow for color variation)
6 cups sugar
2 tblsp mustard seed
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp ginger
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup distilled vinegar

Slice up the jalapenos into strips. We like to cut them in half long-ways and then cut small strips down the sides. For bigger jalapenos, you can quarter them long-ways and then cut those wedges into strips. NOTE: the more seeds you leave in, the hotter it will be. We left them all in, because we think that the high heat plays well off the super sugary sweetness. (Also WEAR GLOVES- our hands literally burned for a whole day because we didn’t listen to advice.)

Chop the onions into small bits, chop the garlic into smaller bits, and cut the bell peppers similarly to the jalapenos. Be sure to take the pith and seeds out of the bells.

Add the vegetables to a large pot along with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup distilled vinegar. Cook on high heat, mixing occasionally, until the liquid comes to a boil. AVOID THE FUMES- they can irritate your eyes and throat. Once the liquid is boiling, cook for 2 more minutes. Then drain off the majority of the liquid, leaving a small amount at the bottom (the vegetables still contain a lot of water, so don’t worry about it being dry)

Put back on the heat with the sugar and all the spices, and stir it all up until the sugar is all melted. Cook for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and start the canning procedure. Basically, you have to boil the mason jars for 10 minutes, pull them from the water quickly drip-dry them, and immediately fill them with the gooey cowboy candy. We try to add all the veggie matter first to the top, and then add the goo to the same level. Be sure to wipe the rim of the jar with a clean rag before you add the lid, to ensure a tight seal. Tighten the ring onto the lid to set it in place. This last batch yielded 5 small masons and 3 large ones. Once the lids have all popped down, then loosen the rings (this is because the suction inside will keep the lid on, and you don’t want the ring keeping the lid on in case there’s a leak or any king of bacteria that would pop the lid off).

Let your cowboy candy sit for two weeks before you open them up, but you can try some of the warm stuff out of the pot to get an idea of how hot it is. Good luck- let us know how it turns out!

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