Canning Craze–Rosemary Jelly

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I’ve titled this canning craze because in the past couple days it seems all I’ve been doing is making jellies, jams, and marmalade; and I’m not finished yet. I’ve got this week off due to Independence Day, and I’m dedicating it to preserving my favorite parts of summer (fruits and veggies) in small glass jars. I have made jam and done some pickling in the past, but this year is going to be different. My mom picked up a canning and preserving magazine by taste of home a while ago, and as I was thumbing through the various canning recipes, I definitely got excited about preserving my garden’s bounty.

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My first plan of attack was to make rosemary jelly. The magazine’s photo of the jelly was outstanding, of course, so I instantly went out to my garden and snipped off a few sprigs. File:Rosemary with bee landing.jpgThe recipe itself isn’t difficult to execute, especially compared to the rhubarb marmalade I made afterwards. The recipe claims to yield 3 1/2 pints, however I only filled 4 1/2 pint jars. Also, be prepared to do some straining. I used a colander along with a coffee filter; it’s cheap and easy.

Rosemary Jelly

1 1/4 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 ounces liquid fruit pectin
2-3 drops green food coloring (optional)

In a large sauce pan, combine boiling water and rosemary; cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid. If necessary, add water to measure 1 1/4 cups. Return liquid to pan; add sugar and vinegar. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat and stir constantly. Add pectin (be sure to use liquid pectin), bring to a boil, and stir for 1 minute.

Remove from heat, skim off foam, and add food coloring if desired. Ladle into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

To be honest, I did not know what I would put this jelly on before I made it, but I’ve found a few delicious uses for the green gel. For starters, I spread some laughing cow cheese on a cracker and topped it with the jelly.

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I thought it was great! It was sweet, tangy, creamy, and earthy all in the same bite. I think this would work with creme cheese as well, or any other mild, soft cheese. I’ve also heard of people using it on lamb, and other meats. I think I’ll give it a try on my grilled salmon tonight.

How does it sound to you? Do you have any fabulous uses for rosemary jelly?