Readers! The following is a post I am ridiculously excited to share. I think I’ve mentioned many times that my boyfriend James is kind of a genius when it comes to kitchen stuffs. As you’ll all see for yourselves, mama wasn’t lying. Enjoy, and I’ll see you all back here soon! xo – Sad Shibow
Hi people from over the computer,
Have you ever made Jell-o? Easy, right? Making Jelly is kinda like making Jell-o. You only need a handful of things, really: sugar, pectin, something you want to turn into a jelly, and one or two chromosomes that wear plaid shirts. Since we have all those things, and Sad Shibow let me near the stove Tuesday, we made some jelly from black tea. It was tasty! No kidding. We didn’t have any on hand, but I pictured its sweet jiggle on a Carr’s wheat cracker with some brie. Try it. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed at all. Now, before anyone gets nervous about the doyenne’s absence, know this: Sad Shibow will be watching over you as she was watching over me as I made this. You’ve all seen Star Wars. She’ll be like Obi-Wan Kenobi when he was translucent and blue-ish. But Sad Shibow will be translucent orange-ish and riding on a mid-sized Indian elephant with long eyelashes (Ed. note: All of these things are true. None of these things are untrue). Are you getting all this down? So, don’t quake. This recipe is for everybody. If you can make a cup of tea, you can make this.
Enough foreplay. Together let’s march … jellyward!
Stuff you need:
3/4 cup of sugar
2 tbsp powdered pectin
2 small saucepans
3 bags of your favorite black tea
4 cups of water
glass jar with a lid
Other stuff you “need” (for the countrified effect)
A screen, somewhere in your house, that needs mending and is letting in junebugs that are so big that your cat has to chew them for a full thirty seconds before she swallows.
A Straw hat
hyphenated first name (Sybil-May, James-James)
Becoming, at one time or another, a specific shade of green when coveting your neighbor’s new tractor (John Deere Green)
Very firm ideas as to how pie thieves should be punished
Fill your small saucepan up with your four cups of water. Set it on the stove, boil it. Turn the flame down lower and put your three teabags in, taking care to strip them of their paper anchors. Cut a lemon wedge and squeeze a little of its juice in. Hull six or seven of the cardamom seeds and put them in there too. Let it all simmer for about ten minutes.
After the bell rings for the next round, come out swinging, then strain the contents of the saucepan into your other saucepan. Take your lemon. Grind some zest from it into the pan. Turn the heat up again. Get a good boil going then slowly stir in the sugar. Mix it until the sugar disappears into the tea. Next, add the pectin. Stir that in until it disappears.
At this point you should feel like a magician. Picture yourself in a top hat as you stir the rolling boil for a few minutes. This will cook it down some. Turn off the flame. If you have a funnel, set it over the mouth of your jar and pour the contents in. Fill the first jar up about 3/4s of the way, then put the rest in the other jar.
Let them sit there and steam for a few minutes. When they stop steaming, put the lids on and put them in the fridge. When they finally cool down, they will turn into… part of breakfast.
BLACK TEA CARDAMOM JELLY.
Forgive me, being here next to this warm oven with this group of even warmer people has made me a little emotional.
Blotting my eyes with the corner of a buttery napkin,
Readers, you loved him, didn’t you? I knew you would. This fella is also an extremely talented author of fiction. Please check out his work here: http://jamesvhilger.blogspot.com/.