Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mt. Vesuvius Erupts in my Kitchen

This seasons’ canning of Pepper Jelly was fraught with excitement and near disaster.

I was feeling very confident of my canning skills so I decided to can several recipes at the same time this week. With my double recipe of Pepper Jelly coming to the second boil on the stove, I set the timer for 3 minutes and I began cleaning up the dishes from my just canned batch of Apricot Conserve.

I know...after years of canning hot boiling sugar is very volatile and leaving a boiling saucepan on the stove unattended is a really big no-no.  Despite the nagging voice in my head I continued washing up the dishes and wiping down the counters. Out of the corner of my eye I see the bubbling hot liquid just reaching the top of the saucepan rim. Uttering a few choice words, I rush to the stove just in time for the whole mess to come spilling over the edges and onto the hot burner. The smell of burnt habanero peppers and the lava like mess oozing down the front of my stove made me think of what it might be like to see Mt. Vesuvius erupting.  Just at that moment, I remember that I’m wearing my favorite pair of flip flops and my bare feet are just inches below the lava spill. Another expletive emerges from my lips and in a lightening move, I flip off the stove and jump back just in time to see the sticky hot mess hit the floor. Disaster averted, it takes me another 20 minutes to clean up the mess.

I wasn't able to reach the drips that made it down between the stove and counter so I'm sure the hardened, spicy sugar will remain there until some unlucky person decides to remodel the kitchen.   Please God...let the ants be few and their nostrils be filled with smells of the outdoors!!

Luckily, I had already added my pectin and after processing the jars my jelly turned out beautifully.

Lessons learned and notes to self;

1. Never leave a hot boiling saucepan of molten sugar and peppers on the stove unattended!!

2. Never wear flip flops or open toed shoes while canning!!

3. Pray that the mess you can't see, no person or living creature will ever discover!! Print Friendly and PDF


  1. Bless your heart...Been there, done that, have scars to prove it! Molten sugar full of searing pepper juice is my idea of lava! I'm sorry for your mess, but glad you had some to put in jars!

  2. Only a true canning con padre would understand! Your too sweet!


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