Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day

Touchy subject.......( I'm not touching you I'm not touching you )  =)
While we are all getting ready for our Memorial Day Festivities, if you can, please take a moment of thought or prayer for the true meaning of this day.  It’s not to have a 3 day weekend (although it is nice), but a day for us to recognize the fallen members of our military.  I know there are people out there that do not like the military, feel that the US is fighting unjust wars abroad, or feel that the military is just another form of Federal Welfare.  I am not going argue with you, this is not the place for it.  Those are your thoughts, and that is your right.  If those are your thoughts, well they are yours.  You are entitled to them.  But remember.  We can all think what we want, do pretty much what we want, go to BBQ's this weekend because someone who came before you died for you, and in reality not for just you.  But for all of us, our ideals, and the moral principals that this country was founded on.  If you know of someone who served, say thank you.  I was always taught to be nice, and give thanks.  You may not truly feel thankful, you may think you don't mean what you say...but deep down you do.  Its okay, you dont have to admit it.  =)  I have x-ray vision, and I am a pro at Iron Clad facade’s!!

Keep On Rockin In The Jelly World

Whew!  JellyManKelly got back into the kitchen!  I got down my water bath canner, spent a half hour looking for all of my attachments and tools, cursing " kitchen helpers " along the way, only to find all of my tools inside of the canner.  (Please don’t tell anyone).  Today I busted out 3 batches of Pomegranate Jelly.  MMMM  It sure smelled good, and I bet it will taste pretty darn good too!

I really didn’t want to do anything that resembled work today, but ehh, I figured I would get the yards mowed, then let the midget pigmy children of this establishment play in the back yard and play with their new Nerf Guns.....and then it started to rain. Don't you just hate it when you have no excuse to not do what you should do?  It’s one of those moral things, don’t cross your morals....because then Karma will kick you in the tail!  (Just trust me on this)

Started off with just gonna do one batch, then it turned in to two, then after we ate dinner I started to clean up and realized that I had cleaned as I went so my pot was clean, as was my Jar Funnel, Tongs, and all of the other tools of the trade.  Then I realized that I never turned the stove off, so my water was still boiling.  Remember that moral/karma thing...yep, so two turned into 3.  I'm not too saddened that I did all of this, as my wife came home the day after I started JellyManKelly, and said " I have an order for you, aren't you proud" So, I have just started this thing, I have not even truly thought everything wife is taking orders for nonexistent product....I think that was a bit of karma to get me down the right path.  (If you ignore the first moral/karma hint then karma comes back and kicks you in the teeth, and my parents spent alot on this grill!) 

So..Where was I....I kind of lost track of where I was going with this?  Oh YEAH...okay so here we go.

You know what I love about canning, and making Jelly.  If you say the words " Pomegranate Jelly "  you get Pomegranates coming out of the wood long as you pass along a few jars.  Its like owning a truck...when its time moving or hauling you always seem to have lots of Friends that want to spend time with you...while you move their house or haul their stuff!  I was able to use the last of my " Morse Ranch "  juice left over from Christmas, as well as a bit of " Poppa Don's " juice.  The rest was POM.  Although, I have found a future distributor of fresh juice...only problem is they deliver it in a 17 thousand gallon tanker.  Yeah..think I'm gonna pass. 

I was able to get 18 and a 1/3 jars canned.  My Step Sisters are coming from Utah in a couple of weeks, and well ummm they never got their Christmas presents.  Kinda not, but mainly my fault.  I ran out of product, then I bought more, and did not have money to ship them.....but its okay...because I figure if this weather holds out they might not realize that its almost summer....its a 50/50 shot.  So I have those presents to fulfil, and a couple of orders to fill, and then I can work my way onto a new batch, new flavor.  I bet your wondering about that 1/3 jar that got left right....well

You just need to realize....JellyManKelly likes his Jelly on Toast.  Later!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What do Good Friends and Good Cast Iron Have In Common?

Having a good friend, makes you want more.  If you are blessed with a good friend, and receive the benefits of said friendship, the more you want to put into that relationship.  A good friend will never leave you in the dark; will be there in your times of toil, and times of happiness.  A good friend will be there for you during the loss of a parent, loss of a longtime girlfriend, and will be there for you for your wedding to lightly embarrass you with a toast.  A good friend will also be there for you when you are in an awful funk, and drag your behind half way across the world, or hang out your car window and yell things at people to make you laugh (just don’t get stuck at an intersection).  Good friends are those you take care of before you take care of yourself, and guess what….if you take care of them they will be there to take care of you.
So, you are probably asking yourself what the heck are you talking about….I don’t get it!  Well, a Good Cast Iron pan will take care of you, if you take care of it.  I find nothing finer than Cast Iron.   With a little attention to detail, a Cast Iron pan will take care of you for the rest of your life.  Like a good friend, if you have a Cast Iron pan, well you will want another one.  Have you ever read that book “If you give a mouse a cookie”?  If not read it to your kids, you will not be disappointed!
I laugh when I hear people talk about how horrible their Cast Iron pans cook.  “My food sticks” or “Its rusty”.  I asked one person well did you read the instructions, and they looked at me like I was a fool.  “Why would I need to read the instructions, it’s just a pan, no different than my designer pans”.  Well, you have to take care in using Cast Iron, just like you need to take care in friendships.  That cast Iron pan you use today, if treated right will be there for your kids to use well after you are gone. 
I have a couple of Cast Iron pans.  My favorite one was bought for 5 dollars at a dump store in the Monterey area by my good friend Pops.  When I saw it I was like I am not giving you 1 red cent.  I saw it a couple of days later and I was in love.  He striped close to 50 years of hard use off this pan, and it looked like the day it was purchased off of the general store’s shelf. 
Nothing beats Cast Iron.   NOTHING.  I have cooked everything you can think of in a Cast Iron pan, Cast Iron skillet, or a Cast Iron griddle. 
Start scouring Denio’s in Roseville, or Auction City on Folsom Blvd.  Take a peek at a yard sale or two.  I guarantee you will find some lovely Cast Iron that some is getting rid of.  Chances are, they are getting rid of something that they have no idea what it is…they just look at it like an old piece of junk they found in their parents garage when they cleaned it out.  Take it home, show it some love, and it will be yours for life.  Wouldn’t it be great, to give your child, niece, nephew, a pan that they can remember you cooking breakfast for on the weekends?  ( If you have more than one kid…just buy a stash of Cast Iron.  Then when they want to fight about it they won’t be able to figure out which one is the “REAL” one.  On that note, I have 3 pieces of Cast Iron that I need to re season on the BBQ (You need your oven to be 450-500, and as you know from my last blog mine will only go to 350.  Later!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Team Gonzalez Farewell Foodshare

Okay, so this is so not related to Jelly, Jam, Fruit Butter, or Marmalade.  We are talking scrumdiddlyumptious cheesecake.  I never like to make the same one twice, and it frustrates my loyal taste testers.  For events, I am usually tasked with making a specific one, and I always ask...hey, howa bout this new one I want to try.  Normaly I am shot down, but in this case, I was able to go with my own flow.  In this case, we were having a food share ( It is politicly incorect to call it a Pot Pot Luck infers that you must bring something to participate....Ummmm......yeah this so isnt the blog to go into that ).  So I asked the all knowing, all telling, all sharing your information Google to find me a cheesecake.  It found one, and I think I found a keeper! 

Google Directed me to, to a " Luscious Lemon Cheesecake "  I liked it because I am cheap, and I only had to buy 2 ingredients!  Yay ME!  So after my number 2 sons birthday dinner at the Old Spagetti Factory....I came home, busted out the big guns and went to work.  This is Bad Boy #1

These are Bad Boy's 1 and 2.  Together they equal Wonder Twins!

The recipie was pretty straight forward, I will be making some changes to it to call it my own, and it will end up in my Book 'O Stuff.  The entire house was filled with the smell that only comes when you have a yummy cheesecake cooking.

This is the crust

Notice two things in the below is the oven is at 350....well that luckily is the correct temperature...becuase the buttons are non opperable to make it go any higher than it limits my baking skills.  The second thing is the pan its in.  It is in a spring form pan, wrapped in foil, inside of a baking pan filled with hot water.  I made cheesecakes for years and came up with toppings to put on the cheesecake because it would always split down the matter what i did I always ended up with the Grand Canyon going through the middle of it.  When you cook it in the water...does something to it and it just doesnt split.  Kind of like cooking custard ( you will never ever again hear me compare Cheesecake to Custard )

MMMM out of the oven with a Lemon Sour Cream topping

In all it was a couple hour job.  Now, there would be an aditional picture, but some one at work decided they would park their oversize lunch bag on the top of my Cheesecake.  Now if you read through all of this, and were like wait....I thought this blog was about James Taylor's iconic song Jelly Man Kelly...well sorry to disapoint but not gonna find it.  Well, all this cheesecake work has made me tired...time to go make Hot Dogs for dinner.  Later!

Monday, May 23, 2011

For the LOVE of Jelly's and Jam!!

Who says life has to be dull?  Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?  I used to be of that mindset, day in, day out waiting for the next day, each next day becoming another more day closer to a paycheck, and one day closer to " Something " happening and falling into my lap like Publishers Clearing House, Megamillions, or the Lotto.  Well, starting today, I have taken the bull by the horns ( or better yet the Canning Jar by the ring )!  JellyManKelly.Com has been created.  Nothing big, nothing fancy, but its there and its a start.  My cooking life has been filled with mouth watering masterpieces, and culinary castastophes!  I am currently researching how to accomplish getting into a comercial kitchen ( the only thing holding me back is a 1 million dollar insurance policy ).  Gotta go to the store and get the goody goods to make a Lemon Cheesecake for work tomorrow.  Later!