Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WYG and pepper jelly

Lush and happy ferns welcome visitors to Fern Valley. Unfortunately, visitors are stopped in their tracks just a few feet up since there are many downed trees from recent storms. No matter, a spring visit awaits.

The National Arboretum's wide open spaces.

Another steamy day of weed-pulling at the National Arboretum's Washington Youth Garden. Unfortunately,I don't have photos to show you of all the cool vegetables the families are harvesting right now - gourds, chard, squash, peppers. One thing I love about the National Arboretum is the expanse of it all. There are little concentrated areas to visit, such as the WYG, the peaceful, shady Fern Valley just across from it, and the perfect bonsai and penjing collection just to name a few, but all the separate areas sit on 446 acres in the middle of DC. Once you enter the National Arboretum, you just want to take deep breaths in and out and enjoy the wide open space. The photo below shows what I mean. Your company? Garden visitors, walkers, joggers, bikers, children, dogs, workers, volunteers, and a billion butterflies!

Undeveloped acres at the National Arboretum.

This summer, I've been volunteering at the WYG and I love how the energetic and passionate coordinators invite speakers to discuss and demonstrate different topics. Saturday's topic - my current obsession, food preservation. I got to listen in while weeding the arugula bed.


Below, a beautiful jelly I canned last week. I love how it looks like little pieces of confetti suspended in the translucent gold jelly. What's inside: apricots, habanero peppers, jalapenos, red bell peppers, and red onion. The perfect balance of spicy and sweet. My daily after school snack all week: bread or crackers, brie, and this delicious jelly. I've also been reminiscing about a sandwich I used to have at an amazing Rhode Island deli I worked at when I was in college a lifetime ago: pepper jelly, cream cheese, lettuce, and black forest ham on pumpernickel. Yuuuummmm, a visit to the supermarket must fit into the day's agenda.


  1. Oh My Wendy..that jelly looks yummy.. divine and oh so magical!! YUM!!

  2. I would be eating this every day as well, no recipe???

  3. Oooh, I love pepper jelly and this looks divine. Are you growing apricots?

  4. I have never tasted this kind of jelly before but I like the attractive colours :-D

  5. volunteering...and mommying...and putting up jewel-like jars of jelly too? I think I would like to be adopted by you, Wendy

  6. That is one very beautiful jelly concoction! It's too bad you can't supply tastings with the posting. I enjoyed reading through your site and thanks for stopping by MacGardens...

  7. I want to make this jelly this week for DH - what's your recipe? Sounds like the Ball recipe for golden habanero jelly...?

  8. Stevie - this is the Habanero Gold from the Ball book - good call!! I played around with the proportions of hot pepper to add the jalapeno, which I had lots of. I was also afraid it would be too hot with just habanero, but after tasting it, I think it would have been fine. The jalapeno was great for color - definitely made it more fun. I think a pure gold jelly would be more elegant though.

    Ricki - you're way too kind!

    meemsnyc - no, the apricots were store bought, but I really should have used my dads! Totally forgot that he grows them.

    John, Stephanie, Deborah, Kiki - thanks so much for your comments!!!

  9. Oh yum, Wendy, a gal after my own heart. Love the fern photo, my all-time (and if I could only have one) favorite plant!

  10. wendy!!! that jelly looks wonderfull!!!! can you write the recipe, please? i have no chance to find the book you are talking about, since i'm from romania.
    thank you,



My awesome gardening friends...thanks for leaving a comment! I don't typically repond here, but I love knowing who you are so I can visit your blog as well.

btw - if you're trying to show me nude Miley Cyrus photos, sell me nikes or viagra or antibiotics, or encourage my lovely garden readers to visit your site on solar panel construction, or seo-whatevers, sorry, but I'm not publishing your comment. If you want to moderate my blog - well, I can't keep you too busy, and the pay would be horrible. And lastly, no. I'm not interested in Club Penguin cheat codes. Thanks anyway.

Related Posts with Thumbnails