Labor Day’s Labors: Sharon’s zucchini jelly

Monday was Labor Day in the United States. It is sort of the unofficial end to summer here. As the temperature has turned to cool afternoons and even cooler evenings, it sure feels like fall has begun. Labor Day is supposed to be about relaxing and visiting and having a day off. I worked more on Labor Day than I have in several Days, and it was all in the kitchen.

I am guessing my working in the kitchen was because it rained .65 inches, which was more than enough to keep us out of the garden. The day started quite cold and overcast, but after the rain, the sun came out and it was a beautiful evening. We had spent all of Sunday after church just resting and relaxing. After supper, Paulina and I told Glenda to come for a visit, and we put on the coffee. Pretty soon she was texting others with my phone inviting them to join us. We sat around the table on the concrete taking in the evening and watching the solar lights come on. It was a wonderful night, if you don’t count the flies or that we needed coats and blankets. It was lots of fun, drinking coffee and eating the pumpkin bread that Adie brought over and sharing stories about long ago that the others had never heard before. I think that has been the best lately, how we are each digging into the memories and sharing new things with each other. Hopefully the next time we gather it will be more planned and the others who were absent will be able to join in the fun.

Anyway, as for Labor Day Paulina helped me with a little baking and some zucchini shredding. She wasn’t home when I bought the new shredder and it was her first opportunity to use it. I peeled and scraped the insides of the zucchini and cut them the size for the shredder, and she ran them through. She also put together two batches of zucchini bread, and I poured them into the pans. This time, I decided we would try the specialty pans to see what we would get. Here are the results.

The loaves are fairly small so they bake up pretty fast and turned out so cute. I was impressed that we were able to get them out of the pans with no major casualties. There were a few more, but those were baked in small loaf pans. All in all we ended up with 12 little loaves.

Teddy Bears
Teddy Bears
Figure 8 loaves
Figure 8 loaves

After mixing up some cream cheese and powered sugar frosting, we could barely save enough for Paulina to take back to Jessica’s place with her. It was fun to finally use those pans. The figure 8 pan was part of what I chose when we were dividing things in my mother’s kitchen. Wonder which daughter will want to keep it.

The recipe is found in the Herreid Centennial Cookbook pg. 18. It is as follows: Mix 3 eggs, 1 cup of oil, 2 cups of sugar and 1 TB spoon of vanilla. Next add the dry ingredients: 3 cups of flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder 3 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. Those last two make the flavor. You may also add 1 cup of chopped walnuts, but on this day we did not.

Of course there was more zucchini than was used for the bread so I decided it might just be time to make up a batch of the famous orange zucchini jelly. I have a few pictures of that and the recipe to go with it.

Zucchini boiling in the kettle
Zucchini boiling in the kettle
Jelly ready to ladle into the jars.
Jelly ready to ladle into the jars.

The hardest part of this recipe is to believe that it is printed in the correct order. I always think you cannot boil zucchini without adding all of the liquid, but you must. It calls for 6 cups of shredded zucchini and boil it for 15 minutes. Start it on low and turn it up as the natural juice begins to form. The zucchini when fresh will weep. It finally hit me on Monday, and I have been making this stuff for 15 years. Go low heat then turn it up and it will break down as it is supposed to do. I must confess that I tinker with the recipe a bit, but I will list that out for you as I write it out below.

Finished pints of zucchini jelly
Finished pints of zucchini jelly

6 cups shredded zucchini (I used 7) boil this for 15 minutes. Add: 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 cup drained crushed pineapple (I skipped), 6 cups sugar. Boil for 6 minutes. Here is where you need to stir and this is why I use a huge pot because if you know canning and jelly making, you know that boiling sugar makes the contents bubble to the top of almost anything and a small pot is nothing but a mess waiting to happen. Turn off the heat and add: 2 regular sized boxes of Jello. Orange and apricot are the best flavors, but anything you like works. This recipe does not call for processing, and it usually seals quite well. The lemon should be enough to keep it safe. I have had an occasion or two where a jar molds on me, but that is rare. I just suggest using them within the year. This recipe was given to me by a dear friend, Sharon, who lived quite close to us in Jamestown. When Paulina was born our oldest two girls spent the night with Sharon and Wally. When Paulina graduated from high school, she surprised us by coming to the graduation to spend the day with all of us. I also got my first salsa recipe from her. Hope those of you who try this recipe enjoy it. Happy baking and canning!!

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10 thoughts on “Labor Day’s Labors: Sharon’s zucchini jelly

  1. Thank you for posting the recipe for the zucchini jelly. Can’t wait to try this — probably next year though as I’m still underwater with peppers and tomatoes and didn’t plant zucchini this year. I did have some neighbors share some with me a few weeks back, but that has already been processed. A project for 2016 — time to start the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, dang how I wish that I could walk a few or 10 over to you as I did to the new neighbors when she mentioned she wanted to make some salsa, but didn’t have all the peppers she needed. Oh I was so happy to help out on that one. Happy canning.

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  2. Zucchini jelly! That is amazing. In Britain, zucchini are called “courgettes” and eggplant is called “aubergine”. Not sure why they use the French names, but there you are. And in Britain, “jelly” means jello! Just to confuse you some more. Your evening storytelling sounds wonderful. I wish my children were interested in stories from my / our family past, but so far they aren’t. However, I write things down! I hope you had a rest after your laborious Labor Day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the language lesson. Yes I rested on Tuesday when I was writing. I have been one day work, one day goof off for a few weeks here. I better get serious, though and get the canning finished. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Our eve before Labor Day was truly fun!! Sometimes, unplanned get-togethers are the best. Adie’s pumpkin bread was delicious as was your zucchini bread the next day. We definitely need another reunion of family members like that again before the snow flies!! Oh yes, your coffee was excellent as always!

    Liked by 1 person

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