Warning: For those of you who have read TommyMom for a time, this post is an update on a delicious introduction from the past; which is honestly so very close to finally being in the present!
When Son #3 was younger, there were times he would drive us nuts with his heightened sensory perceptions. For example, there was the time someone left cardboard cars from a “Drive In Movie Night” in the back of our Excursion. Let’s just say when we all got in, it could be likened to huffing Sharpies! Did I really just say that?! Within a mile or two, #3 had sniffed himself into oblivion and claimed he was “heading towards the bright light.” The responses of #1 and #2 could not be likened to the compassion level of Mother Teresa. They invited him to get out at the next light. Perhaps there was an invitation to play in traffic while there.
Our friend, Dana Stenzel of Pepper Jelly (near) fame, phoned a couple of days ago to ask a favor. She wanted the heightened sensory talents of #3 to taste test another creation.
Lest you think that we are merely teasing you with occasional Pepper Jelly sightings; know that Dana has diligently pursued her dreams within the gourmet gamut. Good things take time. Lots and lots of it! She has been back and forth to the jelly plant countless times. There have been many failures. But there have also been many successes! In fact, the Pepper Jelly is nearly ready to go! I would be remiss in failing to mention that she is already on concoction #2, and #3 is in the works. We have learned so much, cheering her on through this process! I had no idea the number of hoops one has to jump through in order to make a creation such as this work! Right now, with a jar already chosen, she is nearly completing a series of successes and failures with her graphic designer and printer where the labeling is concerned!
Today, we went to test an explosion of exquisite proportion. While on the way there, Son #3 asked me if, when listening to music while driving, I was ever frustrated by the fact that the beat of the song and the sound of the blinker don’t always coincide. Some things honestly never change.
Dana always has her scientific ducks in a row.
She explained that this particular jelly has turned out to be labor intensive. Therefore, she has been asked by her manufacturer, to find an alternative to an ingredient, without altering the flavor or texture. Son #3 used to watch Bill Nye the Science Guy daily, and hallelujah, this factoid along with the ADD gene paid off tremendously!
Dana removed all of her potential pulps and flavor options from her fridge, explaining as we went “which ones did what” as far as contributing to the constitution and flavor of this new jelly. You can see a portion of them on the table.
We probably tasted the three options for a good 40 minutes. I would like to say that my personal palette is sophisticated, but the reality is; the things that #3 observes, leaves me in the dust! It’s PB & J next to caviar. Dana is such an awesome lady. She is a facilitator for one of our local area home education charters, and in her “other life” was a parole officer.
She “gets” ADD, and allows #3 to tap, rattle, and roll however long is necessary to glean the nuggets he observes. Turns out, he hit the nail on the proverbial head where a missing component was concerned! Off to the grocery store he went for her, and returned with supplies to whip up a spontaneous batch right then and there!
This is the base, complete with an assortment of peppers-as-pulp.
In the end, he solved the challenge, and the newly-made batch was just the ticket!
Dana is hoping to have her jelly business fully functional very, very soon! I commend and thank her for staying the course and being a great example of pursuing a dream!
I also thank her for the two home-batched-freshly-made-today “Explosions” that she sent home as giveaways!
To enter, simply leave a comment about her Pepper Jelly, if you have tasted it. For a second entry, “Like” Stenzelberry on Facebook.
Tell us… where flavors are concerned, are you a “sweet” or “hot” kind of person, or both?
This particular jelly is phenomenal with pretzels and ritz crackers (we consumed roughly 3, 749 of both today, give or take a hundred), but it has also been used on broiled fish as a glaze and on chicken. I can confidently state that right off the spoon is yet another possibility!
Son #3 is giving the 2 jars up for the cause, in hopes of remaining the “favorite kid on TommyMom”, a self-appointed title!
Winners will be chosen Friday. I hope it’s you!
Disclaimer: Eat the jelly at your own risk. Dana Stenzel and Teri Helms are not liable for any food related issues, specifically jelly addiction in this case.