Pickled peppers and a few vegetables mix together to become one of those classic sub sandwich condiments. Plus, a few tips for successful pickling adventures this season.
I was supposed to share these on Wednesday for the pickling party, but instead, I found myself wanting to sit a bit longer around the dinner table, taking a walk through the neighborhood with the kids and being grateful that I had the opportunity to clean up after all of them.
I thought a lot about how I often put off family activities because I need to get one more thing done for work. Being driven is good, and this workaholic attitude that runs in my family has served me well, but this week, this week I needed to take the time to think of the now and be sure that I’m being true to myself and my family in it.
I sat around the table with my husband, a crate of peppers and vegetables in between us, and we sliced and chopped. Jokes at each other’s expense were told. We talked. It was worth every minute that I spent being lazy about it at 6 p.m. instead of making dinner and rushing through the night. Dinner came in due time as jars popped on the counter, a walk was taken and small heads were read stories and tucked into bed. I was grateful.
For the peck pf pickled peppers, I enlisted the help of some smaller hands for the onion peeling.
Then Ole and I sat for a good hour prepping vegetables. Together.
Then we packed them in jars, covered them up with a vinegar mix and processed them in that huge pot that Ole purchased years ago to brew his own beer in.
Tips to Pickling Success:
- Fresh is best. The sooner you can get produce from the plant to the jar, the better. Try to purchase from the farmers market the same day you’re going to can or the day before, and pick from your own garden the same day, if possible.
- Soft water is key. I use distilled water instead of hard water when canning. This helps prevent vegetables from breaking down when exposed to minerals and things in the water. You can make your own by boiling hard water for 20 minutes.
- Use pickling salt with no iodine or anti-caking additives that can darken pickles or cause cloudy brine. Marisa over at Food in Jars has a great post on different salts.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Now, did he pick a peck and then pickle them? I’m looking forward to the first sandwich this pickled pepper blend graces, a side of pork topped with pickled peppers, by themselves out of the jar.
A dear friend’s loss has caused me to slow down this week. Jennie went from blissful and full to shattered in mere moments as she lost her husband, soulmate and father of her children on Sunday night from a sudden heart attack. Wishing I could do more for her, be closer to her and somehow take the pain from her, I’ll be making pie today for Mikey. Read Jennie’s post for her Mikey and follow along on Twitter using #apieforMikey today and on Facebook. We’re all holding you tight today, Jennie.
1 1/2 pounds medium to hot peppers (e.g. Hot Banana, Anaheim, Jalapeño)
1 1/2 pounds mild peppers (e.g. Sweet Banana, Cherry, Sweet Bell)
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1/2 pound cauliflower, chopped into 1/2-inch flowerettes
1 cup pearl onions, peeled with root end trimmed
8 cloves garlic, peeled with ends ends cut off
6 cups vinegar
3 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
Wash and prepare the vegetables. Slice peppers into appropriate sizes for packing into jars (rings are preferred if you are me), discarding seeds. Sterilize canning jars and lids and screw tops. In a large saucepan, mix together garlic, vinegar, water and pickling salt. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute until salt is completely dissolved.
Pack vegetables into hot, sterilized jars. Ladle hot vinegar mix over the vegetables. Wipe down the rims of the jars and top with sterilized lids and screw rings. Process in a hot water bath: 10 minutes for half-pint or pint-sized jars and 15 minutes for quarts. At altitudes over 6,000 feet add 5 minutes to the processing time.
Remove the jars from the bath to a dry, clean towel. Allow to cool completely. Lids should pop and seal as the jars cool. Any unsealed jars can be refrigerated and used promptly.
For the best flavor, let the jars sit for 5-6 weeks before opening.
Makes 7 pints pickled peppers.