Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers

Last night was "pepper time" in my 1920s / 1960s / 2010s mishmash of a kitchen. In addition to the, chili, and jalapeno peppers, I also planted three each of sweet banana and salsa (hot!!) plants. They are doing unbelievably well this year. I put them right in the middle of all of the tomatoes in the "second" garden that has a very, very, small slope.

I have been able to pick a few bell peppers already this summer and have been watching the others grow like crazy. (I did put a little Miracle Gro-laced water on them when I planted them, but that is the only "chemical" help they have had). I decided yesterday that I better start picking before something else gets them.

Since I only have three tomatoes that are even close to be ripe, I can't make salsa or chili sauce. So I decided to chop and freeze the salsa peppers for a later use. (NOTE: WEAR GLOVES when you process hot peppers!)

I washed and removed the stems, seeds and white parts of the ribs and cut them into two inch pieces. I pulsed my little baby chopper until the pepper pieces were small enough to use in salsa or other recipes (a little goes a long way with these). I do not have a large food processor (although I would love one), so I chopped theses in three or four batches. Peppers do not need to be blanched before freezing. You can even freeze the little chili peppers whole if you like. I then spooned this into quart-size freezer bags, making sure to remove the air by rolling the bag before I sealed it. I like to flatten my bag out, evenly distributing the peppers. Some people like to freeze the chopped peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer before bagging. I so not bother, because it is easy "break" off small chunks of the chopped goodness when needed.

Next were my sweet banana peppers. I washed, stemmed, and seeded these babies fairly quickly. (I didn't cough constantly like it did with the salsa peppers. No hot pepper spray in the air!) I then sliced them all into rings and set them aside. I gathered my canning supplies and put the canner full of water on to boil.

I tripled this recipe. It is my first time making these, but it has good reviews. It is simple enough, and I have high hopes for yummy pickled sweet peppers on my sandwiches this winter.

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