Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pickled Sweet Banana Peppers!

I have never pickled though I have been VERY PICKLED many times before. This summer, I decided to try pickling some sweet banana peppers which I grew myself on my deck. I started with a young pepper plant and planted it in a large planter with plenty of direct sunlight. Luckily I did not kill it during the first week. It must have felt sorry for me and my pathetic attempts at "deck farming" and soon enough, four small white flowers started to bud.

I hadn't planted the banana peppers with the idea of pickling them. Initially, I wanted to grow them and possibly stuff them with Italian sausage as sort of an appetizer. I'm not a big fan of hot peppers so I figured these would be good to try, not to mention they are pretty colorful.

The four initial flowers quickly grew into peppers and within another week, I had about 6 more flowers appear. Then a week later, something came by and ate every damn fresh little white flower! ARGH! I was so mad! Luckily, the original four peppers were still intact so I counted my blessings and began nurturing them.

After they were ripe and the most vibrant red yellow color, I picked them and searched for recipes. If I had been able to grow ten or more of them, I would have gone the sausage stuffed pepper appetizer route. But alas, these four ripe lowly peppers sat there on the counter staring at me as if they were saying, "OK Farmer Brown, you grew us, now whatta ya gonna do?" After an Internet search, I found an easy recipe for pickling the peppers which wouldn't require me to attend a pickling class at my local college. Here is the link for the recipe from Food.com:

http://www.food.com/recipe/sweet-pickled-banana-peppers-17254

The recipe was easy to follow and extremely user friendly for the novice pickler. I adjusted the recipe because unfortunately I had about 1/3 lb of the peppers and not the 1/2 lb called for. I am also happy to say that a certain trained monkey named Marc was able to follow the recipe to a "T". Why was I so scared of pickling?

After the jar was sealed, the tough part was not touching them for two weeks! (I have learned that I am not a patient pickler.) I wrote the "open" date with a Sharpie pen on the lid, placed the jar in the back of my fridge, set a reminder on my phone and hoped to forget about it. Luckily two weeks went by rather quickly. Apparently time flies when your peppers are pickling. I have to say that the peppers came out great: sweet, vinegary with a slight crispness. They would be awesome on a sandwich, hoagie, or in eggs. Um.... I ate them straight out of the jar. :)   Now that it called the "Pickler's Prerogative"!


PICKLED SWEET BANANA PEPPERS
(from Food.com)

Ingredients            

Yields: 1 1/2 pint jars
  • 12 lb banana peppers, seeded and sliced cross-ways into rings
Pickling juice:
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 23 cup white sugar
  • 12 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 12 teaspoon celery seeds 

Directions

  1. Sterilize 2- 1/2 pint jars.
  2. Bring the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed and celery seed to a rolling boil.
  3. Place peppers in the 1/2 pint jars.
  4. Pour on the hot pickling juice and bring liquid to within 1/2" of the top.
  5. Be sure the edge of the jar has no juice on it.
  6. Place lids and screw on bands finger-tip tight.
  7. Seal jar and leave for 2 weeks. (I refrigerated the jarred pickled peppers for the two weeks.)

**This is an heirloom recipe that uses a method no longer recommended by the USDA/NCHFP (National Center for Home Food Preservation). Current guidelines recommend processing in a boiling water bath at least 10 minutes at sea level to 1000 feet in elevation (more time at higher elevations) and left to cool, upright and undisturbed, on a cloth-protected counter for 24 hours. Check for seal; if the jar hasn't sealed, either re-process the jars within the 24 hours or refrigerate and use first.







2 comments:

  1. The recipe seems simple enough... although I have a life long fear of "canning" When I was a teenager... my mom and grand mom began a campaign of home canning.... by the way they were NOT mother and daughter.... this was my mom and her mother in law.

    My dad would drive out to the country and return with baskets of vegetables and fruits.... And I am not sure who had the expertise In canning, but time would tell.

    The two of them would spend hours together (I think this was the beginning of their estrangement... ultimately evolved into full scale hatred. but back to the canning. The house we lived in... had once been a corner grocery/candy store.... and the people who lived there before us, left a ton of canning supplies. So let the canning begin.

    They made ketchup, applesauce, pickles, etc. At the end of the project, it was left to my brother Jim and me to cart them into the cellar (yes it was a real cellar... not a basement) and put them on shelves that my dad built.

    Well our winter entertainment was to listen to the jars exploding one or two per night... usually when it was the coldest. and of course, Jim and I were assigned clean up.... enough of the jars survived that we were using/eating the fruits of all that labor into the next winter.

    Obviously there were some missteps in the process, which led to "discussions" between Mom and Gram (as we called her) which only served to strain the relationship even more.

    And that dear reader is why I don't jar, can or pickle .EVER.

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    1. Thank u so much for sharing this! I really enjoyed reading about your family pickling/canning drama! :)

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