Pickled Hot Banana Peppers

09/04/2013

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Over Labor Day, my husband and I traveled from Florida to Southern Illinois to visit his family. His parents have a large and beautiful garden that is always bursting at the seams with ripe vegetables this time of year. Their one acre gives them enough corn, peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, okra, and beans for them to last the winter. I’m always amazed and envious of their crop. Their soil is hard Southern Illinois clay, yet their yield and fruit is always tremendous. I think it’s because my inlaws’ secret garden ingredient is love.

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Ingredients (makes 6 quarts):

Hot peppers! Any kind, as many as you can gather or grow

1 quart cider vinegar
2 quarts water
1 c canning salt
12 cloves garlic
1 T turmeric (optional)
red hot pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions:

Boil your six pint jars and lids to sterilize them for at least 10 minutes. In another pot, mix together the vinegar, water and salt. I added turmeric to my banana peppers to give them a more yellow color, but if you’re not using banana peppers, you can leave that out. Bring this to a boil for 5 minutes. While you’re waiting for the liquid to boil, put 2 cloves of garlic in each jar, once the jars are sterilized. If you want to add a teaspoon of red hot pepper flakes, add that to the jar, too. From there, add your cut peppers.

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You can either leave in the seeds and veins, or take them out depending on your spiciness tolerance. Once the jars are packed full, pour in the vinegar/water mixture. Put the lid on, and screw the cap tight.

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They need to stay in the jar at least two weeks for them to pickle. After that, they’ll be just fine in a dark cupboard for a year or more. Add them to sandwiches, use them as pizza toppings, or just eat them plain. This way your garden’s goodness will last you year round!

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