Friday, August 7, 2015
It's that time of year.....canning season! Okay, okay....if you've read some of my posts, you probably know I do some canning all year long. I guess I should re-phrase that by saying NOW is the perfect time to take advantage of the abundance of fresh produce available (either from your garden or local growers).
I have to say, my hubby and I have a weakness for those bags of colored sweet peppers. We had bought a bag that we had intended to use for some stuffed popper-type appetizers. For some reason, we didn't get those appetizers made (stuff like that happens in our life....). I didn't want the peppers to go to waste, so, I hunted for a recipe to preserve them. The recipe I used was similar to a recipe from the book Summer in a Jar by Andrea Chesman. This is a great reference book for canning! Her pickle recipes are done a little different from most pickle recipes. She gives you the amounts for EACH quart jar. That way, if you don't have enough produce for a "whole batch", you can still process a quart or two. Being that the book was copyrighted in 1985, I wasn't sure about the processing times (they constantly seem to be changing). I adjusted the processing time to reflect more recent processing times. Since I couldn't find a processing time for quart peppers, I adjusted the recipe for pint size. Also, I always prep my veggies for pickling the night before canning by doing a salt and ice soak. It tends to keep the pickles crisper. Here's the process I use for prepping my veggies....
I started by cutting the peppers into rings and removing the seeds and ribs (Although, if you want to can your peppers whole, you would just cut a couple slits in the pepper).
The recipe I used didn't call for onions, but I wanted to use onions in with the peppers, So, I sliced a couple of onions in narrow slices.
In a large bowl, mix the two together.
Sprinkle 1 cup of pickling salt over the peppers and onions.
Then, cover everything with ice cubes (4 trays worth). Set the bowl in the fridge and chill overnight (or at least 8 hours).
When you're ready to begin the canning process, rinse (really, really well) and drain the pepper/onion mixture.
If you're new to canning, this Waterbath Canning Tutorial from The Prairie Homestead is a very good place to start.
Pickled Peppers (By the Pint)-
For each sterilized pint jar add:
1/2 tsp. pickling salt
1-1/2 tsp. sugar (I omitted this as I didn't want the sugar in the recipe)
1/8 tsp. Ball Pickle Crisp (if desired)
2 cups (approximately) prepared mixed (sweet, hot or a combination of the two) peppers (and onions, if you like)
3/4 cups white vinegar
About 1/2 cup boiling water
Into each sterilized pint jar, add 1/2 tsp. pickling salt, 1-1/2 tsp. sugar, and 1/8 tsp. Ball Pickle Crisp. Pack the peppers tightly into the jar. Pour in the vinegar. Fill to within 1/2 inch of the top with boiling water. Seal. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (adjust for elevation if needed).
I hope you enjoy the recipe!