For those people who ventured into the world of gardening this year, dependent upon what type of seeds you sowed, you might be knee-deep in your dirt collecting the beautiful fruits of your labor.
Whether this is your first experience or you are a seasoned gardener, an issue that includes almost everyone is the absolute abundance of fruits and veggies that the garden produces. It is a common and frequently asked question: ‘what am I going to do with all of these…’ fill in the blank. I typically hear people’s amazement and disbelieve about how much produce they are yielding this season and they just don’t know what to do with it all.
A lot of the veggies that are maturing right now include, cucumbers, tomatoes, and the many types of peppers. After exhausting all of the available friends, family, and neighbors you know to give your produce away to, you are still left with an overwhelming amount of peppers. You can only eat and cook so much before they start threatening to spoil. They do freeze pretty well, but to get the maximum preservation out of your peppers, pickling is your answer.
Before You Pickle Peppers You Have To Pick Them
The first important step is collecting your matured produce from your garden. Properly preparing to pick your harvest involves dressing comfortably and wearing some form of protection from sun exposure since this endeavor will probably have you out in the garden for a considerable amount of time.
You will need a large sized basket, box, or burlap bag to put your items in and it is a good idea to be prepared with a back-up. You will also require a comfortable and durable pair of gardening gloves and a pair of gardening sheers that you can rely on. Now you are ready to collect your harvest.
The ideal pepper for pickling should be firm without any soft spots. The best approach for removing the pepper from the plant is to gently twist and cut the stem about an inch and a half from the top with your sheers.
Upon collecting your pile of peppers, you should get a general idea of the amount you have. A bushel of peppers is gauged by weight and is most commonly known to be 25 lbs. This will create 20 to 30 pints of pickled peppers.
Quick Steps To Pickle Peppers
- Select firm peppers and wash them thoroughly
- Halve your peppers and remove the stem and seeds
- Flash roast the skin side of the pepper to the point of blistering
- Quickly place into an ice bath and remove to easily peel the skins off
- Cut into strips and loosely place them into your pint jar leaving an inch empty at the top
- Pour in your pickling juice, be sure to remove all bubbles before you seal
- Submerge in boiling water bath for 10 minutes and allow to cool
Pickling Juice For Approximately Nine Pint Jars
- 5 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- One small onion coarsely cut
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp. pickling salt
A common practice is to use equal parts of hot and sweet peppers to achieve a well-balanced preserved pepper. It is also recommended to pour your pickling juice through a strainer first so that all of the onion, garlic, and peppercorns are removed. Now you can enjoy your peppers throughout the entire year.