The garden is in full swing. This second year around, we are already seeing a major difference with what little differences we’ve made. Starting earlier for one has yielded big profits (profits in my belly not monetarily).
I’m planning on doing a much more throughout garden update soon but for now, I wanted to share how we’re keeping up with it all.
This year we’ve grown more peppers overall. Last year we had so many jalapeños I didn’t know what to do. Brett doesn’t like spicy things as much as I and we had too many to keep. Someone I know suggested pickling them. I originally thought- ‘ok I guess, but we’ve all had pickled jalapeños in a jar or can and what’s so special about that?’.
Of course, there is nothing special about those…BUT I decided to do a quick pickle (without preserving in the hot water bath) and with our fresh jalapeños, garlic from a local farm, and a few sprigs of oregano from my wildly overgrown herb garden we had ourselves something special. I was hooked.
Once I did my quick pickle and was instantly hooked I told Brett we had to preserve all our jalapenos since we had an overabundance that we couldn’t get through before they turned. The quick pickling recipe lasts in the fridge for about 2 months while canning it will keep unopened for a year+.
There are 2 ways to do prep your peppers. Either way, you want to make your brine first, but if you are planning on water-bath canning them, you can either stuff your jars with raw peppers and pour the hot brine over them OR you can simmer your peppers in the brine and fill your jars (best for a quick pickle). I found that stuffing my jars with raw peppers and filling with hot brine saved me time, but not space. Blanching them for a little bit in the brine and then stuffing them in the jars, they softened slightly and I was able to stuff more in the jars.
Since we had about 6-7 half pint jars last year at the end of the season and Brett discovered how good they were in about…October…all 6 jars were gone by December. Super sad for my Sunday morning scrambled eggs. This year we are starting early and already have 12 jars by mid-July. We are not messing around! And anyone who wants some can come to pry them from my cold dead hands.
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 4 whole black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons sugar (optional, sugar will make the heat milder)
- 1 spring of fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 7-8 jalapeno peppers thinly sliced
If you are canning prep by bringing a very large pot of water to a boil. You’ll also want to prep your jars and tops by washing them with warm water OR Brett and I like to put ours in the water bath while it is heating up.
Then, bring your vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add jalapenos a cook for about 5 minutes. Pack jars with jalapenos (use a slotted spoon) and top off with brine, leaving about a 1/2″. If you are going to quick pickle you are done! Throw them in the fridge!
If you are going to can them in the water bath, run a butter knife or chopstick around the inside of the jar to remove any air pockets that might be inside, then wipe the rim of your jar with a paper towel. Put your lids on hand tight and then pop in the water bath for 5 minutes.
Once you take them out, set them on a dish towel out of direct sunlight for 24 hours before moving. The fun part is once you’re done and doing other things, you can hear the seals occasionally in the other room. Brett and I always have fun announcing with fanfare when they pop (because botulism sucks).