We’ve been busy picking pumpkins, visiting family, CAMPING, pulling out the sweaters, sanding and finishing furniture, weeding, mowing, planting kale and beets and brussels sprouts… Clearly September was a busy.
Some friends bought a boat earlier this summer, and arranged a group camping trip a few miles off the shore on one of the barrier islands. It something special to set up a tent on a deserted island, watching the sun set over the water in the west and rise over the water in the east! Throw in a huge pot of seafood & tomato chowder, and a moonlight exploration of an abandoned fishing trawler, and I can hardly think of a better camping trip.
But of course traveling, camping and the glorious reappearance of sweater weather isn’t all that happened in September. What is another month without preserving. There were lots of goodies coming from our garden and fresh plums from the pick-your-own farm.
The September canning roster included: Plum Jam. Asian Plum Sauce (like Hoisin…). Pickled Peppers + Carrots. Refrigerator Pickled Peppers.
The freezing roster included: Halved Damson Plums (for cobbler in January…). Roasted Sweet Peppers. More Cherry Tomatoes. Roasted Eggplant.
If you’ve ever chowed down at a Southern California taco shop, you know the love of pickled carrots & jalapenos. They’re a regular fixture on the free salsa bar… When I found myself overrun with jalapenos and hot peppers this month, I was kicking myself trying to determine how to put them up in a way I might actually eat them later on. I love hot peppers, but I can’t make my way through the bushels we’ve been getting. Then I remembered the delicious hot carrots from JV’s Tacos back home. Oh man. Bingo. I combined various recipes to come up with this one which was high on carrots, per my preference. Stick some in a sandwich, eat with tacos or burritos, or dump some in a pot of chili…
Pickled Peppers + Carrots
To make 4 pints:
- 2 lbs jalapenos – sliced in strips or coins, or some of each
- 1/2 – 1 lb carrots – sliced in strips
- 3 c white vinegar
- 2 c water
- 2 Tb kosher/pickling salt
Also, for each jar (use this figure for half-pints, double it for full pints):
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed
- a couple of pinches of coriander seed
- one or two whole cloves
- one bay leaf
Start a big pot of water boiling. Sterilize the jars (either in the boiling water, dishwasher, or in a 250 deg. oven for 15 mins).
Prepare the brine by bringing the vinegar, water and salt to a boil. Keep this hot on low until ready to fill the jars.
Slice the jalapenos and carrots to your liking.
Then add the spices the sterilized jars, following with the peppers and carrots. Divide these evenly among the jars so you have a ratio of carrots to peppers as you like.
Finish by pouring the hot brine over to fill – leaving 1/2 inch headspace, and tap to release any bubbles. This should be enough brine for 4 pints if you filled your jars pretty full with veggies. You may need to stick a chop stick down in the jars to make sure there are no bubbles trapped anywhere.
Wipe the rims clean with a towel dipped in hot water, then add the new lids and bands, and process in the hot water bath for 10 mins.
Or, if don’t have the whole canning operation you should definitely try the slightly sweet quick pickled Refrigerator Pickled Peppers, no processing required! You can use an old mayo jar or whatever you have on hand.
Just take those sliced jalapenos (1 lb or 6 c whole peppers or so will make 2 pints worth) and pack them into a clean jar. Add some spices if you like…bay leaf, coriander, peppercorns. Pour over them a boiling hot brine made of:
- 1.5 c white vinegar
- 1 c water
- 1 Tb kosher/pickling salt
- 1 Tb sugar
Pop a lid on the jar, allow to cool and keep them in the fridge for up to a month or so. These barely sweet peppers are soo delicious – I’ve put them into pasta sauce, on a sandwich, sprinkled over roasted potatoes, scrambled into an omelet….the possibilities are endless.