It’s the time of year to pickle everything – saving this season’s abundance for future seasons. We have a ton of hot peppers right now – jalapenos, fish peppers, habaneros, and a couple others. Pickling is the least dangerous way to deal with them without having to get your hands spicy. Just pack a jar full of peppers, adding a few cloves of garlic, and top off with a vinegar watered down to your liking, plus salt. Since the overall quantity of jars of peppers is still low compared to other harvests for salsa, sauce, etc, I don’t bother to can them – just keep them in the fridge. My favorite pickles retain most of the crispness of the raw vegetable, are sour, salty, garlicky, and spicy. Green beans are perfect for this. I don’t usually care for sweet pickles, but I did include some fruit in one of the pickled pepper jars. Apple slices, grapes, beets, ginger, and carrots accompany the hot peppers. I love the fruity-spicy-gingery combination, plus the color. The peppers are starting to soften up, but the apples are still very crisp.
I must repeat a flavorful hot sauce that I made this week, which is already eaten up! It’s half roasted garlic, a quarter roasted tomatoes, and a quarter roasted jalapenos & fish peppers, blended in a food processor with rice wine vinegar, salt, and oregano.
I’m enjoying picking the occasional pear to snack on, but the tree looms heavy with fruit to be processed soon. More pear tarts, sauce, cider, salads, dried chips, & perhaps wine.