Okay. So I don’t actually have a peck of peppers. I have the anticipation of a peck of peppers and I have been giving much more thought to how I will preserve them. I have canned and dried and frozen tons of food over the years but my pickling has pretty much been reserved for dill and bread and butter pickles and dilled green beans. I have made sauerkraut too although it is not a favorite around here. I think I probably made a mistake in not brining more vegetables. The nutritional value is enhanced, the shelf life long and the flavor terrific. What’s not to love?
The other useful attribute of pickling is that it is possible to use up the bits of vegetable you have around that are small to justify doing anything else with. I found this recipe in my mother’s old kitchen book. I remember eating it as a kid, cold and crispy. On a hot August afternoon, it tasted better than a Popsicle.
The main ingredient was cucumbers, 4 quarts of them along with 1 quart of thin sliced onions, a couple of peppers, both green and red and a head of cauliflower, broken into florets. Put all of this in a very large bowl and add 3-4 cloves of garlic and 1/3 cup of pickling salt. Cover the whole thing with ice cubes and lest this sit for 3 hours. Drain and put the whole mess in a large pot. I remember that there were also green beans and zucchini chunks but the recipe doesn’t mention them. Mix together 5 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons mustard seeds and 1/2 tablespoons celery seeds with 1 quart of vinegar. Pour this over the vegetable and bring the whole thing to a boil then ladle into hot, clean canning jars. This will make about 8 pints of pickles. I process pickles for 15 minutes. My canner only holds 7 pints. The extra jar will sit in the refrigerator for a few days and then get eaten at our next cook-out.