Sunday, July 29, 2012

Spicing Things Up

It's really easy to surf Pinterest and get caught up admiring and repinning pretty pictures of do-it-yourself projects. It takes more than a little bit of effort to actually take on a task - or to go off in search of one of your own (especially if you're not crafty and consider dabbling in the kitchen enough to call yourself a decent cook). Since I successfully made pickles with a recipe I pinned, I thought I could take on jalapenos.

I mentioned this to a friendly co-worker (who happens to be a home gardener) and he volunteered to pluck peppers from his backyard if I'd give him a few jars. I accepted the challenge.
When I saw a nearly full bag of jalapenos I thought I might have bitten off more than I could chew. Literally. Because I said I would pickle them, I had already committed to it. There was no backing out. I gathered all the things I could need for the task.
Those pink things are life savers: gloves. If you've never cut a few peppers, then rubbed your eyes and thought you might be permanently blind, take my advice - WEAR GLOVES WHEN YOU'RE HANDLING PEPPERS. Even if you don't think they're spicy, peppers will kill you. Well, maybe not kill you but they could make you wish for death.
I decided to slice them so I could use them to pile on my food. I don't have a hole lot of use for whole peppers.
Then, I put them in a jar that had a few sliced carrots, onion and garlic.
Then, I made small batches of pickling juice (probably not the right term, but it's what I'm going with) based on a recipe I found online. I can't remember the site, but here's the mix:
One teaspoon of salt with each cup of vinegar. Heat to a simmer, pour over peppers, then close the jar and store in the refrigerator.
I let them sit for one week to soften up the peppers, then I put a few slices on some nachos.
They tasted really good! The peppers were hotter than I thought they'd be, so I only managed to eat four before I picked them off so I could enjoy the rest of my snack.

This may be the easiest thing ever! I'm putting whole peppers from my backyard in the jar I finished to see if I can pickle those. If you do whole peppers, you're supposed to slice into them so the entire pepper can be pickled. Do that carefully!
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