Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Guest Post: How to Can Peppers

Photo Courtesy of Vicki O'Dell
I'm taking the day off today and letting Vicki O'Dell, aka the Creative Goddess, share her recipe for canned, hot peppers.  She does a lot of preserving and I'm insanely jealous of her.  You see, I WANT to can all the veggies I get from my CSA, but I have an unnatural anxiety about it.  I'm terrified I'll poison someone and give them Lock Jaw.  But every time I read about something Vicki has canned or some jam she has "put up", I get the itch to do it.  She just might be the inspiration I need to overcome my fears.  Here's her post:

My neighbor and I are on a home canning binge. That's a pretty normal activity for her at the end of summer but I've recently gotten back into it myself. Several years of a full-time job left little time for home canning but now that I'm home more, I'm all for it.  Luckily, she's nice enough to share some knowledge, recipes and supplies with me. PLUS it's nice to have another adult to work with for a while.

 Hot Peppers
  • Wash, core and and slice down the middle. Remove seeds & ribs.
  • Remember to wear gloves & possibly even eye protection when handling peppers!
  • Prepare the brine: 4 parts water to 1 part white vinegar.
  • Add 1 cup of salt per gallon of brine. (You CAN cut the salt in half if sodium consumption is an issue for you)
  • In each jar place; 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon oregano and 1 teaspoon dill. OR as you can see here we just added a bit of the fresh herbs
Photo Courtesy of Vicki O'Dell
  • Pack the peppers into the jars with the inside of the peppers facing the inside of the jars. Having only the outsides of the peppers show makes the finished product look much nicer.
  • Pack the peppers tight as they will tend to shrink down once the hot brine is poured over them.
  • Photo Courtesy of Vicki O'Dell
  • Pour the brine into the jars. Fill the jars to the first thread on the top of the jar. 
  • Slide a table knife down into the jar and move the peppers around a bit to remove pockets of air. Add more brine as needed.
  • Wipe down the rim of the jar and add the two part lid. Set the jars aside and listen for the "poink" that tells you that a jar has sealed.
  • We didn't can these peppers with a hot water bath. Some "experts" consider this a big NO-NO so use your own judgement.
  • Let peppers sit for at least 6 weeks for the best flavor.
  You might want to watch this canning video from Lowe's before getting started.

For more crafty lifestyle inspiration visit The Creative Goddess.