Every other week in a vacant lot near Jefferson Park Transit Center, a few farmers gather to hold a small market. Though it is hardly the size or scope of Green City Market, sometimes there are some interesting finds. A few weeks ago, straight garlic scapes. This week, banana peppers. I went through a pickled pepper phase a couple years back. I wanted them on everything. Giardiniera, peperoncini, banana peppers, I went through jar after jar. Though I have never done any canning of my own, when I saw a dozen ball jars on sale on a random trip to the hardware store, I knew what I had to do.
I meant to start my personal pickling journey of can-tastic proportions with some tiny cucumbers I found at the Lincoln Square market. Life side-tracked me, and they went soft waiting. But when I found banana peppers at Jefferson Park’s farmer’s market, the time had clearly arrived. To take up jars against a sea of winter months… and pickle.
After washing my jars in warm soapy water, I split some garlic lengthwise and put about a clove and a half into each jar.
Then I cut up my banana peppers. I found given the size and shape of the pepper that it was easiest to cut them into rings and then take out the seeds afterwards. I just pressed my thumb through the rings to remove the seeds.
If they’re hot peppers (like these), and you’re sensitive, wear gloves. I washed my hands right afterwards, but they’re still tingling 3 hours later.
I loaded these into a jar and brought my pickling liquid to a boil
1 cup white distilled vinegar
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
I poured this into the waiting jars full of peppers and garlic, leaving a 1/2 inch room at the top. I sealed them and then put them into a pot of boiling water such that the water came halfway up the sides of the jars and left them to boil for 10 minutes.
In two weeks, I can open them and see if they’re any good. Fingers crossed.