So I’m going to tell you a story. Mostly because this post would be boring if I didn’t. It’s about this time I picked peppers. Before I begin to tell you this story, I’m gonna start by telling you a different story. I’ve been known to be….. loud. I’m loud. I dunno why, maybe its the Latin in me, or maybe it’s just my personality. Nonetheless, I’m heard wherever I go.
I used to work for these chiropractors, and one in particular really liked me. I was terrified of him for the longest time, he was “the boss,” and I was completely intimidated by him. So in normal Claudia fashion, I never showed he intimidated me. How? By being loud. I would tell him jokes, stories, I’d tease him, ask him about golf (borinnnngggg), basically used my voice. It worked. He thought I was hilarious (that would be really awkward if he ever reads this and thinks “she actually wasn’t that funny.”) Anyways, we went to another chiropractor’s wedding once. I had done my hair all pretty, my makeup was on fleek (just to clarify, I don’t normally use the term ‘fleek’), my dress was the bomb.com (again, I normally don’t use the term bomb.com), and I was wearing my friends super expensive $400 leather heels (they were $300, but $400 sounded better). It was an outdoor ceremony. With gopher holes everywhere. See where I’m going with this? So here I am looking all fly (Again. ‘fly’ isn’t in my day to day vocabulary), and I’ve got this super hot guy as my date (Dane), and I’m all flipping my hair, doing my celebrity wave and walking toward this boss of mine. I’m a foot away about to go in for a hug when BAM! Frigging gopher ruins my game. My boss had to catch me. Yup. Fell straight into him, and not in a cute “oh I’m so tiny my boss caught me and gave me a raise cuz I’m so cute.” No, more like shamu the orca falls on her boss and pulls his back. Good thing he’s a chiropractor. His exact words were “trust Claudia to make a grand entrance. Like always.” At my going away party after I quit (no, I didn’t quit because I was so embarrassed), his speech to me said, and I quote “I’ll miss Claudia’s work ethic, blah blah blah, but mostly I’ll miss how Claudia never just showed up. She never just walked into a room, she made an entrance. There was always something that had a story.”
Awwwww…. so cute right? Naaaat. Basically he called me a drama queen. Meh, if the shoe fits. Point of this story is to show that I don’t just “pick” peppers. There will always be a story to go along with it. Even if it is calling myself out.
I wanted to make my friends mom’s peppers (Hi Joan!!) They are delicious. You will never buy store bought peppers after you make these. Joan’s peppers are red, orange, and yellow. So those are the colours I wanted. Why? Because. That’s why. So we’re in Osoyoos and we are about to buy peppers at a fruit stand on the side of the road, when I get this bright idea to PICK my own peppers! Like OMG, “how cute would it be to pick our own peppers Dane??” Dane is thrilled. CLEARLY. So I drag him into the field in +35 heat mid afternoon to pick hot peppers. Only thing is, there are only yellow peppers. Apparently, all of these peppers are supposed to be yellow, and when they get too ripe they turn red and orange. So the pickers chuck those out (the pickers names are Peter, obvs). But they have left a few behind, and it is my mission, my life’s goal if you will, to have orange, red, and yellow peppers. So I instruct Dane to look through this whole field with me, looking for the orange and red peppers. Just Like Joan’s. Dane is not impressed. I’m hot and I’m probably hangry, so me over heating and hungry + a hot, sweaty husband who has a nutty wife = husband and wife fight in a pepper field in Osoyoos, BC. Like a full on fight where we yell and walk away from each other. The best part? Dane was recording it on his goPro the entire time. So somewhere in our files, there is a silent video of me CHUCKING peppers into my basket and glaring at my husband. At least they were red and orange peppers;) I win.
Fast forward to pickling them. You have to remove the core and seeds from each pepper by hand. I had a good 100 peppers. It took me 3 hours to do all of them. My hands were on fire by the end. Each finger was swollen and beet red and itchy and hot. I thought I was gonna have to go the hospital. No, seriously, I LEGIT thought I was gonna have to go and get my hands drained somehow. I had to sleep with ice packs on my hands. Karma’s a………
This all happened about four years ago. I’ve been making these peppers every summer since then. Everyone who has them, loves them. You should try making them. My only advice? Wear latex gloves, Oh, and don’t stress too much about the red and orange peppers:)
- 12 lbs Hungarian peppers
- 2 cups water
- 6 cups white vinegar
- 8 tbsp pickling salt
- 6 peppercorns (per jar)
- 2 whole garlic cloves (per jar)
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme (per jar)
- Boiling water to "cook" the peppers
- 12 500 ml mason jars
- Have all of your jars sanitized, and keep them warm when packing. Thinly slice and seed all of your peppers. Pack each jar tightly with your peppers.
- Once you have them all packed, pour boiling water in each jar, making sure all the peppers are covered. Let sit for 3 minutes.
- Add your garlic, thyme, and peppercorns to each jar.
- In another large stockpot, make your brine. Bring your 2 cups of water with the vinegar and salt to a roiling boil. Carefully pour into each jar, making sure to leave about ½" of room up top. Seal with lids.
Thanks to Joan for never being selfish and letting Afton and me devour these, even when she was down to her last jar. And also, thanks for the passing along the recipe:) You can put these peppers on almost anything. We put them in burgers, sandwiches, quinoa salad, eggs, with cheese and crackers. Use your imagination. And latex gloves.