Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
I went to the grocery to pick up my medications. Since I was in the store anyway, I couldn’t resist checking the discount produce bin to see what was there. There was bananas so I got four. I eat bananas to help with my potassium levels.
There was also these. A bargain at $2.66 when the normal cost has been around$1 each for quite awhile. Only a couple of soft spots but nothing really bad.
I knew I wanted these to be canned to be used on the beans I had canned earlier this week. I decided to make these into sweet and sour pickled peppers. Remember the poem of Peter Piper and how he picked a peck of pickled peppers? These would be it.
So, the peppers got chopped in smallish pieces. I left the skin on because they hold up better to pickling that way.
The recipe called for roasted garlic. Gee, I gave away the roasted garlic I got a few days ago. Oh well. I don’t really like it in this recipe so I chopped up two small onions instead. Courtesy of the food bank.
Next I put 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 cup sugar into a pot over medium heat. When the sugar was completely dissolved I added the peppers and the onions. I let it come to a boil then turned down the heat to let it simmer for half an hour or so. The recipe is on page 140 of the University of Georgia Cooperative extension book called So Easy To Preserve. I cut the recipe down to fit the number of peppers I had.
When you are canning it is perfectly ok to do small batches. Even one jar. I’m going to go into more details about this in another post.
When you are water bath canning it’s not necessary to use an actual canner with the rack inside. Any pot will work as long as the jars can be covered with about an inch of water above the lid. I used a small stock pot instead of my big canner.
There is no need for a canning rack in canning. Anything to keep the jars off the bottom will work. Even a couple of cloth towels folded up. I use jar rings because they can be fitted to any size pot.
Why something at the bottom? To keep the jars from actually touching the bottom of the pan. Touching direct heat will make your jars break and you’ll have wasted food and money. You really want the boiling water to surround the jars including underneath. This pot will hold 7 half-pint jelly jars just right.
My peppers made 8 half pint jars so I divided them into two batches. In order to keep the food filled jars upright I included empty jars. I filled the empty jars with water to keep them upright as I poured water into the pot. Start timing when the pot is at a rolling boil. Like this.
Boil for 5 minutes. I let mine go for 8 minutes because I wasn’t watching the time. Over processing it ok, under processing is not. You must destroy all the botulism poison that lives on food. Botulism is a really nasty germ that can kill you.