By Karen England, for Let’s Talk Plants! May 2023.
Pickle That Peck O’Peppers People!
This column tends to be a recipe centric follow up to Sommer Cartier’s bi-monthly Grow In Abundance columns, although this is not always true, it certainly is this time as this month’s article is a direct result of her current Pick A Peck Of Peppers piece (see what I did there? I alliteration-ally couldn’t help myself.)
Capsicum spp., the International Herb Association’s “… 2016 Herb of the Year™, is a familiar and favored plant, used both as a vegetable and an herb. Capsicum refers to both sweet and hot types, bells and chiles. These fruits have been revered for centuries in the New World, provide infinite use in medicinal preparations, are now embraced in culinary circles around the world, remain versatile in the kitchen, and come in a vast array of colors, heat and shapes.”
In the IHA’s 2016 HOY book on Capsicum, contributing member Donna Frawley wrote a chapter about “Experiencing Peppers” that included a recipe for Pickled Hot Peppers and she has kindly given permission for reprinting the recipe here.
Donna Frawley’s Pickled Hot Peppers
Donna says, “I like to mix the colors of peppers in the jars so they look as attractive as they taste. As with all hot peppers, if your hands are sensitive to heat, wear rubber gloves when working with them.”
Makes 4 Pints
1 pound (about 8 cups) red, green, and yellow hot peppers
4 heads fresh dill, more if you like
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon crushed dried red chile pepper flakes
You will need 4, wide-mouth pint jars with lids and rings, sterilized and hot. Wash peppers and drain. With a sharp knife, make 2 small slits in each pepper so the brine will penetrate and the peppers will be submerged and not float. Put 1 or 2 heads of dill and 1 clove of garlic in each of 4 hot, wide-mouth pint jars. Pack peppers into jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. In saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and dried pepper flakes; bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Pour hot liquid over peppers, leaving ½ inch headspace. Adjust lids. Process 10 minutes in boiling water canner.
Who Was Peter Piper Who Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers? | Bon Appétit (bonappetit.com)
According to Bon Appetite, "We may never know which woodchuck hypothetically chucked wood or which unspecified Sally sold seashells down by the seashore, but one of our tongue-twisting icons, Peter Piper (of the peck of pickled peppers), might have been an actual person. Pierre Poivre was a one-armed 18th century French horticulturist, missionary, and colonial administrator whose name, as any demi-Francophone might notice, is equivalent to the English 'Peter Pepper'."
Many thanks to Donna for sharing this recipe with the SDHS. Want to learn more?
The Capsicum book is available from the IHA here:
Capsicum spp: Herb of the Year™ 2016 - The International Herb Association (iherb.org)
Donna Frawley can be found here:
Frawley's Fine Herbary Visit our website: www.frawleysfineherbary.com Also on FACEBOOK
She is the author of "100 Ways to Make a Difference - Creating Ripples of Love for a Lasting Legacy" Now Available! Order at: www.donnafrawley.com