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At the end of the growing season, I always tear out the dying plants, till the area really well, and fertilize- all in preparation for next year’s garden. It’s a great time to reflect on the successes and failures of this year’s garden. I think about what I will do different next year and the new varieties and plants I want to try. One plant I always have success with – banana peppers. You almost can’t kill those boogers. They have never been invaded by pests and always produce bowlfuls. The peppers below are the very last picking from the garden. That’s why they are so small. I love their varied colors of orange, red and yellow. So vibrant.

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Pickled Banana Peppers

  • 4 cups chopped hot peppers (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp pickling salt
  • Spices of your choice – I used whole black peppercorns, whole mustard seeds, and a garlic clove for each jar.

Prepare a small canning pot and 4 half pint jars. Place 4 new lids in a small pot of water and bring to the simmer; this helps sterilize them. Combine vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pack each clean jar with the pepper rings. Add desired spices. Laddle the boiling vinegar solution over the pepper rings, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Tap jars gently to remove any trapped air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a wet cloth, apply the sterilized lids and the rings. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. When time is up, remove the jars from the canner and allow to cool. As they cool, you will hear a lovely little pop each time a jar seals. Count the number of pops to be sure they all seal. You can also touch the lids when they are cool. If they have any give, they are not sealed. Put them in the fridge and use within a month. Store sealed jars in a cool dark place. Makes 5 half pint jars.

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