We’re finally starting to see some peppers and tomatoes from the garden! It’s been another lackluster year, thus far, although, I guess it’s still a bit early.

Regardless, we have a bit of a harvest, so I decided to can them. I really enjoy canning things. but doing things for fun is so different than doing them for necessity. I remember seeing my grandmother in her kitchen in Bakersfield canning – I think – green beans and peaches sometime in the mid-’50s. The only air conditioning in the house was a swamp cooler in the living room and Bakersfield gets hot in the summer. Really hot.

The kitchen was stifling and she was doing quart after quart of whatever the hell it was with sweat dripping down. I think she finally stopped canning by ’57 or so and I just have the vaguest memory of actually eating her canned peaches over ice cream.

My mother, on the other hand, didn’t can anything. Her memories of growing up during the Depression were too keen. Being able to buy frozen or canned vegetables was her entry into the upwardly-mobile middle class. With six kids to feed, she had her own frugalities she had to contend with – but canning was not to be one of them.

Fast-forward almost half a century and here I am doing what grandma had to do – but doing it simply because I feel like it.

I have dozens of jars downstairs along with scores of new lids, so I really can do things as the mood strikes me. I’ve done it enough over the years that I have all of the things I need. And really, the only thing you actually need are jars, lids, a big pot – and something to put in the jars.


I did a dozen 4oz jars and a quart jar for the ‘fridge.


Hot Pickled Peppers

(makes about 12 1/2-cup jars and a quart for the ‘fridge)

  • 4 lbs assorted hot peppers
  • 6 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Wash and cut peppers to desired size.  (I made rings. )

Pack peppers into mason jars leaving about 1/2″ headroom.

Combine and heat sugar, salt, vinegar, and water.  Bring to boil and then simmer about 5-6 minutes.

Pour over peppers, leaving the same 1/2″ headroom.

Wipe rims of jars, top with lids and rings.

Process in a boiling water bath about 10 minutes.


They will be a great addition to burgers and hot dogs, and anything else we can dream up. And if we get a lot more, they might even become Christmas presents.