Victor and Blanche were out back early this morning checking out the garden. Things are coming in fast and furious, right now – especially tomatoes and peppers. And squash. And eggplant. And green beans.

I went out to join them and Victor handed me a basket of peppers, saying I had a project for today – canning peppers!

We’ve been picking and eating peppers for a couple of weeks, but I’ve really been waiting for the moment when I could put up a few pints. That moment was today!


We have about 8 pepper plants out back – all different varieties from cayenne to Italian Long Hots and jalapeños and even a plain ol’ bell pepper. We’re pretty basic in our pepper consumption. We fry up a bunch and keep them in oil in the ‘fridge – great for pasta, sandwiches, eating with cheese or bread or whatever – and then I can a bunch for eating year-round on or with absolutely anything. There’s no plan – they’re peppers. Eat them.

I have a very simple, basic vinegar solution I put together using plain distilled white vinegar. Nothing fancy and nothing to take away from the peppers, themselves. You can go crazy using different flavored vinegars and adding herbs or spices, onions, whatever – and I definitely encourage people to play and experiment – but at this point in time, I’m happy to let the peppers play the staring role.


I started by slicing them all – complete with seeds.


And then packing them into boiling hot jars. This is the stuff that’s important in home-canning. Boiling the jars, everything scrupulously clean and sterile… Ya just don’t want to kill anyone. It would ruin their day. And yours.


Next comes the pouring of the vinegar solution – also boiling hot. And then wiping the rims, placing the sterilized lids and rings, and processing in the boiling water bath.


It’s a pretty simple process – you just want to work quickly.

And then, in 15 or so minutes, we have peppers that would last for years – except we tend to eat them rather quickly.


Today, I made 11 half-pints. If the gardening gods are willing, I should be able to get at least that many more into the basement this season.

Pickled Peppers

(makes about 10 1/2-cup jars

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

Wash and cut peppers.

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.

I doubled the recipe today and had just a bit left over. I also processed for 15 minutes because I used 1/2 pint jars.

There’s still a boatload of produce coming up out there. Planting a garden is like growing money. While it wasn’t the reason we decided to go with the garden, we’re spending close to zero money on produce, right now. It’s great. And we have stuff downstairs that will keep us fed through the winter.

We probably should have started doing this years ago, but I really am happy we finally did. The difference in flavor is astounding and it is just so satisfying knowing that you grew dinner.