Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pick a Peck of Peppers

I'm going to pickle these peppers. I found a very simple recipe in Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving . The recipe makes 6 pints of sliced hot pickled peppers. The perfect condiment for almost anything - salads, sandwiches, burgers. I've also been known to eat them straight out of the jar.

My garden has an abundance of peppers right now - they are all coming ripe at the same time. I will most likely get one, maybe two more harvests of peppers before things slow down for the summer.

Where I live, here in Central Texas, the overnight lows aren't all that low any more. And the weather man is predicting our first triple digit temperatures already this weekend. In other words, it's hot. And it's going to get hotter, and stay hotter until the end of September.

And what that means is my first growing season is already winding down. Without cooler temperatures at night the pepper blossoms won't set. Likewise, my cucumbers are struggling with the heat, and I have probably harvested the last of them. The tomatoes will ripen, if I keep them watered, but then they too will shrivel and die in the stifling temps.

I will get a second growing season that will start when things start to cool down in September, and last until the first freeze in January. I'm already planning this second growing season - and I'm planning it with my canning books in hand. I'll grow what I want to preserve: hot pickled green beans, tomatoes for sauce, and zucchini to grate and freeze for bread and muffins.

But first, I'll pickle these peppers, continue making baba ghanouj and pestos, and wait for the tomatoes to ripen.

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