Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a habit of getting whims and quickly losing interest in them. Working much like a fast-moving disease, I’d tell my mother, “Mom, I’ve got the whims today!” and she would smile at me while quietly counting how many minutes it would take for me to discard whatever project I lugged out and splayed across the living room floor.
I’ve finished very few things in my life- screenplays, college, a beer, The Big Lebowski– but when I do, boy, is it a time for celebration!
Last weekend I started and finished making pickled peppers- and managed to not kill anyone in the process. Yet. At least I don’t think?
In terms of level of difficulty making pickled peppers is not hard- you buy the ingredients, you boil them, you pour them over peppers, you seal the jar- but the process can be long and boring for a young gal who is easily distracted by rays of light and cat noises off in the distance, so this accomplishment was a mighty, mighty achievement.
The project first started by taking my friend, Adley, to an overly crowded grocery store immediately after church let out. As I watched my friend sink deeper and deeper into a ball of anxiety, I fought my way through the hoards of super families pillaging a mound of jalapenos larger than a car. Not particularly liking peppers myself and not knowing what I was looking for, I grabbed the peppers that looked the “cutest” and threw them into my plastic bag.
I soon discovered that Adley had zero interest in watching me boil a pot of vinegar so he left me to my pickling devices. Below I’ve created a pictorial step-by-step guide on how to pickle because creating a water/vinegar/sugar/salt/spices concoction and pouring them over a jar full of peppers is pretty difficult, really.
The recipe I used below can be found here.
1.) I cleaned the pickles and poked holes in them. I’m not exactly sure why I poked holes in them but I think I read that somewhere. It seemed like an appropriate way to introduce a pepper to the end of their life.
2.) I put the ravaged peppers in a jar.
3.) I boiled water, vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic, peppercorn, and various other herbs in a pot.
4.) It smelled like ass.
5.) I lined the jars up, poured the boiling stank over the peppers and thought, “How pretty!” Then I noticed some tiny air bubbles at the bottom of the jars and thought, “Dear Lord, I’m going to give everyone Botulism!”
6.) So I quickly turned the jars upside down and stuck them in water. I felt that this would somehow cure the bottles of their disease.
7.) Throughout the week I thought about the villainous pathogen potentially festering in my refrigerator. It haunted my dreams. Along with Emilio Estevez.
8.) Considering I was planning on giving these pickled peppers of death as gifts, I figured I had to potentially martyr myself before killing off my entire friend base. I hesitantly tasted the first bite and to my surprise…it tasted good. Not only did my stomach not instantly liquify, the peppers actually tasted pickled.
I learned a lot from this experience. I learned that I would pickle the living shit out of anything if I could. Butter, fruit roll-ups, Laughing Cow cheese. But more importantly, I learned that when DIYing Christmas gifts for your friends, it’s vital that you DO NOT create biological warfare in your kitchen.
Have you ever tried pickling? How did it turn out? Have you ever given your friends a paralytic illness?