Wednesday, July 17, 2013

First Garden, First Peppers

This year my husband wanted to plant a small garden, he talked a lot about it to me and our son but had discussed waiting until next summer. I wasn't necessarily keen on the idea of starting a garden this year so I avoided the conversation and didn't ever bring the topic up. However, as you can clearly see from the post's title, we have a garden. I was extremely apprehensive because little potted flowers don't do well when I take care of them.

My husband planted beans, banana peppers, bell peppers and tomatoes. We thought he planted hot peppers but they are all banana peppers, we were kind of disappointed about this but we'll know for next year. Our family doesn't eat a lot of tomatoes unless they are in salsa but one year I juiced a ton of tomatoes to can the sauce for chili. My husband loved the taste and ease of having huge mason jars already prepared. So we have seven tomato plants and because this is our first time even having a garden we weren't really sure what to expect or how many we will get.

Our first garden.
I have to be completely honest, I wasn't actually sure we'd get anything to grow, I mean I know nothing about gardening. Nothing! But my husband is a natural.

Well the first thing our garden produced was two red ripe tomatoes. I can't even begin to tell you how excited and pleased I was that things grew. I spent a lot of days weeding our tiny garden - enough that it almost became an obsession to keep all the weeds out. In hindsight we should have sprayed weed killer all over before we planted anything but we are learning as we go.
Kids with first tomatoes
from the garden.

A few days after the tomatoes we also had about four banana peppers. We ate those but decided with the next batch that were ready to be picked I would try to can them. I searched multiple blog sites and popular recipes for jarring them but remembered that my aunt and uncle jar hot peppers each year and they are delicious, plus they stay super crispy, crunchy.

Their recipe is very simple but has been very effective for them; I'm hoping it works for me too.

Hot Peppers
Boil together:
1 Quart Vinegar
1 Quart Water
2 Cups White Sugar
2 Tablespoons Oil
Put peppers into jars with 1 clove peeled garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in each jar.
Pour HOT brine over peppers and put lids on, no need to cold pack.
Makes about 7 - 8 pints.

Now because we only had enough peppers for four small jelly jars I cut back the recipe to fit my needs.

My fingers are crossed that they stay good and crunchy, please keep yours crossed for me.

Banana Peppers

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