Few things grow so well in our garden as peppers.  Though the tomatoes are looking quite fabulous.  We have one tomato on the window sill to ripen off vine.  (Husbando thought some harm would befall it).  Last year our garden (and most in our area) did nothing.  Even robust peppers said "Eh, I'm not producing for you this year."  It wasn't the peppers but the weather....lack of sun for the first time in a long time.

Well, this year's peppers (and cukes and squash) have been enjoying fabulous weather.  Last, year's alpaca'as soil amenities (poop from this sweet girl and others) are really letting the garden produce.

It is impossible to eat or even give away all of the peppers that are produced.  One thing I enjoy doing with the bounty of the peppers is to make a hot pepper relish.  It is easy and delicious. It's terrific on anything you enjoy relish with (hot dogs, sandwiches, hamburgers, salad dressings and more).

Mixing sweet peppers with hot peppers keeps the heat down and the flavor up.  We are not 'hot-stuff' junkies.  It's heat + flavor, and the higher the heat, the less flavor comes through (in my opinion). 

Did you know?  There is a Scoville Chile Heat chart?  Here it is on the right.  I have some Big Jim (mild) , Pablano, Cayenne, Jalepeno and Serrano pepperr. 

In the past, I had the dumb idea that having beautiful pepper rings in a lovely sweet pickling mix would be my ideal end product.  Let me tell you that it was divine.  Make no mistake about that.  But in a home kitchen, hand slicing was the only way to achieve that.  (I thought that perhaps a food processor might work, but with so many different sized peppers, arranging them would take more time than hand slicing them.)

I started with 16lbs of untrimmed peppers. I'm embarrassed to say how long it took me to process these. At the end of that time I had
  1. the most beautiful pepper rings of all sorts of sizes.  
  2. an aching back
  3. aching feet
  4. a semi-paralized hand.

PFFFFFT!  to ever doing THAT again. I that kitchen chore for a few days.  Now, I'm content with Cuisinart-chopped peppers.I don't add onions or anything else.  Just peppers, sugar, vinegar and salt.

Gloves are a must.  Capsaician will burn your skin--you don't need any lingering reminders of your canning efforts except for your product. 

These are the only thing I bother to put in jars.  I can't buy this relish as good as I can make it.  We eat all of our squash and cucumbers.  Tomatoes....we eat a great deal of them; and we give many away.  I don't find canned tomatoes objectionable in the least, and I have no desire to can them v. using Hunts' offering.

Off to visit my SIL and her mother, who is visiting from Alexandria (VA).  I have pork spareribs in the oven.  I hope that your holiday was restful and fun.  I sure enjoyed my weekend.


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