My pepper plants may not have grown very big, but they produced.
I am pretty sure it was a combination of low water and terrible dirt that caused my pepper plants to be dwarves. Watering regularly while living off a cistern is tough. Every time the weather man promised rain, I held off, hoping mother nature would sprinkle down some hydration on my plants — but she didn’t. In fact, it almost seemed like there was invisible umbrella over my house. The skies would get dark and my hopes would rise. But it always passed. Missing us, missing my gardens.
Regardless of their short size, my pepper plants produced. I grew pepperoncini, jalapeno, California wonder and sweet chocolate varieties.
Next year, I plan to add more varieties of sweet and hot peppers so that I can make more Colourful Cowboy Candy. While I haven’t actually tried any yet, they smelled delicious while they simmered briefly in a syrupy brine.
If you have an abundance of peppers, you should give this recipe a try.
Colourful Cowboy Candy
(yields five pints)
- 1 pound of fresh peppers, a mix of sweet and hot
- 1 1/3 C apple cider vinegar
- 4 C sugar
- 4 Tbsp mustard seed, I used brown and black (it’s what I had in my cupboard)
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Wash and slice all peppers into rings.
Combine vinegar, sugar and spices in a stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for five minutes.
Add peppers and simmer five minutes more.
Load sterilized jars with peppers first, stuffing them in, then liquid leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Process 15 minutes in a water bath canner.
Avoid eating them for at least a month to bring out the flavours.