Finding tentacle-like, space-alien green things in the refrigerator is no need for alarm, especially if they’re in a jar and floating in a briny solution. They’re not actually pickled space creatures. They’re pickled banana peppers, and they’re amazing.
About this time last year, I emerged from my office, bleary eyed after reading “news of the bizarre” from random websites, Facebook posts, and Twitter threads. Then, I opened the refrigerator door to find homemade pickled banana peppers.
“Who performed this delightful random act of kindness?” I asked out loud.
It certainly wasn’t the cat, that’s for sure. It was Nate, the most industrious member of the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks Team who knows how to preserve a good thing.
“Yeah, I just looked up recipes on the internet,” he said, and then nonchalantly whipped up some nachos.
Those. Peppers. Were. The. Best. We put them on everything, including pizzas, sandwiches, nachos, salads—bills that came in the mail—but then, we ran out of peppers. The saddest part of the summer, I think, is when the peppers run out, and you’ve eaten all of the reserves in the jar.
In any case, the garden this year yielded some pretty impressive species of banana peppers. Nate picked his peppers and promptly placed them on the kitchen prep counter, and when I came downstairs in the morning, I couldn’t help but remark, “Oh, my! What big peppers you have, Nate!”
This variety that Nate planted also packs a punch. It’s slightly spicier than what we normally plant for our banana peppers, but that just means that they will last longer, since we won’t pile them all at once onto our pizzas.
For our batch this year, Nate adapted a recipe from Bless This Mess for easy, refrigerated pickled banana peppers. He omitted the celery seed and peppercorns and halved the recipe in order to make one big jar of peppers.
Now, we must remain patient for at least two days to a week in order for the briny solution to work its way through the peppers. Then, look out, almost everything we eat or drink! You’re getting topped with a pickled pepper that will reach its spicy arms inside your savory brains and melt them.
Your Turn: Do you have a favorite pickled food? What is it?