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Northeast Suburban Life


August 19, 2009

How to pickle that peck of peppers COURTESY RITA HEIKENFELD

Nell Wilson’s pickled peppers recipe.

When I go out to the garden to pick peppers, I think of Nell Wilson, along with my sisters Sonia Ervin, Christine Lawson and Edith Hartwell. Nell is Ron Wilson’s mom. Ron is our gardening columnist and I met Nell years ago when I was a guest on Ron’s radio show. Nell’s pickled pepper recipe is one of the best. Sonia, Christine and Edith were the first of my sisters

to learn to make pickled peppers from my mom. Mom made big batches of everything. Nell’s version is for smaller batches, which are more doable for most of you. Even if you’ve never canned, I hope you try a batch. You’ll be glad you did when you compare the price of pickled peppers with home canned. The bonus is they make great gifts from the kitchen,

and you know exactly what’s in them.

Prepare peppers

Wash. Leave whole with a slit down the center, or Nell Wilson’s cut into slices as desired. I like to famous remove seeds if I slice pickled them, but this is Rita optional. peppers Heikenfeld *I make this Remember the with a mixture of Rita’s kitchen membrane that the mostly hot pepseeds are attached to pers. I usually don’t add 2 is the hottest part of the cups sugar; I’ll start out pepper, and the seeds are with half a cup, taste the the second hottest part. brine, and go from there. Place peppers in steril(Someone told me you ized, hot jars, packing tightcould also use Splenda). ly. Pour boiling brine over, If you have extremely covering peppers. hot peppers, though, the 2 Add seasonings, such as cups of sugar is not too garlic, bay leaf, herbs, etc. much. or leave plain. My sister, Christine, Wipe rims with wet makes my mom’s big batch cloth. Put lids on. No need version of these and uses no to process these as the vinesugar at all so it’s up to you. gar keeps bacteria out. As far as the yield, I Jars will seal on their don’t remember! It depends own – you’ll hear little on the size of the peppers, “pings� as the seal comwhether you use quart or pletes. Any that don’t seal pint jars, etc. just put in fridge. Chill in refrigerator before serving.

Sterilizing jars

Wash canning jars and lids, then put jars in a big pan, covered with water. Bring to a boil and boil 15 minutes. (If your dishwasher is hot enough, use that to sterilize the jars). Keep in hot water until you’re ready to fill.





6 cups clear vinegar, 5 percent acidity 2 cups water 1 â „2 to 2 cups sugar (see note above)* Bring brine to a boil. Let boil gently as you fill jars.

Tip from Rita’s kitchen

• The lids are a twoparter: a flat seal and a ring. The rings are reusable; the seals are not. • Video for pickling peppers on

Rita’s goat cheese log

So easy and so impressive. Just roll a goat cheese log into some chopped herbs and/or edible flowers. Choose one or two or a lot, like parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary (not too much), chives, thyme, sage, nasturtiums, rose petals,


Rita’s herb goat cheese log. etc. Delicious with French bread or crackers.

Lois Maas’ spinach salad dressing

Lois sent this as a thank you for all the good recipes she’s gotten from this column. “My sister gave it to me,� she said.


Blend in blender. 2

â „3 cup canola oil â „3 cup sugar 1 â „3 cup wine vinegar 3 tablespoons horseradish mustard 1 teaspoon salt 1 medium onion 2

Spinach salad

2 lbs. fresh spinach 6 hardboiled eggs chopped 1 lb. fried bacon 1 package Pepperidge Farm stuffing Rita Nader Heikenfeld is Macy’s certified culinary professional and family herbalist, an educator and author. E-mail her at with “Rita’s kitchen� in the subject line. Or call 513-2487130, ext. 356. Visit Rita at


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