Monday, October 08, 2007

Pickled pepper Rings

There's nothing better than some hot pepper rings to lift an ordinary sandwich into a new realm of taste excitement, so with all those gorgeous garden peppers, this morning I made Pickled Pepper Rings.

I had several varieties of peppers to choose from. Carmen Sweet Peppers from Johnny's Selected Seeds, of which the catalog says "A beautiful new pepper of the Italian "bulls horn" (corno di toro) type from Johnny's owners and plant breeders Janika Eckert and Rob Johnston. Carmen has a lovely sweet taste for salads and roasting, especially when partially or fully red-ripe. Tapered fruits avg. 6" long x 2 1/2" wide, 5 oz. (142 gm), and ripen from green to deep carmine red. Maturity is early on an upright, medium-size plant. Days to Maturity or Bloom: 60 days green, 80 days red ripe."

Italia, also from Johnny's, of which the Johnny's catalog says "Long, avg. 2 1/2" x 8", fruits are green, and ripen early to a dark crimson red. Corno di toro type, with wide shoulders, reminiscent of a colorful bull's horn. Sweet, full pepper flavor that expresses itself well in pasta sauces and stir-fries. Days to Maturity or Bloom: 55 days green, 75 days red ripe."

Why two of the same type of pepper you ask? Because I purchased the plants from Johnny's and they did not have full six packs of either, so I was given the Italia's even though I really didn't need more... and of course once they were home, well, I couldn't not plant them...right?

Lipstick, according to the Johnny's catalog "Heavy, attractive, dark green fruits are about 4" long and taper to a blunt point. They ripen to a glossy, rich red. Thick, juicy, and sweet for salads and cooking, and perfect for roasting and salsa. Dependable, early, heavy yields, even in a cool summer season. Days to Maturity or Bloom: 53 days green, 73 days red ripe."

Sweet Banana also purchased as seedlings but from where I don't know. Days to Maturity: 75.

and Lemon Drop, from seeds I saved and gave to my gardening pal Michael. I was unable to get any seeds to germinate, but he was successful and gave me 3 plants. These plants were incredibly prolific, early, as the peppers themselves ripened earlier than the above peppers, beautiful, and hot, hot, hot!

I'll report back in late December when these jars are ready to crack open. Until then, I'll need to admire frequently!

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