Saturday, May 02, 2009

Canning Disaster

Have you ever tried Bread-and-Butter pickles?

Those are the home-made sweet pickles from the South, oomph’d up with sweet spices, and slathered on everything from hot dogs in Atlanta to egg salad in Dallas. A few slices on a ham-n- cheese sandwich can really make you easily slip into using “yall” as a second-person plural. Really.

Better yet.

Have you tried pickled jalapeno peppers?
Sure, you have.
Nachos aren’t nachos without them.

The last time I was in South Texas, I swear I came across -- are you ready for this? -- bread-and-butter jalapeno peppers!

Oh my goodness, I had never tasted anything so good as these. My southern favorite of bread-and-butter pickles had been combined with nippy pickled jalapeno peppers.

A grilled cheese sandwich would never be the same.

I brought back a few jars of these delicacies. The Iwanskis loved them. So did I.
But the Texan reserves quickly got used up. Awfully fast.

I wanted lots more bread-n-butter jalapeno peppers, but the cupboard was empty.

Internet orders were expensive.

What to do?

I got into my “Texan Grandmother” mode.

I had grown up seeing many of my female elders ‘can’ and ‘pickle’ lots of things while growing up in Texas. Pickled okra, bread-n-butter pickles, and pickled watermelon rind had adorned old wooden storage shelves around me since I was knee-high to a coyote-puppy.

Surely, I could make me some decent bread-n-butter jalapenos. It was in my blood, after all. . . .

Like any good Texan, I procured a kilo of fresh jalapenos from a Latino market in Chicago, seeded, sliced-and-iced them just like you would with pickles.

The ingredients for bread-n-butter jalapenos called for salt, vinegar, sugar, and spices, . . . Hmmmm. . . .that won’t just do . . .

I decided to get tasty and creative . . .

I sliced the peppers and simmered them with two cups of white vinegar, one cup of apple cider vinegar, two cups of sugar, ½ cup crumbled red pepper, then two tsp. cloves, two tsp. coriander, ½ tsp turmeric, and finally, 2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika (Pimenton)

Here it is, all canned and everything.

Sounds awfully tasty, eh??

Oh my God!!!

There’s a reason my foremothers didn’t preserve anything with every spice they could think of!

There’s a reason my bank thought it prudent to avail me with an obscene line of credit so that I could procure things on line. . .

Oh my goodness . . .
I only wish my dear sweet grandma had shown me how to get the invasive smell of cloves, smoked paprika, and vinegar out of one's dwelling.

Where are these resources when I really need them ?

If you want Bread-n-Butter jalapenos, please don’t come over to my place. My canning abilities will probably make you relish lunch from the nearest homeless pizza vendor . . . all-the-while contracting some obscure weasel virus.

I’ve got six pints of this stuff.

If by chance you get a jar of home-made pickles from me as a gift, please . . . Heed my warning now and run for your life. . . Really.


At 11:38 AM , Blogger Barb said...

I guess I should have read the title to your post first... here I was getting all excited that you were able to duplicate the jalapeno bread & butter pickles, which, btw ~ my husband would probably love. Guess I'll just have to look for them on line!
You are too funny! Have a great weekend.

At 9:21 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

LOL! Come on dooder, you can do better than that! :) I bet I could help you actually FOLLOW THE RECIPE for bread and butter jalapenos. I'm good at that! *grin*

Seriously, you crack me UP! :) Are they really that bad????

P.S. Pickled ok-ra!

P.S.S. I just accidentally changed my keyboard to Dvorak for a second!--how weird is that???? *grin*


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