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.
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
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.