There are days when you just have to do what you can with what you have on hand. Getting off the grid means preserving foods for later so I home canned a couple of pints of pickled sweet banana pepper.
Back when I was a teen my dad taught me how to home can any pepper because he loved them with his beans and greens and cornbread that were staples in our household, so this is not new to me at all.
When you are heading off grid you have to rethink how to make things last, when I go solar power I want to make sure I do not waste any power for things not necessary, especially not food storage. I am in what I call stage two with stage three getting off the power grid.
Late yesterday evening and today I picked more zucchini and more yellow squash, I am beginning to get ripe tomatoes, cucumbers and small bell peppers and a handful of sweet banana peppers.
Today I have to preserve it, sell it or give it away to prevent this food from spoiling.
I chose to do two of the three and preserve and give away. I loaded a grocery sack with eleven medium zucchini and twelve medium yellow squash and I will drop it off at my pecan friends house, she shared nuts with me in the fall of the year.
So what did I do with todays pickings at my house? Lunch! And I pickled peppers and froze squash, zucchini jam, yes I know I should not think about the freezer but remember I am in stage two.
For lunch I sliced yellow squash into circles tossed them into flour and fried them in hot grease that was left over from frying chicken, so the spice that flavored the chicken is also in the squash. Then I washed and sliced two cucumbers, two small ripe on the vine tomatoes, one small sweet bell pepper and a couple sweet banana peppers. I divided all this this between two people and that was lunch from the garden.
I then sliced yellow squash, enough for two meals, and I placed them in the vacuum seal bag and sealed those for the coming winter.
For the zucchini jam I just peeled the zucchini, cleaned the seeds out and sliced the rest into to inch pieces, I am storing those in a huge bowl till I run to the store this evening for lemons or lemon juice.
And finally I made two half pints of pickled sweet banana peppers.
I just washed and sterilized the jars, put the lids and bands into boiling water and allowed those to stay hot for five minutes.
I chopped the sweet banana peppers into rings and near the top of the pepper I removed those seeds, a couple is fine by me but those are not needed. I filled each jar with the cut up peppers.
I added one half teaspoon of canning salt to each jar and one half teaspoon of sugar to each jar.
In a small sauce pan I used equal parts of vinegar and water, one cup each. I brought the vinegar and water to a rolling boil and I poured over the pepper rings, allowing one half inch head space.
I wiped the rims clean and I put the hot jar lid on and tightened. I boiled the two half pint jars for a couple minutes in the same water that the hot jar lids were in.
And that is two half pints of pickled sweet banana peppers.
By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry