Actually, my stepmom Joleen got me into it. She'd pull out jars and jars of salsa and pickled green beans and LOADS of other goodies all year long. I was so jealous of her little nifty canning ways. So one day....long long ago (really just 2 years)....I traveled the 4.5 miles into the big city of Wichita to pursue my canning quest. I purchased books, jars, lids, salt and more vinegar than any normal person would buy in a lifetime. I swear that checkout lady kept giving me the 'that lady is all and more living in coo-coo-land' look. Rude. But I trudged on with my adventure. Thankfully I didn't have to buy everything, Jo cave me the GIANORMOUS canning pot (I swear I could bath in it, it's so big; but I wouldn't do that, because that's weird) and the little canning tools for Christmas one year, and my teeny piggy bank thanks her every canning season.
But back to today's adventure.....Spicy Carrots. I'm pretty sure that aliens abducted me 3 years ago and turned my thumb green, really that's the only explanation for why I can grow things now, opposed to trying to grow things 4 years ago and not only killing them within days, but killing them with such flair that I should have been nominated for an Academy Award. Anyways, I can grow the best and sweetest carrots, and what do you do with 6 rows of carrots? You can them, of course. With a spicy habanero and red pepper blend that makes them the crunchiest, spiciest, most delicious, mouth watering carrots you've ever dreamed about. By the way, they also make scrumptious stirring sticks for bloody mary's, just saying.
And I don't grow just any normal carrots....
What the hell.
On with my day: After peeling them, I slice them up into 3in by 1/4 inch little sticks. Then I follow this recipe:
Spicy Pickled Carrots
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, finely chopped
1 small habanero pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp chile flakes
4 large cloves of garlic, sliced into quarters
1 pound carrots, cut into three-inch matchsticks
3 cups white vinegar
2/3 cup water
1 cup cane sugar
2 teaspoon pickling salt
Bring a canner full of water to a boil. Sterilize (about) 8 pint-sized jars by running them in the dishwasher, with the hot dry heat setting on, then just leaving them in there till you're ready to fill the jars. Meanwhile, mix the red pepper, habanero, Mexican oregano, and chile flakes together.
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the hot jars from the canner. Add about 2 T pepper mixture per jar. Semi-tightly pack each jar with carrots, making sure to leave ½ inch between the top of the carrots and the rim of the jar. Pour the hot vinegar over the carrots, leaving ½ inch of head space. Wipe the rims of the jars, top them with lids, and screw on the rings.
Process the jars for 15 minutes (start timing after the water in the canner returns to a boil).
A little advice on canning: It takes ALL FREAKING DAY. So prepare yourself by having many frosty beverages only a few feet away in the fridge.
Also, on the above recipe, it's kind of a crap-shoot on how many carrots you have to the pepper and vinegar mixture. I had to make more half way through my canning fiasco. That was fun by the way....hot jars waiting to be filled, vinegar mixture boiling on the stove which I would get a good wiff of and nearly pass out backwards from the fumes burning my nose hairs, sweat running down my face, beer was out of reach. Catastrolicious. Anyways, just do the best you can, and it's not a big deal if you have to stop and make more.
But once the jars are done, the HUGE mess is cleaned up, you're half tipsy from all the beer you drank....oh wait, that might just be me......you end up with these:
|This is about all the counter space I have in my Barbie kitchen, btw.|
Ryan: we need a new house...with a WAY bigger kitchen.
Now I just have to wait for them to cool and their little lids to *pop* to seal.
Voilà! I'm the Cool Canning Queen! And y'all can be just as cool as me if you want to! And if you do, I totally want to see pictures!!