The NC Mountains.
Each time we visit there (at least once a year) I always leave a bit of myself behind. It’s a place that holds dear to my heart, because where I have so many precious childhood memories because of yearly family vacations, but also because it’s the place I enjoyed visiting with my mama and daddy in my adult years. Last week, me and The Hubbs took my Mama back to the mountains on what I called a “healing journey.” It was the first trip she had taken anywhere since my Daddy’s passing in May. We visited some of their favorite spots, which I will share next week. While there, I purchased some homegrown peppers and was super excited to make these recipes for Pepper Vinegar.
Easy Pepper Vinegar Recipes
We Southerners love our Pepper Vinegar almost as much as we love our sweet tea. And we also love our collard greens. But, you don’t dare eat collard greens in our family without a good, homemade pepper vinegar. The peppers we use are usually available at the end of the growing season, so about now. I have my batch of pepper’s in the garden which I will be picking next week. And it’s the final item in the garden to pick. Here are the peppers I bought at a Farm Stand while we were in the mountains.
I am so,so happy to present new series here at The Everyday Home called The Farmer’s Daughter Series. I will be featuring Farm to Table Recipes, and other related posts with crafts and DIY’s. This Pepper Vinegar is the perfect example of what The Farmer’s Daughter Series will be all about.
Here are the beautiful red and green peppers I bought at a NC Mountain Farm Stand, just waiting to be stuffed into pretty bottles.
I found these gorgeous bottles at Hobby Lobby and love their flip tops. After sterilizing the bottles in boiling water, I assembled the ingredients I would need. I decided to step up the standard pepper vinegar we use on our Southern collard greens, and make a slightly more gourmet version that I can give away as Christmas Gifts.
Some of the ingredients I used were garlic, lemon, basil, oregano, tri-color peppercorns and plain, white vinegar. Once the garlic cloves were peeled, it was time to start packing the bottles.
Here is my secret for making sure I get a good quantity of ingredients packed inside the bottles…
I use a wooden skewer to pack it all in. I will add a few peppers, a few cloves or lemon slices or herbs, etc, then use the skewer to pack it all down. Then continue on in layers until the bottle is full.
Once I was satisfied with the fullness of the jars, it was just a matter of filling them with the white vinegar. I find that pouring the vinegar from a spouted container makes the job easier, or you can also use a funnel.
It could not be easier. I assembled two small and one large jar in only minutes. I have enough peppers remaining for at least 3-4 smaller jars, which are perfect sizes for gifts. I used some simple, brown craft tags and hand wrote the flavor of the pepper vinegar and attached with red and white baker’s twine.
Here is the Oregano-Lemon-Basil flavor…
The Oregano-Lemon-Peppercorn flavor…
There truly is no right or wrong recipe when making pepper vinegar. You could add any number of fresh herbs…rosemary, thyme, dill. I just happened to have thyme, oregano and basil still in my garden.
So, what does one do with gourmet flavors of Pepper Vinegar? Anything you would use a plain vinegar in. But, my favorite, by far, is to make Vinaigrettes for Salads and use for marinades. I will be sharing a Creamy-Peppercorn-Garlic Vinaigrette next week as part of this new “The Farmer’s Daughter Series.”
You could even use some stick-on chalkboard labels on the front of your bottles. Wouldn’t that be super cute? “Why yes, Barb, why didn’t you use those “super cute chalkboard labels?” Because I forgot to grab them when I went to buy the bottles and was too lazy to drive back and get them. #truthbomb 😀
Here are my easy recipe combos:
Red and Green Peppers | Fresh Lemon slices, sliced thin | Basil (about 7-9 leaves)
Garlic cloves (about 4-5) | White Vinegar
Red and Green Peppers | Fresh lemon slices, sliced thin | Peppercorns (about 2 tsps)
Red and Green Peppers | Garlic cloves (about 4-5) | 3-5 sprigs Thyme
2-3 teaspoons peppercorns | White Vinegar
Thank you for letting me share this Pepper Vinegar and I hope you enjoyed this first post
in my newest series… The Farmer’s Daughter.
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