Never had I stopped and considered exactly how much of something constituted a peck until I was out in the garden in the dark, wiping cold rain out of my eyes and trying to locate hot peppers with a flashlight.
This project had started, of course, with grander visions. I had gotten nostalgic about the giant jars of whole chili peppers swimming in vinegar that used to grace every table in Cambodia, and I had convinced Jason to stick a single hot pepper plant in the corner of our community garden plot. Then, Peter Piper-style visions dancing in my head, I waited. And waited. And waited. Our pepper plant grew to mammoth proportions but was an exceedingly late bloomer. Finally, just this month, it sprouted loads of peppers, though most of them remained green, probably because of the chilly weather.
But then again, the peppers in Cambodia had always been a wide variety of colors, and ours were, indeed, hot, as evidenced by the weird panting noises that Jason made after I fed him a little piece of a raw one, so I decided that maybe the greenness wasn’t that big of a deal, and I should proceed with the pickling as planned. But the clock was ticking; it had gotten awfully late in the season, so late that it’s dark by the time I get home from work, which is why, last night, I was arming myself with a flashlight and trying to convince myself that it would be kind of like trick or treating, before heading out to lurk around the muddy garden and probably creep out all of the neighbors.
Man, it sure seemed like I picked a lot of peppers, yea, perhaps even a peck of pickled peppers. A peck is a quarter of a bushel (or eight quarts, for those of you who don’t regularly buy things by the bushel). My crop ended up filling two tiny jam jars, so I may have come in a little shy of my target. But boy, do they look delicious.
Here’s how you can pickle some of your very own: Continue reading