A couple of weeks ago I headed south over the border with my mom to visit my Uncle in Lewiston, NY. How could I possibly begin to describe my Uncle Louie so you can appreciate the kind of person that he is?
Well to start, his nickname for me is 'the brat'. He has called me that for as long as I can remember. Now you might think that one would find this kind of nickname insulting. But when you hear him say it with his Italian accent, his godfather voice and with the cheeky glint in his eye, you would know that he says it only in love. And like me, you would grow to love the nickname.
He is an extremely talented man who could build almost anything; from his own house to the most beautiful doll houses for his grandchildren to a stunning birdhouse made of cararra marble. He has endless patience and is a meticulous man - as could be witnessed by the fact that he hand painted all of his tools the same colour blue and each and every tool has a particular spot just for it or by the fact that his tomato plants grow with absolute precision. He pinches them, ties them and trains them to grow in straight lines full of fruit.
While we were visiting he brought out a jar of Pickled jalapeño that his neighbour had made for him. He exclaimed about the simplicity of the pickle and how he could sit and eat them straight out of the jar. It reminded me that a couple of years ago I had made jar after jar of a very similar pickle and that my pantry was currently devoid of them. Time to get my pickle jalapeño ON!
Perfect Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
4 cups chopped Jalapeño Peppers
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 cups water
2 tbsp pickling salt
Combine vinegar, water and salt in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil, add pepper rings and stir to submerge. As soon as the brine and peppers return to a boil, remove the pan from the heat.
Funnel peppers into your previously sterilized jars, top off with brine. Burp your jars to remove any trapped air bubbles and measure your headspace to 1/2 inch.
Wipe rims, apply lids and process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Do not start timing until the water is at a boil.
It is best to let these age for at least 2-4 weeks in the jar before opening to enjoy and eat out of the jar as my Uncle Louie does!